Fring for iPhone now blocked from Skype. [Updated – Skype response]

Fring for iPhone now blocked from Skype. [Updated – Skype response]

Well that didn’t take long.  You might remember a story from last week where we talked about Fring for iPhone updating to include video calling over Skype.  It seems Skype was none-too-happy about the ordeal, and had now blocked Fring, while threatening to sue over a breach of the Skype ToS.

In a statement to TechCrunch, a Skype spokesperson has eluded to the idea that this is not the first time that Fring has come under fire from Skype.  In fact, we’re told that Skype has been considering actions against Fring for over a year.

Apparently the entire ordeal has to do with a huge jump in traffic only a few hours after the release of the latest version of Fring.  In answer to the spike, Fring had to cut back on the amount of calls that could go through the service.

The press release, from Fring, throws some strong words toward Skype, as well:

“We are disappointed that Skype, who once championed the cause of openness, is now attempting to muzzle competition, even to the detriment of its own users” said Avi Shechter, fring’s Co-Founder and CEO “We apologize to our users for the impact of Skype’s bullying and we will be happy to reconnect with Skype once Skype reverses their decision.” Avi continued, “We believe in communication openness and know that users will continue to vote with their mobile phones – opting for fring’s innovation, clarity, honesty and openness”.

Update: Not to be outdone, Skype’s Robert Miller has just posted a response to the situation as well.  The claims, primarily, state that Fring’s actions were damaging to the Skype brand.  However, Miller also makes it very clear that his interpretation is that the move was on Fring’s part, and not from Skype.

Fring was using Skype software in a way it wasn’t designed to be used – and in a way which is in breach of Skype’s API Terms of Use and End User License Agreement. We’ve been talking with Fring for some time to try to resolve this amicably.

We actively encourage developers to build products that work with Skype, acting, of course in accordance with our various API licences. At the same time, Skype will rigorously protect our brand and reputation, and those developers that do not comply with our terms will be subject to legal enforcement.

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