Are Janus Friis, Niklas Zennstrom and Mike Volpi the three stooges of tech litigation?

As a longtime fan of The Three Stooges, I think I've found their next of kin.

It's my personal opinion that Janus Friis, Niklas Zennstrom and Mike Volpi are the three stooges of tech litigation. And why do I believe that? Well, as a trio, they make a great comedy act about the fallacy of using litigation to enforce software licensing shenanigans to build a business. For example, it was only 3 years ago that eBay, Skype, Joltid, Friis and Zennstrom were defendants in a complaint accusing them of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The complaint was dismissed not on lack of merit, but on Statute of Limitations grounds. Interestingly, the complaint went into great detail about how Friis and Zennstrom were experts in software licensing shenanigans (it's laughable that eBay helped defend Friis and Zennstrom who then pulled the exact same software licensing shenanigans on eBay). Sale Agreement of Skype to eBay: Core Software

"Means (i) the Joltid Global Index Software, a portable C++ library compiled for supported platforms which is comprised of a core peer-to-peer stack; (ii) the SkyLib software; (iii) the SkyHost software; (iv) the front-end and back-end signing server software for the Skype client (referred to internally as 'Signing Front End' and 'Signing Back End'); and (v) the registration server software for the Skype client (referred to internally as 'Login Front End');"

Smoking Gun: Schedule 2 (Conditions to Completion)

"16. The following agreement, which has been entered into by the parties thereto and delivered to the Purchaser (i.e. eBay), shall remain in full force and effect at Completion: a duly executed agreement between Joltid and the Company (i.e. Skype) with respect to the Company’s (i.e. Skype) rights in respect of intellectual property."

The sale agreement clearly stated that Skype's Core Software would continue to be owned by Joltid, not Skype nor eBay. Amazingly, only nine months after the RICO complaint was dismissed against Joltid, Friis and Zennstrom, former Cisco star Mike Volpi became the leader of a Joltid, Friis and Zennstrom start-up, Joost. Obviously in my opinion, Volpi is "cut from the same cloth" as Friis and Zennstrom.

And in a very amusing twist, it's now alleged by Joltid that Volpi has pulled a "Friis and Zennstrom software shenanigan" on Joltid itself: Read the entire Joltid complaint against Volpi

Read the entire Joltid complaint against eBay

Related Story: Skype is on its way to becoming one of the most important companies in the world


What's your take, do you agree with me that Janus Friis, Niklas Zennstrom and Mike Volpi are the three stooges of the tech industry?

BradReese.Com Cisco Refurbished - Services that protect, maintain and optimize Cisco hardware Contact: Brad Reese | Twitter: http://twitter.com/BradReese

  1. Vote for the best Cisco NetFlow hip-hop video on YouTube
  2. Cisco retail collaboration benefits calculator
  3. Skype is on its way to becoming one of the most important companies in the world
  4. The sordid tale of Cisco's new board director Arun Sarin and disgraced Wall Street analyst Henry Blodget
  5. Is the new Cisco Product Quick Reference Guide destined for the New York Times Best Seller list?
  6. Can you see John Chambers directing Cisco to buy Alcatel-Lucent?
  7. F5 clobbers Cisco in application delivery controller market share
  8. Test Cisco NetFlow collectors and exporters with a free tool kit called Flowalyzer
  9. Cisco NetFlow is a must have for managing virtual applications in the cloud
  10. Plixer offers free tool that brings Netflow analysis to Cisco ASA firewall
  11. Cisco's commercial business council cochair bolts
  12. Cisco adds lawyers to its cost-cutting list
  13. Is the fair value of Nortel's metro Ethernet and 40Gig product line only $600 million?
  14. Former Cisco star joins Arista Networks
  15. Ericsson President and CEO has no fear of competing with mighty Cisco
  16. Wall Street Analyst: IBM is hedging its bets on Ethernet switches
  17. Cutting out the channel, are we seeing Cisco's future with the launch of Eos?
  18. Exactly how new is Cisco's organizational structure?
  19. Management vision of Cisco CEO John Chambers under fire
  20. View Brad Reese on Cisco Story Archives
Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.