Vonage sued by MP3.com founder Michael Robertson

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Vonage sued by MP3.com founder Michael Robertson

Just the other day I was speaking with someone at SIPPhone and their market positioning. I didn't get a chance to speak with Michael Robertson (founder of MP3.com), and now the president of SIPPhone, but I plan to follow-up with Michael.

What I did hear from SIPPhone was very intriguing. I was told that Michael's aim is "to drive VoIP price-points down to ZERO, NADA, ZILCH, FREE!"

Wow! That's quite a goal. I don't know if he can do it, but if this man can build mp3.com and sell it for several million, who am I to question his vision?

Andy Abramson pointed out a Cnet article that says Michael (SIPPhone) is in the process of suing Vonage because they have an exclusive deal with LinkSys that "locks down" the LinkSys device to only work with Vonage.

Further, SIPPhone charges that product packaging and advertisements do not make it clear the Linksys products work only with Vonage.

Interestingly, like Andy mentioned in his blog, there is no mention of LinkSys in this lawsuit.

Users have been complaining in the VoIP Forums for a long time about Cisco ATA (analog telephony adaptor)devices being password protected and locked down to one service provider (Vonage, Lingo, Packet8, etc).

Some service providers don't lock the device, so you are free to "switch" providers and use the existing ATA-186 device without having to buy another one.

Some users often ebay their worthless brick ATAs since they can no longer use it.

I must say, it's very sad that VoIP service providers have become like the carriers trying to protect their turf via proprietary means.

It's not that hard for LinkSys to make their routers work with any VoIP service provider, so Michael - I'm there with ya. Go get em'! Hope you win the lawsuit.

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