Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

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

timothy posted about a year ago | from the larry-may-I? dept.

Oracle 154

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."

cancel ×

154 comments

Slowaris Delenda Est (5, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#44396271)

So Oracle is trying to kill off Solaris? Because nobody in their right mind would buy an OS from a company behaving like this.

Oracle will do just fine (2)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year ago | (#44396333)

they're 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.

For all the complaints, the people that matter will still choose Oracle, and techies like you and me will get stuck learning and implementing it.

Re:Oracle will do just fine (5, Interesting)

zhrike (448699) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Oracle will do just fine (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#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).

Re:Oracle will do just fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44397161)

Here, here

(sic).

Re:Oracle will do just fine (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44397405)

Your rancid-as-fuck asshole is soon to be invaded by my fetid cock. What say you?

Yes, it was written. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44397729)

But you also wrote (sic).

What would you be thinking if I wrote:

> (sic)
(sic)

?

Would you be wondering "What does he mean? I've spelt that correctly, so what should be brought to my attention on it as if it were wrong?"? Yes?

Well, guess what, so is everyone else.

"Here, here." Is valid. It is indicative of agreement. Therefore not wrong, therefore not desirous of a (sic) after it.

Unless you have some other reason for pointing it out?

Re:Yes, it was written. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44397961)

I'm not the one who pointed it out, but I guess the "expression" should be "hear, hear". "Here, here" is however, as you point out quite indicative; Only usually what it indicates is that someone got it wrong.

Re:Yes, it was written. (0)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#44398579)

I'm not the one who pointed it out, but I guess the "expression" should be "hear, hear". "Here, here" is however, as you point out quite indicative; Only usually what it indicates is that someone got it wrong.

There, there.

No, "here" is a misuse of a homonym. Who cares where you are? The correct expression is "Hear", as in "Hear this!". Then again, you also "gin up", not "jin up". I don't know the origin of that one, but considering the topic, I'd definitely add more liquor.

Re:Oracle will do just fine (2, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44397869)

Here, here

(sic).

There, there.

Re:Oracle will do just fine (0)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#44398299)

Where, where?

Re: Oracle will do just fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44397213)

Borland did it. It's how they are still able to sell StarTeam in a world of SVN/GIT and Atlassan

Re:Oracle will do just fine (3, Insightful)

aodash (776554) | about a year ago | (#44397033)

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.

I work for a University out west, and our story is the same as yours. We had a large Sun/Solaris presense... not anymore.

Re: Oracle will do just fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398105)

But that is more a budget problem than anything else. You do get similar performance based on commodity x86 hardware plus Linux today.

Re: Oracle will do just fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398385)

So you're party to that University's budget? No, you're just pulling things out of your butt.

Re:Oracle will do just fine (2, Interesting)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Oracle will do just fine (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#44397507)

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.

Nonsense, I have no power at all with my last several clients which software I support and what some geeks on a website think to the CIO or MBA folks. Their response is support it or find another job!

That is how the real world works. Sales move up and play a game of golf to the bosses bosses boss and make a decision from dinner afterwards after a few drinks to impair judgement.

I am a cost and so are you who has no real value. Now the MBA guys ... they are the ones who are in charge of I.T!! The CEO thinks that so it is true.

Regardless geeks who say silly things like no one would voluntarily use Oracle or Office when free alternatives are there do not get it. We do not buy Oracle. Our ticketing system, CRM, 3 million lines of custom web code, and whatever fucking links to it! We bash the MBA's for keeping IE 6 still around but it is about software and Oracle RDBMS is part of this platform and ecosystem. Perhaps not even the CIO had a choice in the manner?

Maybe the VP of wharehousing bought some asset tracking software and then told the company oh go buy Oracle 11g so we can run this? Thanks

Re:Oracle will do just fine (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#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?"

Re:Oracle will do just fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44397513)

For all the complaints, the people that matter will still choose Oracle, and techies like you and me will get stuck learning and implementing it.

Well, I am a techie at an ASP, and we have stopped using Solaris.

Re:Oracle will do just fine (2)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#44398409)

What planet do you live on? Oracle's sales people kinda suck and they are often underfunded to boot. Oracle sells because of features and depth. You can make a very good case,, that the areas where Oracle is ahead in 2013 are areas that 98% of the databases don't need and thus many companies should explore moving down market. But at least understand what you are arguing against. Oracle sells databases because they arguably make the best database for companies that have a dedicated staff of whose full time job is administering the database, with no application authoring responsibility.

IBM's sales people are amazing absolutely.

Re:Oracle will do just fine (1)

gweihir (88907) | about a year ago | (#44398523)

Actually I know of a few large corporations that have been looking for a way to get rid of Oracle for quite some time, both for the DB and for the OS. They just have slow product cycles, but no sales monkey will stop them, using Oracle products has just been to painful and to hugely expensive.

Re:Slowaris Delenda Est (3, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44396431)

Oracle is in the midst of creating a closed ecosystem, helps keep prying outsiders out. And maybe it wants all traces of anything 'Sun' that's out in the wild to be made extinct. I am sure that many of its customers, like banks and governments are very satisfied with the services they provide.

Re:Slowaris Delenda Est (4, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | about a year ago | (#44396691)

Branding is branding. Yes, they still killed Sun Ray a couple of weeks ago, and more Sun products will be renamed. This is about revenue, however, and you don't screw with Oracle revenue.

For the longest time, Oracle has wanted a vertically integrated stack from the plug to your play. Now they're starting to achieve that, and won't have to mess around with hardware vendors, as hardware vendors are changing from a server model to a services model. Oracle wants that services revenue, too. HP, once their odd friend, is now their sworn enemy and IBM eats Oracle's lunch. If you're Google, you know the taste of their silly legal department. They don't have many friends left. Products, like at Google, have only a chance so long as they make revenue numbers. Otherwise, goodbye. And the less dependence there is on outsiders, the better.

These are all natural courses of events for them. To the outside world, if you're not a stockholder or customer or very favored vendor, please self-fornicate and expire.

If you're looking for mirth, industrial leadership, and warmth, turn left, please.

Re:Slowaris Delenda Est (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44396851)

What I'm saying is that they'll maintain a niche market, like a lawyer with one client.. I believe they want to disappear from public view. Sort of their own little 'dark net'. It will put them in a good position in our ubiquitous surveillance society.

Re:Slowaris Delenda Est (5, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about a year ago | (#44396455)

'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.

Re:Slowaris Delenda Est (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44397001)

'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.

Pft...I paid for it, why can't I do what I want?

Re:Slowaris Delenda Est (3, Interesting)

Princeofcups (150855) | about a year ago | (#44397203)

'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.

Re:Slowaris Delenda Est (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44397509)

There have been 3rd party service providers for Sun as long as there has been a Sun Microsystems.

Yes, and they probably had an agreement with Sun/Oracle as VARs. That would be one on the likely ways to get legal access to Sun/Oracle code.

Re:Slowaris Delenda Est (1, Troll)

anyanka (1953414) | about a year ago | (#44397567)

The "common" Windows/Linux admin has no idea what it's like to support "classy" hardware instead of cheap throwaway PCs.

And they'd probably be quite happy to not have to deal with crappy (package/patch) management software, insecure-by-default, and waiting days for support people to fix nonstandard hardware because "the disk is on order".

But yes, there's also a certain charm to dealing with equipment costing several hundred thousands / millions of dollars and old-fashioned unixen.

Re:Slowaris Delenda Est (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44397425)

You're both right. Because a normal vendor likes it when third parties redistribute their patches for them, and that's what's going on here. But since Oracle is now charging for those updates, because as it turns out they don't actually like being an OS vendor and all that entails, it's also illegal activity in just the way you describe.

What goes around, comes around (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44397641)

Used to be you could just get at least the security updates, but they made that progressively harder and more expensive. This has been a slow process (hence their reference to "long practice") but some of us remember there was a difference once.

Though oracle does some seriously sneaky mooching off of redhat, so I don't really care for their crying foul here. They've given the example and the reason. In fact, it's oracle so I don't give a flying fsck at all.

Re:Slowaris Delenda Est (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44396589)

Oracle is defending their copyright on Solaris software, patches, and etc.

Maybe Sun used to look the other way on these outfits, but Oracle is hardly being unfair or unreasonable in defending their copyright.

Re:Slowaris Delenda Est (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44397743)

Non-expressive works, hence not copyrightable.

Ergo, not reasonable or fair.

Re:Slowaris Delenda Est (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398549)

What planet are you living on? Software have been deemed copyright-able for decades now.

Re: Slowaris Delenda Est (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44396995)

You don't buy Solaris, you just download and use it.

Whatever, don't let me interrupt the Oracle/Solaris hatefest with facts.

No OS vendor who supports their product lets uncertified 3rd parties walk all over their trademarks, copyrights and distribution agreements for free. None of them.

Re:Slowaris Delenda Est (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44397037)

I never understood the mob mentality of slashdotters! Any enterprise UNIX company barring Sun never provided free updates. Heck IBM or HP never provided AIX for HP-UX for free, leave alone providing updates for it. You need to buy AIX separately even if you buy the Power gear from them. And then pay separately if you want to run LPARs on it. Sun gave Solaris for free. And if you notice, Oracle continues to provide Solaris for free - you can download it if you sign up for OTN (which is free). And there are no asinine licences required to use any of the OS features like Solaris Zones, ZFS, DTrace you name it! You also get access to the public repository which is updated for every major update of Solaris 11. So in a way, you get the updates free too! I think Oracle is doing nothing wrong if they ask the stealing companies to stop redistributing Oracle's code.

Because nobody in their right mind would buy an OS from a company behaving like this.

Thanks for letting us know that you are a teenager living with your mom who has never seen a enterprise datacenter in life. Next time you visit a Bank to drop your mom's paycheck, do yourself a favor and ask someone to put you through someone in IT. They will tell you about why they spend millions of dollars on OS support subscriptions.

Re:Slowaris Delenda Est (0)

aztracker1 (702135) | about a year ago | (#44397107)

And you know that these guys aren't downloading the same updates from Oracle to the servers they're being paid to maintain. Sorry Mr. Business Owner, that IT guy you hired to run your servers is downloading our free updates, and installing them on your servers violating our copyright...

Re: Slowaris Delenda Est (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44397231)

If the updates are "free", your damages are "zero". Larry's legal histrionics are getting tiresome. You guys need a new CEO.

Re:Slowaris Delenda Est (4, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | about a year ago | (#44397327)

Sorry Mr. Business Owner, that IT guy you hired to run your servers is downloading our free updates, and installing them on your servers violating our copyright...

Except that the updates are probably not free. IIRC correctly, Sun was charging for updates a few years before the Oracle acquisition.

Re:Slowaris Delenda Est (2)

TCM (130219) | about a year ago | (#44397969)

Isn't charging for patches a conflict of interest within the same company? They make more profit the shoddier their work is. I wouldn't touch anything from them with a pole.

Re:Slowaris Delenda Est (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year ago | (#44397521)

Thanks for letting us know that you are a teenager living with your mom who has never seen a enterprise datacenter in life.

Thanks for letting us know that you are a teenager living with your mom.

Re:Slowaris Delenda Est (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398101)

No asinine licenses for Solaris? Run a benchmark and publish it. See what happens.

Re:Slowaris Delenda Est? I disagree. (3, Interesting)

mmell (832646) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Slowaris Delenda Est? I disagree. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398343)

Now, their absolutely worthless technical support combined with their arrogance - these are likely to kill Solaris and SPARC.

As a long time Sparc/SunOS/Solaris fan, it pains me to say this, but I think that Solaris and Sparc are what is going to kill Solaris and Sparc.

In every case where we have migrated from mega-buck, dedicated Solaris on Sparc servers to Linux VMs on still high-end but not quite as many mega-bucks x86 hardware we have seen drastically increased performance, greatly simplified administration, and big reductions in call volume for the help desk folks.

Unless you have a need for one of the niche areas where Solaris still provides solid advantages (and those are becoming fewer and fewer), it's time to move on.

Re:Slowaris Delenda Est (1)

u19925 (613350) | about a year ago | (#44397305)

Replace Oracle with Apple or Microsoft and Solaris with Windows. Does MS give free OS upgrade for lifetime on your hardware? What if thirdparty tells you that it is licensed to provide you new versions of OS on your old PC? Oracle is going after those. Each customer gets certain upgrade free and then they have to either buy paid support which include free upgrade or have to pay to get upgrade. I am almost sure, the people in charge of Rimini street were in TomorrowNow which was found guilty of copyright infringement of Oracle software, so I won't call them totally clean.

New business model (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:New business model (3, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | about a year ago | (#44396355)

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.

That doesn't work. All the service provider has to do is get their customer to sign a "letter of agency"; authorizing the service provider to act on the customer's behalf to download assets and administer the updates/patches, pursuant to their customer's entitlements.

Re:New business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44397841)

But but the EULA wins all laws, right?

Re:New business model (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44396759)

Clearly you read the article because one of the companies being sued says all of its Sun support customers have valid Oracle licenses and their own logins to the Oracle support portal.

In Other News... (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#44396293)

... Oracle continues to make more friends in the business world!

Wait... what? Never mind.

Re:In Other News... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44396649)

Don't read the article. Just start the bash as soon as you see the names Oracle, Microsoft, etc.

On a side note, we will proudly accept all those evil companies in our country (MS, Oracle, even Apple and Google) if you don't want them. With love, from Iran.

Re:In Other News... (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#44397597)

Uh... pardon the fuck out of me, but I know what the article says.

Oracle claims the defendants are distrib new versi (5, Informative)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#44396315)

If I'm reading that right, Oracle clams that:
Oracle provides updated software versions for a yearly fee.
Defendants are unlawfully distributing the updated versions to people who haven't paid the fee.

If I'm reading that right, Oracle is being slightly non-generous by having annual payments to get updates. That's understandable, though, it costs them money to keep making new updates.

I see nothing in TFA about Oracle objecting to services the defendants provide, just and objection to them distributing new updates that haven't been paid for. So the headline is a load of bull, right?

Re:Oracle claims the defendants are distrib new ve (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#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?

Re:Oracle claims the defendants are distrib new ve (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about a year ago | (#44396547)

Testing drivers, and maintaining testable builds, of 8 year old hardware is quite expensive. I've certainly done so and helped partners do so, but charging real money for supporting such outdated software and hardware is both common and quite reasonable. They're high fees because you have to maintain a full tool suite: hardware, media, backups, patches, and expertise.

Re:Oracle claims the defendants are distrib new ve (4, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year ago | (#44396617)

But the hardware, software, and drivers were all created and tested 8 years ago.
There is no reason to retest the same drivers over and over again, simply because time has elapsing in the interim.

They built those back when SUN X4500 was brand new. And it cost them nothing to have the drivers sitting in storage for 8 years. Theoretically, someone even had a maintenance contract for that exact SUN X4500, and had those exact drivers on it. When you need a maintenance contract to even use your 8 year old hardware, you don't really own it. You are just leasing the right to operate it.

Re:Oracle claims the defendants are distrib new ve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44396985)

But the hardware, software, and drivers were all created and tested 8 years ago.
There is no reason to retest the same drivers over and over again, simply because time has elapsing in the interim.

Unless you do a kernel update of some kind which could add unexpected bugs that interact with drivers and firmware/hardware in bad ways. Or there's an existing bug in the drivers or firmware but it hasn't been triggered yet, and it could happen because of some otherwise innocuous change in a patch.

Read about the 1990 AT&T 4ESS outage about simple changes can break things. A small C coding mistake in which a "break" broke out out of a "switch" statement instead of an "if" clause caused a nation-wide outage for nine hours.

If any changes/updates are made the entire stack needs to be re-tested. And even then there are no guarantees.

Re:Oracle claims the defendants are distrib new ve (1)

sonamchauhan (587356) | about a year ago | (#44398115)

No, this is simply about oracle charging an AMC because the customer did the equivalent of losing the installation CDs

Re:Oracle claims the defendants are distrib new ve (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44397155)

There is no reason to retest the same drivers over and over again

If you're rolling out changes to the OS, you have to test, no? So I'm pretty sure that if they do have any updates, they do need to do testing. The drivers may have been written 8 years ago, but the other changes they're making are new and still need to work.

You are just leasing the right to operate it.

That is exactly Oracle's business model these days. They locked down even the documentation unless you have a support contract.

Oracle will only sell you something with a ridiculous support contract, and they won't give you anything for Solaris without one.

There's a reason I was once told by an Oracle consultant that it stands for "One Rich Asshole Called Larry Ellison".

Re:Oracle claims the defendants are distrib new ve (1, Insightful)

Princeofcups (150855) | about a year ago | (#44397217)

But the hardware, software, and drivers were all created and tested 8 years ago.
There is no reason to retest the same drivers over and over again, simply because time has elapsing in the interim.

They built those back when SUN X4500 was brand new. And it cost them nothing to have the drivers sitting in storage for 8 years. Theoretically, someone even had a maintenance contract for that exact SUN X4500, and had those exact drivers on it. When you need a maintenance contract to even use your 8 year old hardware, you don't really own it. You are just leasing the right to operate it.

OK, more mod ups for people who have no idea what they are talking about. Sigh. There is nothing stopping you from running unsupported. We have several V490 in production for a legacy app and a few spares. When something breaks, we swap as needed. There are no OS updates for our version of Solaris, so we just live with it. You see, this isn't Windows where you need constant security patches and updates. It's a rock solid OS, and rock solid hardware. The diagnostics can tell me exactly what is misbehaving, even when the system stays up and keeps running. Windows admins just don't get this.

Re:Oracle claims the defendants are distrib new ve (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44396639)

The "software" I wanted to download (SUNWhd) hasn't been updated since 04-Nov-2011. Its a small utility to "map" drives to their slots and offline drives.
So, where is this "testing, building, etc" costs come from, storage space on their download servers?
When they sold the gear (new) it was fairly pricey and people paid a small fortune for the maintenance.
All things considered i cant see why they would "guard" this so much.

Re:Oracle claims the defendants are distrib new ve (1)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about a year ago | (#44396661)

He said nothing about needing updated drivers for the latest and greatest hardware. He just wants to download the stuff from 8 years ago.

Re: Oracle claims the defendants are distrib new v (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44397085)

This sounds just like the cry for archived versions of iOS apps to support older devices. ... at no cost ...

And it's just as ridiculous. If you wanted to keep a copy of the vintage 2008 version of your systems drivers, maybe you should have burned it to a CD.

Re: Oracle claims the defendants are distrib new v (1)

sonamchauhan (587356) | about a year ago | (#44398123)

Well yes, the point is that Oracle is charging an AMC for the equivalent of the customer losing their install CDs. Nothing illegal, but stuff to be aware of.

Also nothing like the iOS comparison you made

Re:Oracle claims the defendants are distrib new ve (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about a year ago | (#44396741)

Only if you are offering new versions of stuff or offering support of new stuff. The hardware certainly hasn't changed, and as long as you are only offering support/updates for the version of the OS that was current at the time, then the patches/updates/etc. all still work fine.

Now, if someone is using old hardware with newest releases of software, I see a problem with it working, and yes, it would cost some company money to support it - someone would need to write the code or modify the existing. But even then, hardware obsolescence may take care of the issue for you. Windows 7 doesn't need drivers or firmware for a 3com network card plugged into a MCA slot 'cause no computer with MCA slots is capable of running any version of Windows... they could barely crawl with Windows 2.0.

Re:Oracle claims the defendants are distrib new ve (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about a year ago | (#44397315)

And all that's fine. But don't be upset when a third party vendor is selling front you the support with the latest patches, and it turns out they're just selling ou copies of _their_ licensed support from Sun, or Oracle. I've had vendors pull that, and get caught, and had to explain to my purchasing department to cancel the check.

Re:Oracle claims the defendants are distrib new ve (1)

abirdman (557790) | about a year ago | (#44396885)

No, the fees are high because it costs a lot to keep Larry Ellison in jets and new Pacific islands. Oracle is a rapacious, money-gobbling machine of a company. Every upgrade, bug fix, OS update, dev or test server costs large money. If you run the database on a VM (besides the one Oracle owns), you have to license for every processor on the VM server, even if your DB only uses one core. They send actual auditors to your site to check your license compliance. They like to "partner" with their customers, such that the more money you make, the more you pay Oracle corporation-- like privatizing taxes.

Their sales force speaks a strange language. I dare you to find out what a copy of Weblogic (oh wait, I mean Fusion Middleware), BI (oh, no that's Discoverer), and a database (errr... 11g? 12c?) will cost, or to come up with how many cores/ processors/ CPU's there are in your server, and which have to be licensed. It's basically gangster language. And once you acquire some Oracle products, you're locked in. Update a server? ka-ching! Operating system update? ka-ching. Upgrading Weblogic forced you into upgrading app server? ka-ching. Adding a service pack to your windows server? ka-ching. Windows update broke the 64 bit keys that your old copy of Enterprise Manager tries to load in the browser? ka-ching.

I like their stuff, but I very much hate their business model.

Re:Oracle claims the defendants are distrib new ve (4, Funny)

hjf (703092) | about a year ago | (#44397007)

Sounds a lot like Cisco.

Me: Hi Mr. Cisco, I need a Catalyst 4500, how much is it?

Cisco: Sure, fill in this form, send a copy of your last quarterly report, bank statements, and a letter of recommendation from some of your customers, and a sales executive will contact you.

Me: But i only want a switch?

Cisco: Please, we need that information.

Me: Okay...

(weeks later)

Cisco: HI THIS IS COCAINE JOE YOUR OVER ENTHUSIAST ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE, THE PRICE FOR THE CISCO CRS YOU ORDERED IS $3M AND A SUPPORT CONTRACT OF $5M

Me: Hey but I only asked for the price of a Catalyst 4500

Cisco: YES BUT WE HAVE DETERMINED IT WILL NOT MEET YOUR COMPANY'S REQUIREMENTS SO IN ORDER TO SUPPORT YOU WE HAVE TO SELL YOU OUR LATEST AND GREATEST AND MORE EXPENSIVE!!!

Me: never mind, I'll find another vendor.

I especially love it when sales people try to sell you a $50,000 solution for a small business and claim that TCO is always lower. It seems, the higher the up-front cost, the lower the TCO is!

Re:Oracle claims the defendants are distrib new ve (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | about a year ago | (#44397253)

> Oracle is a rapacious, money-gobbling machine of a company.

No, they're a vast multi-level marketing scheme that happens to sell a database or two as a side venture, and recently bought a product (Java) that doesn't require an army of highly-paid consultants who have to tithe 20% of their income to them in return for mandatory certifications and licensing just to keep it running.

The big "gotcha" with Java is that Sun's license for Java was always pretty nasty, but they generally looked the other way and ignored all but the most egregious violations of it unless you were trying to use it in embedded devices. Oracle, in contrast, intends to enforce it to the letter. The only consolation prize with Java is the fact that most of Oracle's legal leverage over OpenJDK comes from patents rather than copyright, and software patents -- while questionable in most cases -- at least have the benefit of not being de-facto eternal & endlessly extended every time Steamboat Willie is at risk of becoming public domain. So in another 10-12 years, we'll be able to unambiguously do anything we like with Java, as long as it's cleanroom-engineered and called "Bali" or "Sumatra" (the islands flanking "Java").

Re:Oracle claims the defendants are distrib new ve (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44396619)

Find somebody with a Solaris support contract and ask them to download it for you. If I knew you, I'd do it for you (I manage a Solaris environment).

Anyway, what Oracle is probably thinking is that making drivers and software for old platforms available for free would allow someone to continue running their old platform for a while longer. They would rather you either buy an expensive contract to keep your apps running or have you buy newer hardware. Greedy, yes, but not an entirely unreasonable motive.

BTW - Cisco has been doing the same exact thing for years. If you have an ancient Cisco router that you picked up at a garage sale and want to load the latest IOS on there, you're SOL unless you have a buddy with a Cisco support agreement.

FOSS developer here. Oracle's code, not mine (2)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#44397375)

Same here. I support open source, I helped write a lot of it. I wrote one package from scratch that was distributed with Solaris. I wouldn't BUY their product, but that means I won't USE it. I wouldn't steal it, as these defendants allegedly did.

I wish Oracle released all of their stuff as open source, but they don't. I expect them to respect the license on my software (GPL), and people should respect their license.

Re:Oracle claims the defendants are distrib new ve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44396557)

this is /. of course the headline is a load of bull...

but the server providers are in the wrong.. regardless of how much someone may hate oracle or their products.. oracle is NOT THE BAD GUY in this case.

What happened? (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about a year ago | (#44396325)

How did it pan out the last time?

Re:What happened? (0)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year ago | (#44396353)

First rule of Oracle club is: Larre Bear Don't Care!

Oracle should focus on supporting their own stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44396369)

Regarding Solaris support, Oracle does a pretty crappy job. Support has gone way downhill since the Sun days. Perhaps if they improved their own support they wouldn't need to worry about other companies. I mean, they do have the code, they should be able to provide the support better and less expensive than anybody else. They don't.

Re:Oracle should focus on supporting their own stu (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44396653)

Oracle is more-or-less trying to kill Solaris. Of what new hardware they sell, it's extremely expensive and geared towards suckers with big wallets who don't comparison shop and/or are easily wooed by sales pitches. Otherwise, Oracle is more interested in milking more money out of legacy Solaris users who don't have time/resources to jump ship to x86/Linux (i.e. $50,000/year for maintenance on current Solaris environment vs. $500,000+ to code/port existing applications/buy new solution for Linux). They have no interest in providing "good" support simply because anyone who is STILL using Solaris today is probably doing so for the reason I stated.

People will get off of Solaris eventually, but they have quite a number of years left in which they can greedily milk money away from their install base until Solaris becomes unprofitable to sustain.

Definition 3. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44396401)

Sap:

3. A foolish and gullible person.

Re:Definition 3. (1)

pla (258480) | about a year ago | (#44396663)

Why did this get modded down?

Single most insightful comment in the whole damned thread.

You get what you pay for - And I prefer labors of love over cheap (or in this case, not so cheap) whores.

Re:Definition 3. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44396867)

Why did this get modded down?

Maybe because you are a dumb sucker (no offence intended) ?

You get what you pay for

Surely. Just pay me, a random guy, top dollar and you get your intelligences worth, being absolutily nothing, nada, zip.

Only an ignoramous thinks that ammount of money payed equals quality of product.

And I prefer labors of love over cheap whores.

Well, as long as you think that love money you certainly deserve what you get (sorry, but you're definatily the sucker)

/. title could mean the suit itsel is illegal (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44396437)

Sometimes I get a bit tripped up by bad grammar, but the title of this slashdot article "Oracle Sues Companies It Says Provide Solaris OS Support In Illegal Manner" as well as the link text "Oracle is continuing to crack down on companies it claims are providing support services for its products in an illegal fashion" are both ambiguous as to where the illegality is.

How I read it: "Oracle sues (companies it says provide Solaris OS support) in illegal manner." How I think it's supposed to read: "Oracle sues (companies it says provide Solaris OS support in illegal manner)."

Very subtle difference in how it's read, very substantial difference in how it's interpreted. Either Oracle is filing an illegal lawsuit (which I doubt) or Oracle is filing a lawsuit against companies with illegal Solaris OS support services. Perhaps a better phrasing would be: "Oracle sues companies who allegedly offer illegal Solaris OS support."

(Hm, maybe I should RTFA.)

Re:/. title could mean the suit itsel is illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44397197)

I prefer to think the author was being efficient and meant both ways at the same time.

A weiner is you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44396441)

They're suing people still willing to put up with their stuff.

illumos (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44396489)

The illumos project [illumos.org] provides the basis for a Solaris-like operating system. Many distributions of illumos are now available, just like Linux. I think OmniOS [omniti.com] and SmartOS [smartos.org] are particularly worthy of your consideration, and ready for enterprise-scale production use, big data, DevOps, and all the other buzzwords.

Re:illumos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44398017)

Can I do PRISM and Tempra with it?

Re:illumos (1)

bastafidli (820263) | about a year ago | (#44398539)

Domain expired on 7/26/2013. What a coincidence :-)

If only Snoracle would... (1)

LoadWB (592248) | about a year ago | (#44396533)

Other companies wouldn't have to provide Solaris support if Oracle would provide it. Oracle's support sales team is in the witness protection program.

Try this one instead Oracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44396535)

Go after SCO. You'd feel like you were fighting something, and make us *nix users feel good. About you, and what you're about. Win-win. WHo cares that there's no connection?

DTrace? (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#44396645)

So if as a consultant I install and show people how to use DTrace on Linux (its available at least for debian systems) and they pay me, would Oracle feel entitled to go after me?

Re: DTrace? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44397111)

Do you have permission to use their trademarks? Are you distributing their software without permission?

Why are you asking US, you should have this shit figured out already.

When I was in university (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44396687)

When I was in university, we used Sparc 1+'s (ick) which my 66 MHz Intel '486 blew out of the water, but they had Solaris, (while I ran Linux). Linux was not seen as impressive enough back then, so they went with what they did. Solaris was the selling point, not the slug-like hardware. I am very glad to see that they ditched this stuff a long time ago. Oracle have done an outstanding job pissing Solaris customers off. I didn't get that big a woodie over Solaris, although I did write software (CS TCP/IP networking labs) that were reasonably cross platform between Solaris and Linux (at the time). Change the paths of two libraries and everything compiles and runs the same (I got a few bonus marks for making the networking software cross/OS). I know there are a few goodies that a few people like in Solaris that aren't in Linux, but they are few, there is dwindling support for Solaris, there are no updates for Solaris, and there is the evil Oracle ready to sue the crap out of anyone using it. Just dump it, Oracle too, and use something else.

Re:When I was in university (1)

mrbester (200927) | about a year ago | (#44396727)

I have fond memories of using the Sparc 4s and 20s at university. You couldn't pry me off them to use the 386s.

Oracle being Oracle, but dumb. (3, Insightful)

BookRead (610258) | about a year ago | (#44396755)

Is Oracle's behavior legal? Yes. Are the support companies in the wrong? Yes. Oracle owns Solaris and gets to set the rules. Is this a smart strategy for Solaris or Oracle? I doubt it. My company was a long term Sun/Solaris customer but when Oracle took over they locked down support and pretty much everything in the Solaris community and started attempting to extract as much cash as they could from us. We weren't the biggest customer but we were a pretty good customer and we weren't a tiny little startup either. Oracle did an excellent job of convincing my management to move to Windows and open source solutions. We stay as far away from Oracle as we can these days. Oracle knows the cost of everything but not the value of a community to support them.

Common issue in the IT service industry (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about a year ago | (#44396935)

Oh you want that installed? That will be X dollars for the license... just me pirate that and pocket the licensing fee as profit.

Its sadly very common.

Best way to stop it is to have a tighter relationship between developers and support companies. Give the support companies some sort of distributor/reseller price break so they can make SOMETHING on the sale. And ideally build some tracking into the whole process such that if some pirated copies show up it leads directly back to the offending company.

Re:Common issue in the IT service industry (1)

EmperorArthur (1113223) | about a year ago | (#44397385)

Except if you RTFA it's not that simple. These support companies are using the login credentials of their customers to download the updates for their customers. So, they're acting as the end user's agents when doing all this. They even have the paperwork to prove it.

This lawsuit would be the same as Red Hat suing Linux support companies because their techs used `yum update`. It only makes sense in a weird twisted world of copyright. Even then, it's mainly just corporate bullying. An injunction would mean they can't patch any client's systems. From a business standpoint they lose then and there. Just like the US did to Megaupload.

Re:Common issue in the IT service industry (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about a year ago | (#44397877)

You missed the bit where I said they should give the support companies a discount on purchases. Then you associate the ID numbers of those discounted products with the company that facilitated the transaction.

The point would be to incentive running purchases through support companies and allow the support companies a legitimate way to eat a little of the profits.

Its an entirely fair place for a support company to take profits because after all they're frequently recommending the products in the first place. Why shouldn't they get a percentage of sales?

That gives you the ability to track the piracy better AND reduces the incentive to pirate by giving the support companies a legitimate way take some profit off the sale.

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44397017)

Caldera Group, i.e. SCO lost a huge battle on these same reasons!

Why would Lar Bo want to 'Re-Energize' his Light-Dick to Conquer and Slay the D.C. Patent Kingdom?

???!!!

Give a guy a break. (1)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#44397189)

How will Larry buy new shoes if he doesn't have this revenue stream?

I'm not surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44397211)

Recent versions of Java won't run the Java applet some versions of Sun Global Desktop present to the browser. Oracle's solution is to update SGD, which requires an expensive support contract. It feels like legalize extortion. Sure old versions of Java work, but using old versions of Java is just asking for malware. It is kind of sad, Solaris has some features and tools I like. I guess in the future I will hope my org buys nothing from Oracle. Posting anonymously because I don't want anyone from work knowing my slashdot user name. Putting on foil hat now...

Loose/Loose for all (3, Insightful)

bobthesungeek76036 (2697689) | about a year ago | (#44397809)

I used to work for the Big-O. Bottom-line is king there. That's why I had to quit. I understand the legalise of this situation. However, you have a bunch of folks out there still running Solaris w/o maintenance contracts. And if they don't update the OS with patches, they are vunerable to security hacks which hurts everyone in the long run. I wish Oracle would let folks update their software w/o contracts but that doesn't help the bottom-line and we all suffer for it....

GIve it time (0)

hurwak-feg (2955853) | about a year ago | (#44397929)

Oracle is profitable now, but I wouldn't be surprised if they lose their relevance in the next 10 years. At a certain point, even the PHBs won't be able to justify the costs. Does anyone know if they provide security updates without a support contract? If they don't, I would be willing to bet that it will bite them in the ass soon. While I don't know if I would call it extortion like the AC a few posts up, it is pretty close to it.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...