Skype blocks Fring access, threatens legal action

After a victory for iPhone users was won by Fring last week, the social communications company is now facing the backout of their most valued collaborator, according to TechCrunch. Fring, a communications platform that enables VoIP (Voice over IP) phone calling to both Fring and Skype contacts, enabled video chat on its iPhone app last Thursday. Until that point, iPhone 4 users wanting to take advantage of the video chat functionality made possible by the device's front-facing camera had to use Facetime, which was only available on WiFi networks. Fring enabled video chat over 3G networks, and iPhone users were ecstatic.

However, after an understandably, yet unexpectedly, large spike in video traffic immediately after the update's release, Fring was forced to temporarily reduce support of Skype compatibility until the congestion problem could be solved. Apparently, Skype wasn't happy with the move. They have blocked all Fring access to their communications platform and have threatened legal action.

Fring, in a press release, says that they are being forced to stop offering Skype compatibility, a service they have dutifully offered for four years. They didn't have nice words for Skype in their blog.

“They are afraid of open mobile communication. Cowards.

Needless to say, we are very disappointed that Skype, who once championed the cause of openness is now trying to muzzle competition, even at the expense of its own users.

We're sorry for the inconvenience Skype has caused you.”

Skype has yet to issue an official response. 

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42 Comments

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Wow especially for nokia users most of them have front facing cameras so I cant use skype. Damn it skype damn cowards.

Okay! I'm not thrilled but I really hope that skype updates their app so as to offer the long awaited video calls especially over 3G..

Why the heck doesn't Skype have their own iOS and Android app that can do video calling to Skype for Windows/Mac/etc. and Android/iOS/etc. on Wifi or 3G? That seems like the most sane fix for this mess.

I used Fring to video call my coworker on her iPhone 4 from my Evo. It was neat. Still, I am waiting for Google to add the ability to video chat with people in Gmail Chat. Only a few friends have iPhone 4s and Evos but almost all of them get on Gmail chat and we regularly text and video chat in our browsers. Being able to call someone's browser from my phone would be totally tits.

I stopped giving sky my $ years ago, and I wish others would follow suit. They won't allow for forward movement unless they are kicked in the teeth.

Skype can do whatever they want with their service, we user hate it but its their right to screw it. And Fring instead of saying that they are dispointed of Skype they should build up an Open alternative from the ground up. I bet they can get some serious investment for that idea.

But then again first make it work properly.

WTF?! Good job! Now I cannot use Skype on my freaking Android. Good job Skype, screw the rest of us, huh? I would stop using it if there was any alternative. Hopefully Google Voice opens up soon in other countries to ditch this stupidity.

I have to question why, when Skype is arguably the centerpiece of their software, Fring didn't get some sort of service agreement with Skype?

Now Fring will make a desktop client and grab the desktop industry and be compatible with AOL, Gtalk, Facebook,ICQ Yahoo, and not skype

meshiga said,
Now Fring will make a desktop client and grab the desktop industry and be compatible with AOL, Gtalk, Facebook,ICQ Yahoo, and not skype

Relax, my trigger happy friend

Now Fring will make a desktop client and grab the desktop industry and be compatible with AOL, Gtalk, Facebook,ICQ Yahoo, and not skype


Damn it! Now I'm doing to!

Now Fring will make a desktop client and grab the desktop industry and be compatible with AOL, Gtalk, Facebook,ICQ Yahoo, and not skype

neopwi

Skype is trying to charge for mobile voice and video calls. I think this is why they are blocking Fring. Perhaps the way that Fring interfaces with Skype, it bypasses the normal checks to see how you're connecting. Skype already stated that they will begin charging for VOIP calls over 3G on the iPhone app in August. They waited quite a long time to even add it to the iPhone version even after the 3G VOIP restrictions were lifted. They were trying to figure out how they could profit.

Kind of the same way that AT&T waited so long to offer tethering... they were trying to figure out how they could get even more money out of you.

Now Fring will make a desktop client and grab the desktop industry and be compatible with AOL, Gtalk, Facebook,ICQ Yahoo, and not skype

meshiga said,
Now Fring will make a desktop client and grab the desktop industry and be compatible with AOL, Gtalk, Facebook,ICQ Yahoo, and not skype

That'd be a big win.

Well this is really frustrating. How about releasing an Android app, Skype? Some of us rely on Skype for communication and you've just buggered it up. I'm working abroad and it's the only way I can communicate with the wife. I sent her my iPhone 3G and now I'm stuck with a Desire with no Skype!

Guess we will have to wait for the new improved Skype App, but is taking so long just to add iOS4 support. Hope they also support video chat in this update and that will make me forget about Fringe which in any case was working extremely bad because of the avalanche of people trying it.

DARKFiB3R said,
Great, iPhone users ****ing it up for everybody else.

oh please... cry me a river... why would you blame iphone users?

chisss said,

oh please... cry me a river... why would you blame iphone users?

As soon as any iPhone user saw the update, they installed it and right after called one of their fellow iPhone buddies and said "LAWL SKYPE ON IPHONE FTW". Needless to say this wtfpwnt Skype's servers. Skype got teh angries. Skype weilded ban hamma. Teh endzorz.

Conjor said,

As soon as any iPhone user saw the update, they installed it and right after called one of their fellow iPhone buddies and said "LAWL SKYPE ON IPHONE FTW". Needless to say this wtfpwnt Skype's servers. Skype got teh angries. Skype weilded ban hamma. Teh endzorz.

Sadly, I completely understand everything you just said.

DARKFiB3R said,
Great, iPhone users ****ing it up for everybody else.

iPhone users are offered a service and used the service. What else can be said except that your comment is full of fail.

DARKFiB3R said,
Great, iPhone users ****ing it up for everybody else.

Suppose I should have put some sort of smiley on the end of that comment

DARKFiB3R said,

Suppose I should have put some sort of smiley on the end of that comment

see? smileys make comments better... lol

The only way video/voip will be successful is if open protocols are used. This is shameful by Skype, I'm just glad I don't use it.

Renato456 said,
dutifully?
I'm not great in English but I think you mean dutyfully.

You're definitely not great in English, because it is "dutifully".

Renato456 said,
dutifully?
I'm not great in English but I think you mean dutyfully.

you should have google'd it :-)