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Open-Source Skype Effort Is Dormant Or Dead

Free Software

Published on 08 March 2012 01:48 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
26 Comments

In June of last year Phoronix delivered the news that the Skype protocol was reverse-engineered and that there was already a working open-source code example for interfacing with Skype to send messages. While it seemed promising at first for potentially resulting in an open-source Skype client, the Microsoft-owned Skype vowed to take action. In the end they did go after the open-source / reverse-engineering work and now it looks like the project is dead, or at least terminally dormant.

Following the June announcement by the researcher that reverse-engineered an older version of the Skype protocol, various bits of technical details and code examples were published. Skype went after this work with DMCA take-down notices. When Skype informed me that they were going after those responsible for the work, it was described as "unauthorized use of our application for malicious activities" and "infringes on Skype's intellectual property."

The skype-open-source blog is now dormant. The last status update was in early October, with the only posts since then being unrelated (a Christmas tree photo and a post regarding the end of democracy in Russia). The open-source Skype code is housed on GitHub and there hasn't been any activity there in eight months. The Git repository itself is also empty.

While not as good as a proper open-source client, at least Skype for Linux has SkypeKit with a set of exposed APIs for external applications.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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