Could Skype be shutdown?
Hopefully not. At least not until June 2010. Skype has a legal disagreement with peer-to-peer company, Joltid, about licensing issues. Ebay is apparently developing their own technology in place of the software licensed from Joltid. So, maybe this will be moot by the time the lawsuit makes it to court.
When I first saw this story in headlines, I was afraid that this would be another story about a patent troll popping up out of obscurity to claim some vaguely related piece of technology in order to demand a cash payout (can you tell that I don’t like patent trolls?). At least this appears to be a case of licensing terms that needs to be worked out.
By the way, check out Qnext’s communications client for an alternative to Skype that currently offers 3-way video conferencing, here.