17.7.06

Chinese Continue to Show Little Regard for Intellectual Property Rights

Chinese Reverse Enginere Skype

News broke recently on the blog of Charlie Paglee that a Chinese company had reversed engineered Skype's interface so as to manipulate the existing Skype programing, which relies on super nodes to transmit massive amounts of data into the individual users interface rapidly, by not giving the new service super node capability but still relying on the super node infrastructure to transmit its services. There are some upsides to the new technology, such as the interoperability it will offer for users of various IM services (such as MSN, Yahoo and AOL), co-operating through the Skype network. Paglee notes in his blog that he received a call via his skype service from a colleague who works for the Chinese engineering company responsible for the methodical reverse engineering process, who informed him that the end-goal of the firm was to create its own presence within the Skype network which is 100% inter-operable with the Skype offered communication services. He notes that there was a clear disparity in the quality of the two services as they currently work together, but he suspects the firm will be able to clear up these problems without significant problem. This is both a promising development for Chinese innovative capacity, but also poses a serious threat to the stability of the Skype network because of the intense drag it has on the current super node capacity. It is encouraging to hear about foreign firms, particularly Chinese firms, which have achieved great success in innovation of personal technology, but the Chinese need to understand the importance of working with its western corporate partners rather than actively pursuing every opportunity to undermine their competitive advantages and manipulate their already generous network infrastructure.
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