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Oracle Operating Systems Unix

Oracle Broadens Legal Fight Against Third-party Solaris Support Providers 142

Posted by Soulskill
from the friendly-neighborhood-corporation-looking-out-for-you dept.
angry tapir writes "Oracle is continuing its legal battle against third-party software support providers it alleges are performing such services in a manner that violates its intellectual property. Last week, Oracle sued StratisCom, a Georgia company that offers customers support for Oracle's Solaris OS, claiming it had 'misappropriated and distributed copyright, proprietary software code, along with the login credentials necessary to download this code from Oracle's password-protected websites.'"
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Oracle Broadens Legal Fight Against Third-party Solaris Support Providers

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  • Re:What assholes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kthreadd (1558445) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @03:17AM (#46097853)

    What is Oracle doing wrong here? From what I can tell by reading the article this firm distributed Oracle's binary updates, which Oracle charge a lot of money for. That's the way Oracle makes money on Solaris. The install media is a free download from Oracle's web site, but if you actually want patches you need a support contract.

  • Re:What assholes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @05:18AM (#46098231) Journal

    I swear we all should hate Oracle more than MS or any other company out there. They are the next trolls of the IT industry since SCO lost.

    On the plus side, Oracle shows signs of being stupid evil, which is a self-correcting problem in the long run. It's pragmatic evil that you really have to worry about.

    Seriously, will Oracle make some additional money by freezing out 3rd party support minions? Sure, at least in the short term. Does a proprietary big-iron UNIX need a reputation for help being hard to find and expensive(more than it already has)? Like an extra hole in the head... If you want to sell expensive software and hardware, you either need to offer unbelievable ROI or commodify the hell out of everything you don't sell that your customer will also need. MS did it with MCSEs, Apple did it with 'apps', IBM supports Linux more or less entirely for this reason.

    Unless you feel damn lucky about the value of your product, such that you think people are willing to pay through the nose for it, trying to squeeze the customer in areas that aren't your core expertise is a short term gain that cuts your own throat. If you are really that good at selling support, you probably don't need to squelch your competitors by other means. If you aren't, can you be assured that your customers will continue to put up with buying expensive hardware and software, only to deal with getting support only from you, for a pretty penny? Not a good long-term bet.

  • by FireFury03 (653718) <slashdot@nex[ ]k.org ['usu' in gap]> on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @05:40AM (#46098321) Homepage

    Absolutely... but Oracle have a case with other people redistributing their Solaris patches. I'd say that they've got a legitimate right to the proprietary code that they own.... and Linux is GPL, so that's not a conflict of interest for Oracle. Their goal is "profit at all costs" anyway. That's the only ideology Oracle understands.

    I'm curious about the legal situation with respect to bugfixes in the EU: EU warranty law requires the vendor to warrant that a product is free of manufacturing defects, and there is no time limit to this warranty. It could be argued that any bug in software is a "manufacturing defect", and therefore the vendor needs to provide bugfixes forever more. Courts would probably say that it is unreasonable to require the vendor to engineer patches for very old software. *However*, if the patches are already being produced anyway, is it reasonable for the vendor to only allow their current support customers to access the patches, rather than making them freely available to anyone who has bought the defective product in the past?

    So whilst I'll agree that the code is proprietary and other people shouldn't be redistributing them without Oracle's permission, I do question whether Oracle shouldn't be legally obliged to provide those patches to everyone who bought Solaris anyway.

  • Suicide (Score:4, Interesting)

    by e70838 (976799) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @06:47AM (#46098499)
    It looks as if oracle is doing its best to make developers hate them. The problem is that developers of today often become decision makers of tomorrow. Oracle misbehaved about mysql, about java (very bad handling of security issues), about opensource software (open office, open solaris and java) and now even about solaris. I do not know if there are really short term benefits, but I think it is a long term suicide.
  • Re:What assholes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @11:21AM (#46099987)

    Patches are part of the cost of doing business, and Oracle is simply making its customers financially responsible for Oracle's incompetence.

    I have seen first hand how bad it could be. At some point we were buying lots of hardware. Quality wasn't great though. It was so bad, that we wrote scripts to file RMA cases on hardware which was often DoA or failed within a couple of months. They couldn't keep up with their contractual obligations to provide replacement parts. Alas, we had not negotiated proper sanctions in that case. In practice it cost them nothing to fail on delivering replacements.

    So what could we do, once we were short on functional hardware? It had to be compatible with the systems we were running, which meant there was only one place we could buy more hardware from. Turns out, hardware can be delivered on schedule, when you place a new order, but they could not do it, when the hardware failed a couple of months later. Failure to deliver replacement parts on time turned into additional sales for them.

    Until then vendor-lock-in had been a theoretical concept to me. It was only once I found myself in that situation, I realized what it was like in practice. In retrospect every step on the way to this vendor-lock-in was a rational decision. There was no single step on the way, which I could pinpoint as being a bad decision, but the outcome was a vendor-lock-in.

    Lesson learned, you have to worry about a potential vendor-lock-in frequently. At least before every major decision consider if that is leading towards a vendor-lock-in, and how you can get out of it again. At that point it became clear that the next rational decision was an investment in getting out of that vendor-lock-in.

  • Re:What assholes (Score:4, Interesting)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @11:35AM (#46100109) Homepage Journal

    will SPARC take Solaris with it, or will they just stop treating the x86-64 port like a bastard child and keep right on selling it on Xeon/Opteron boxes instead?

    If Solaris survives it will survive in Oracle turnkey systems. They'll become the netware of our day and get left behind at that point.

The flow chart is a most thoroughly oversold piece of program documentation. -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"

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