Skype service to be switched off due to licensing conflict?

In the quarterly business report about the ebay activities under litigations you find:

Skype licenses peer-to-peer communication technology from Joltid Limited pursuant to a license agreement between the parties. The parties had been discussing a dispute over the license. In March 2009, Skype Technologies S.A. filed a claim in the English High Court of Justice (No. HC09C00756) against Joltid Limited. Following the filing of the claim, Joltid purported to terminate the license agreement between the parties. In particular, Joltid has alleged that Skype should not possess, use or modify certain software source code and that, by doing so, and by disclosing such code in certain U.S. patent cases pursuant to orders from U.S. courts, Skype has breached the license agreement. Joltid has brought a counterclaim alleging that Skype has repudiated the license agreement, infringed Joltid’s copyright and misused confidential information. On the basis of, among other things, the parties’ mutual dealings since the execution of the license agreement, Skype asked the English High Court for declaratory relief, including findings that Skype is not in breach of the license agreement, that Joltid’s notice of breach and subsequent notice of termination are invalid, and that Joltid has certain indemnity obligations in relation to the U.S. patent proceedings. Trial is currently scheduled for June 2010. Although Skype is confident of its legal position, as with any litigation, there is the possibility of an adverse result if the matter is not resolved through negotiation. Skype has begun to develop alternative software to that licensed through Joltid. However, such software development may not be successful, may result in loss of functionality or customers even if successful, and will in any event be expensive. If Skype was to lose the right to use the Joltid software as the result of the litigation, and if alternative software was not available, Skype would be severely and adversely affected and the continued operation of Skype’s business as currently conducted would likely not be possible.

This is interesting, especially if you consider that there have been rumors that the founders of Skype, Niklas Zennström andJanus Friis are purportedly interested in the buy back of the skype enterprise. Both result to be also founder of Joltid and therefor own several IPRs on Skype. The current litigation issue will be also very negative for the plans to bring Skype to wall street. Many may have to look for alternatives for VOIP chat. Hopefully qutecom, Ekiga and other alternatives will be able to catch up with the new (and I guess rich market).

I use the free part of Skype a lot! What are some of the other choices out there that are free and works with Linux?

I did join actually two links in the original posting. One is qutecom and works quite well with all OS (although the project has been a bit in difficulty due to a “drop-off” by cegetel, the original sponsor (when the program took the name “wengophone” (of which qutecom is the friendly fork). The program itself follows (as most of the VOIP applications under linux the SIP protocol. Therefor this programs are all compatible one with the other. There are still some problems text chats. Maybe somebody who followed up more closely can give you newer details.
I tried Wengo (while running 10.3 64 bit) and it went very well (better then Skype at the time btw).
If you use Gnome I suppose that Ekiga will be the app of your choice. You have then quite some others.
This click-able link gives you a better idea:
Open Source VOIP Software -
it is a quite exhaustive list of OSS VOIP software available for Linux and other OS.