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Oracle The Courts IT

Oracle Sues Companies It Says Provide Solaris OS Support In Illegal Manner 154

Posted by timothy
from the larry-may-I? dept.
alphadogg writes "Oracle is continuing to crack down on companies it claims are providing support services for its products in an illegal fashion. Last week, Oracle sued IT services providers Terix and Maintech, alleging they have 'engaged in a deliberate scheme to misappropriate and distribute copyrighted, proprietary Oracle software code' in the course of providing support for customers using Oracle's Solaris OS. Oracle's allegations are similar to ones it has made in lawsuits against other Solaris service providers, such as ServiceKey, as well as Rimini Street, which provides third-party support for Oracle and SAP applications."
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Oracle Sues Companies It Says Provide Solaris OS Support In Illegal Manner

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  • New business model (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 26, 2013 @08:42PM (#44396273)

    Post patches and upgrades to a public/semi public website behind a "user agreement." Sue anyone who downloads them in the act of providing third party support to customers who actually do have the right to use the patches and upgrades.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 26, 2013 @08:57PM (#44396361)
    Normally i'm pretty pro-opensource and not really a fan of Oracle. In this case, it looks like they are right here. They do give Solaris for non-prod use for free (sans updates). If you want the updates you need to sign up for a maintenance contract. Flip side, they do douche moves all the time. Case in point I have an old SUN X4500 and wanted the drivers for it. Their website prevents you from downloading these without a "maintenance contract". On what, 8 year old hardware? You cant give a small download away on obsolete hardware?
  • by zhrike (448699) on Friday July 26, 2013 @09:07PM (#44396433)

    they're (sic) sales people are legendary, and that's all that matters. IBM doesn't even bother giving IT a thought nowadays. It's all about the sales people. Oracle realized that ages ago.

    Nonsense. I work for a fairly large university in the NE. We were an virtually exclusive Sun hardware/Solaris shop. Due to Oracle's behavior, we've moved wholly away on both hardware and software since they acquired Sun. Good riddance. I also know of an enormous urban school district (where I used to work and still know many people) that has done the same. While this is only an N of 2, I doubt we're all that rare.

    While it is certainly true in some cases that sleazy snake oil salesmen snow decision makers, there are also organizations that will make informed decisions.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 26, 2013 @10:29PM (#44396813)

    Here, here. VERY large Oracle hardware/Solaris OS shop (many thousands of systems) plus Exadata, Exalytics, etc. Done with them. Our two really good Oracle SEs (who really did most of the honest selling) recently left Oracle. They are not alone as the real talent appears to be on exodus as the pressure to sell anything regardless of fit becomes intolerable. In addition, they have become damn near adversarial with their loyal customer base in trying to jin up license undersubscription where it doesn't exist. Screw them. We've moved a great distance into the big-data realm anyway and Oracle is kind of joke their anyhoo (late comer...poopooed it for years...Exalytics blows). Anyway, I agree with you. Mark my words, their next step will be to fire their sales staff and replace them with attractive females (that's not tongue in cheek, I'm quite serious).

  • by Princeofcups (150855) <john@princeofcups.com> on Saturday July 27, 2013 @12:07AM (#44397203) Homepage

    'behaving like this?'
    From the complaint it sounds like they have a subscription service they charge for, then a couple companies came along, subscribed themselves, and they are reselling it to other companies. Kinda like someone buying a cable subscription then starting 'joe's cable company' reselling the connection to other people.

    Completely wrong. There have been 3rd party service providers for Sun as long as there has been a Sun Microsystems. Think of it as level 2 1/2 support, anything that the actual people that wrote the code can help you with. They are often more hands on, and willing to help with configuration issues as well as actual maintenance. Or were. All our support went to Oracle this year, and we are in the midst of seeing what we can trim. When the current hardware is EOL, then that is the last we'll see of Sparc in my current shop. It's sad really. The "common" Windows/Linux admin has no idea what it's like to support "classy" hardware instead of cheap throwaway PCs.

  • by mmell (832646) <mmell@hotmail.com> on Saturday July 27, 2013 @12:18AM (#44397235)
    No more than they tried to kill off MySQL or OpenOffice. Okay, so they're not actively trying to make any of these things go (please spare me the flames to the contrary - I'd rather believe my own eyes TYVM), but let's remember two things: 1) Oracle OWNS Solaris and the SPARC architecture - they were never free to begin with, they have always been owned, and 2) Oracle is a DATABASE company. OS/free/end-user software was never their core and center.

    Now, is this a wise move on their part? Unfortunately, yes. Evil on a par with MicroSoft, International Business Machines and Hewlett-Packard, but not unwise. You don't like it? Neither do I - which I why I stopped actively marketing my Solaris 2.4/2.5/2.6/8/10 skills some time ago. Nowadays when I look for work I look for an incredibly popular flavor of Linux which has a two-word name starting with "R". Still can't argue with their logic - they spend money and time to create software which they intend to sell at a profit. They can't very well make money while letting someone else undercut them with their own product now, can they?

    Just a final point - Oracle (and Sun before them) are in business. Their business model is the proprietary software sales/support model. It has worked, it is working and as far as they can tell it will continue to work.

    Now, their absolutely worthless technical support combined with their arrogance - these are likely to kill Solaris and SPARC. Not their business model (which is actually pretty much par for the course for the large IT software providers in the game), but their widely perceived inability to provide quick, accurate correct support for their existing (non-database) products.

  • by Mr. Freeman (933986) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @12:57AM (#44397357)
    Aside from the fact that such changes cost obscene amounts of money and aren't an option for everyone, you're working in an academic environment. Such environments can make decisions in a more rational manner with more thought given to ethics and future considerations than just about any other environment out there. Corporations, however, will make decisions based solely upon the bottom line as decided by higher-up managers. This means that sales people will control what businesses use.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 27, 2013 @05:51AM (#44398077)

    You're not alone and the move is not confined to education.

    Us: "Hi, we'd like to move all of our hosts from 20 different patch levels of Solaris 8, 9 and 10 to just 3."
    Oracle: "That'll be $1 million in license fees please."
    Us: "No thanks."
    Us: "Hello Redhat, when can we book in half a dozen guys to do RHEL training?"

  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @08:36AM (#44398629)

    Is Oracle's behavior legal? Yes. Are the support companies in the wrong? Yes.

    Your answer to the first question is most likely correct (although not necessarily). The answer to the second question is not so clear cut. At least one of the support companies claims that their clients have legal licenses and credentials to download the updates and that they are merely acting as their clients' agent in doing the download. I have come across several references (including overheard conversations by colleagues responsible for internal support of Oracle products at a previous employer) that suggest that in addition to the license fee for updates Oracle charges customers who need support installing those updates. If that is the case, Oracle may be suing these support companies because, while clients of the support companies have paid for the license to download the updates, Oracle wants them to pay Oracle for the support they need to install those updates without disrupting their ongoing operations. Considering that Oracle's approach seems to be "pay us huge sum of money per hour while our guy figures out how your database is configured (since we can't be bothered to assign the same guy to your account every time you need to update) and installs the update, which will probably take several days since the first couple of times he will break your database," it is no surprise that companies would rather hire a third party to handle this (a third party that carefully documents how the database is used and configures the update on a test server before rolling it out to production).

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