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Oracle Broadens Legal Fight Against Third-party Solaris Support Providers

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the friendly-neighborhood-corporation-looking-out-for-you dept.

Oracle 142

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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What assholes (5, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 6 months ago | (#46097473)

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.

Re:What assholes (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46097489)

Remember, kids, Winners Don't Do Oracle.

Re:What assholes (4, Funny)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 6 months ago | (#46097557)

Why is this such trash jobs and nut faces? Fair disclosure: I used to work at oracle as a yacht captain.

Re:What assholes (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 6 months ago | (#46097765)

Heck; even Losers know better than to Do Oracle.

Re:What assholes (4, Interesting)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 6 months ago | (#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 (2)

easyTree (1042254) | about 6 months ago | (#46097905)

Fast forwards to the future where a single remaining company makes software - the remainder simply squabble over patents. Within that single company, only a single employee produces any output, the remainder are organized as multi-layer management-oversight.

Re:What assholes (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 6 months ago | (#46098065)

But it's not about patents. It's about copyright. Oracle provides binaries to their support contract customers. That doesn't mean that the customers are entitled to redistribute those binaries.

Re:What assholes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46098893)

No. You fail to understand the nature of the universe. Digital information is now in near infinite supply. Only through terrible draconian laws would you be able to sell ice to Eskimos. Likewise the laws ensuring artificial scarcity of ideas and information are equally heinous, and untenable economically.

A mechanic doesn't charge you again if you sell your car. They charge only once for the work they do once. After their work is done and paid for they have to do more work to make more money. The cost of support should be proportionate to the effort spent in giving it. How much does it cost to duplicate information? It is not the universes problem if you do work for free, then try to charge for what is in infinite supply. The laws should not allow it, for the same reason that they should not prevent Eskimos from using unlicensed ice.

Re:What assholes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46099979)

By that reasoning a car should only cost what it cost the salesman to drive the car to your house. Ever heard of R&D?

Re:What assholes (1, Troll)

TitusC3v5 (608284) | about 6 months ago | (#46098325)

What they're doing wrong is that they're suing somebody for doing EXACTLY what they do with their rebranded Red Hat distro. Yes, Red Hat is FOSS so it's fair game whereas the proprietary Oracle stuff is not, but that doesn't make it any less hypocritical or Oracle any less vile.

Re:What assholes (5, Informative)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 6 months ago | (#46098381)

What they're doing wrong is that they're suing somebody for doing EXACTLY what they do with their rebranded Red Hat distro.

Except that Oracle downloads the publicly available source files from Red Hat and rebuilds them.
This is not the case here. Oracle does not provide source code for their patches, only the binaries.

Yes, Red Hat is FOSS so it's fair game whereas the proprietary Oracle stuff is not

So it's not exactly the same then.

but that doesn't make it any less hypocritical or Oracle any less vile.

It sounds like all Oracle is doing is following the license.

Re:What assholes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46098701)

Obvious troll is obvious.

Not for Solaris (2)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about 6 months ago | (#46098973)

Solaris isn't open source anymore. I doubt they download Solaris sources from RedHat?

Re:Not for Solaris (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 6 months ago | (#46099985)

That was my point exactly.

Re:What assholes (1)

ReallyEvilCanine (991886) | about 6 months ago | (#46099429)

It sounds like all Oracle is doing is following the license.

I'd go with "enforcing" over "following", which is what they demand of others. I don't see any difference between this and the whole TomorrowNow fiasco. For those who weren't playing along back then, TomorrowNow was a company which grabbed up a bunch of Siebel people and tried to compete with Siebel supporting Siebel software. At the time, support contracts were required and cost an additional ~30% on top of the insane annual license fees. Dumber still, SAP bought TN knowing exactly what they were doing.

TomorrowNow (illegally) downloaded every last bit of Siebel software, first from Siebel's servers, then from Oracle's after the take-over. They also got their customers to download customer-specific and locked software (special builds and patches) for them <boggle>, which they'd diff against the previous patches so that they could provide their customers with updates outside of official channels (which were unavailable because the customers had stopped paying for support). And in the end they were doing it from a bank of SAP servers on a single IP block.

Fast forward to today. Another company is taking another company's proprietary software, and this time there seems to be a bit of whack-a-mole in play, since players in the current suit target may have come from previous defendants. If you read the linked articles, you see that the only claim dismissed in a previous suit was about the third-party provider "transferring" credentials; simply obtaining and using them on behalf of the customer as an agent wasn't illegal and so the charge was tossed while the rest of the claims are in litigation.

Copyright. Property laws. Oracle may be all sorts of evil but this one doesn't appear to be overreach. Anyone is allowed to provide Solaris and Java support but they can't do it with someone else's stuff.

Re:What assholes (5, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | about 6 months ago | (#46099079)

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.

The problem is it represents a departure from what Sun was doing. Enterprises already paid a lot of money for the Sun hardware, so they could get Solaris included with it.

Solaris was never free for production use. If you want Solaris for production, you always had to either pay a large fee for each copy, or buy the Sun hardware which came at a huge premium, but included Solaris..... much like Apple includes MacOS with their hardware.

Acquiring a vendor, AND locking down all the patch download websites for server firmware updates and OS updates, while requiring customers start paying extortionate rates to even continue basic software update service ------ is not the path to becoming a well-liked company.

Re:What assholes (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 months ago | (#46099141)

The install media is a free download from Oracle's web site, but if you actually want patches you need a support contract.

Yeah, we call that ass-backwards. Patches are part of the cost of doing business, and Oracle is simply making its customers financially responsible for Oracle's incompetence.

Of course, if you give Oracle money, you deserve the fucking you get. But the legacy Sun shops are boned.

Re:What assholes (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | about 6 months ago | (#46099263)

Nah. The legacy Sun gear just gets decommissioned and is replaced by Linux or HP-UX (mostly Linux).

[John]

Re:What assholes (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#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 (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 6 months ago | (#46097499)

Agreed.

And (sadly) as soon as PostgreSQL gets the same featureset and broad industry acceptance...

Re:What assholes (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 6 months ago | (#46097511)

PostGresSQL is already neutered thanks to Oracle.

Notice you can't have a query use more than 1 cpu or core? Sure you can scale your app by assigning each query to each core/cpu it is still inefficient compared to Oracle of course.

Aren't software patents lovely?

Re:What assholes (3, Informative)

Inf0phreak (627499) | about 6 months ago | (#46097583)

I... eh... what? Oracle owns MySQL, not PostgreSQL

Re:What assholes (1)

_merlin (160982) | about 6 months ago | (#46097607)

Yeah, but they have a patent on something that prevents Postgres implementing certain concurrency features.

Re:What assholes (2)

Tough Love (215404) | about 6 months ago | (#46097733)

[citation needed]

Re:What assholes (1)

Wootery (1087023) | about 6 months ago | (#46099107)

Seconded. [google.com]

I see nothing to indicate Oracle's patents are an issue for PostGRES.

Re:What assholes (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46097753)

I do follow the development of postgresql and never heard patents mentioned as a reason for not supporting more parallelism. What I always gathered from it was that a) there were a few technical obstacles and b) there where always more pressing matters. But Robert Haas [blogspot.nl] is working on it.

Re:What assholes (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | about 6 months ago | (#46098757)

Time for Postgres to release a European Edition that does implement the concurrency features. Software patents are not enforcable here (yet).

Re:What assholes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46099053)

I... eh... what? Oracle owns MySQL, not PostgreSQL

Fortunately for you no one holds a patent on reading comprehension, so you can go out and acquire some without fear of legal repercussions.

Re:What assholes (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46097623)

Source? From what I can tell, the limit is due to the architecture of PostgreSQL which they mention on their FAQ. http://wiki.postgresql.org/wiki/FAQ#How_does_PostgreSQL_use_CPU_resources.3F

I googled a bit and couldn't find supporting info, but I did find:
http://wiki.postgresql.org/wiki/PgCon_2012_Developer_Meeting#Parallel_Query - no mention of patents.
http://grokbase.com/t/postgresql/pgsql-hackers/073y7qnx3t/oracle-indemnifies-postgresql-on-its-patents - seems to indicate no problem.

Just looking to see if I missed something. Not to defend Oracle, I'm still rustled over them forcing wesunsolve.net to shut down. They're all business, no heart.

Re:What assholes (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46097565)

Funny it is sooo bad for providing support for Solaris and wrong to steal code that was opened sourced.

But taking it from RedHat ... sure it is perfectly legal! Hey what is so bad for taking from Redhat and providing support? After all they opened it right?!

Hypocrites.

Re:What assholes (2)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 6 months ago | (#46097831)

Oracle Solaris is not open source anymore.

Re:What assholes (1)

FlutterVertigo(gmail (800106) | about 6 months ago | (#46097611)

I figure it's a matter of fear. They should look at it as a challenge - to provide better service. Where is their pride? (or do their landsharks allow them to have pride?) If they outdo everyone else, then the worst which can be said about them is, "yeah, because they have all of the inside information." If they can't provide better service with all of the aces they have up their collective sleeves, then there's something wrong.

Re:What assholes (5, Informative)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 6 months ago | (#46097687)

Come on, at least read the summary if you're not going to read TFA. I wouldn't normally be defending Oracle, and Oracle may do a lot of evil things regarding IP (like trying to assert copyright on an API), but this isn't one of them. They're going after them for pirating their software and making money as a result. This isn't some kid or hobbyist pirating something, it's a for-profit company pirating software that's owned by Oracle, and not even just for use on their own computers but for clients that they're making money off of.

Of course, their motivation for enforcing their IP is probably to get rid of the competition, but they're not trying to assert that competition is illegal. It's simple - if you're going to make money off of supporting software, don't pirate that software for your customers. If you think that software being non-FOSS is evil and you want to hold to that principle like a lot of the people who are going to whine about this, then don't try make money off of supporting that software.

Re:What assholes (2)

raynet (51803) | about 6 months ago | (#46097847)

Yup, Oracle is right on this case. The companies can provide support for Solaris, as in how to fix and configure things and also distribute OpenSolaris but distributing Solaris updates that have been downloaded from Oracle's password protected support site or providing login credentials to Oracle's support site is not ok.

Re:What assholes (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 months ago | (#46099297)

I wouldn't normally be defending Oracle, and Oracle may do a lot of evil things regarding IP (like trying to assert copyright on an API), but this isn't one of them. They're going after them for pirating their software and making money as a result.

Well, no. We're not talking about software here, we're talking about updates to software. Patches are fixes for the vendor's fuckups. Oracle wants you to pay for their fuckups. Even Microsoft doesn't expect that.

Patches specifically address the failure of the software to live up to the stated purpose, and therefore they should be free to all customers in perpetuity. Anything else constitutes breach of contract on the part of the vendor, for not attempting to provide the product they promised.

Re:What assholes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46099595)

I wish this idea that FOSS must be developed only with a grant from a non-profit or something would die a well-deserved death, BEFORE DHS, the Oracles,Googles,Apples,Microsoft, etc. have sensor-chipped and biometrically-tagged everyone so that EVERY act, up to and including drawing a breath or scoping out the babes is a taxable transaction.

Making money, as opposed to plundering or collecting tolls, is completely orthogonal to software freedom. That so many can't grok this, or refuse to, yet at the same call the GPL "communist", but other FOSS licenses "commerce-friendly" is kind of a sore point here. Maybe it's the whole hypocrisy of "unselfishness" combined with the notion that as a justification that offends, but "free" here does NOT mean "as in beer".

Thank you, /soapbox

Re:What assholes (1)

pooh666 (624584) | about 6 months ago | (#46097751)

Everytime I see something like this it just makes me sad. I knew a couple of people who worked for Sun. It was always a pleasure to deal with them and they seemed, HAPPY. More and more it seems like everyone everywhere has something to grump about. Attack others, don't focus on your own products, win by any means, not by just being the best.. Kind of getting sick of it.

Re:What assholes (2)

Ash Vince (602485) | about 6 months ago | (#46098995)

Everytime I see something like this it just makes me sad. I knew a couple of people who worked for Sun. It was always a pleasure to deal with them and they seemed, HAPPY. More and more it seems like everyone everywhere has something to grump about. Attack others, don't focus on your own products, win by any means, not by just being the best.. Kind of getting sick of it.

The problem is those lovely people at Sun were too busy being all nice to make enough cash to cover their own wages.

Nice companies go under, companies who do anything legal they can in order to make money survive and then buy up the companies that failed at a liquidation firesale. This is a feature of the capitalist system we live in where making money is the primary consideration over what you produce being of value to society as a whole.

Since this is how the system works though I don't see any reason to blame one company over another for being better at this game of dog eat dog when it is the system that encourages it that is really at fault.

decades running companies tells me no (4, Insightful)

raymorris (2726007) | about 6 months ago | (#46099179)

I've owned my own company for 20 years, most of providing services to business. In that time, I've seen a lot of competitors and customers come and go. My experience is that people like to do business with people who treat them right, so the good guys last. Assholes lose customers and partners pretty quickly.

Mostly , it's clear during hard times in an industry. I've had customers ask me more than once prepay a few thousand files to get my company through a rough spot. Once or twice, the employees have purposely waited a week or so to come pick up their paychecks because they knew cash was tight. People don't do that for assholes.

Re:decades running companies tells me no (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 6 months ago | (#46099353)

To a point yes, after that no. After you get a few patents to lock people in the bigger asshole you are the better, until then you need to be nice.

Butchered with typos. Customers offered to prepay (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 6 months ago | (#46099611)

I butchered one sentence in my post. That should be:

More than once, I've had customers offer to pre-pay for services in order to get my company through a rough spot.
They don't do that because we treat them poorly.

Re:What assholes (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 months ago | (#46099313)

The problem is those lovely people at Sun were too busy being all nice to make enough cash to cover their own wages.

No, they were too busy being incompetent to succeed in the marketplace. Unfortunately, I don't think it was a technical problem, I think it was one of management. Over and over again, Sun bought successful companies and then sacked everyone who knew how the product worked, then ran the product into the ground. THAT is what led to the demise of Sun, and it's what's leading to the demise of HP

Re:What assholes (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#46098231)

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.

Re:What assholes (2)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 6 months ago | (#46098267)

According to the article this "support minion" basically just distributed Oracle's binary patches which you usually need a support contract in order to download from Oracle's web site. They didn't actually do anything of their own.

Re:What assholes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46098525)

Any sufficiently pragmatic evil is nearly indistinguishable from good.

Re:What assholes (0)

Wootery (1087023) | about 6 months ago | (#46099133)

Sustainability implies goodness? I don't think so.

Re:What assholes (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 months ago | (#46099119)

Oracle is a services company, sure they sell a product you can just buy but what they really want is to be invited into your organization to sell you a lot of expensive projects that won't work at the end of the contract. Like SAP, for example. Sun was a stuff company, they sold you stuff. So for Sun it was a win-win to have other people out there supporting Solaris. For Oracle, it's a lose. They don't want you on Sun if you're not making them money. You're just someone who might be giving them money who isn't. Of course, they'll just kill SPARC in the process of overprotecting Solaris. And good riddance.

Re:What assholes (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#46099387)

In your death-of-SPARC scenario, where are you putting your bet: 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?

Re:What assholes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46099673)

Why make everybody else suffer, though, is what I'm sayin'.

In other news.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46097477)

people with vast amounts of money, use it to get any other money that anyone else might get ...

We all know the acronym... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46097503)

O.R.A.C.L.E.

One Raging Asshole Called Larry Ellison ;)

As someone who used to work with their databases, they're pretty darn good, but the business side of things just make you want to run screaming...

Mod parent up. (0)

rossdee (243626) | about 6 months ago | (#46097935)

I hadn't heard thtat before, good one

HA HA HA, Oh Wow... (2)

Ignacio (1465) | about 6 months ago | (#46097567)

They *really* need to stop getting trigger-happy every time they see their own feet...

Re:HA HA HA, Oh Wow... (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 6 months ago | (#46097741)

Remember McNealy the clown? Oracle bought Sun just so Larry could get those clown shoes.

Re:HA HA HA, Oh Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46099385)

...and kill off Solaris, Mysql, etc. to boot. Somewhat ironic in this context that principal among the affected end users are government agencies.

So, yeah. Ha. Ha.

Re:HA HA HA, Oh Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46098309)

They *really* need to stop getting trigger-happy every time they see their own feet...

They should *really* put a picture of Larry Ellison standing in front of an Oracle logo into the dictionary next to the word 'litigious' along with a few others ... err ... never mind, we'd probably run out of space.

I'm no business expert but it would seem to me that it is more productive to try and bring these companies into the fold using sugar rather than pummelling them into submission using a big stick. Some of them are after all probably providing valuable services to Solaris OS using customers in places where Oracle's business ninjas would never deem it profitable to do so. Another thing to consider is that usually when people start to circumvent rules, giving customers access to source code they should not have it's done to fix bugs or broken features that are potentially very damaging to the company in question and that Sun, IBM, Microsoft, Apple or whoever hasn't bothered to fix. Declaring open war on your own user-base is never a good idea.

Re:HA HA HA, Oh Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46098969)

I always blow a load when I play with my own feet

Pot calling the kettle black? (5, Informative)

liwee (3407373) | about 6 months ago | (#46097597)

Oracle Linux Support [oracle.com] offers support for any existing Red Hat Enterprise Linux installations. Is this a case of pot calling the kettle black?

Re:Pot calling the kettle black? (1)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | about 6 months ago | (#46097899)

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.

On the other hand, it really says something about Oracle's "support", if other companies are providing updates for Larry's "Yacht OS" and are winning significant contracts.... to the point where Oracle wants to fight them over it.

Re:Pot calling the kettle black? (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 6 months ago | (#46098157)

On the other hand, it really says something about Oracle's "support", if other companies are providing updates for Larry's "Yacht OS" and are winning significant contracts.... to the point where Oracle wants to fight them over it.

It is easy to undercut pricing if you don't have to pay for writing the software or update manuals and can just steal them.

Re:Pot calling the kettle black? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46099213)

It is easy to undercut pricing if you don't have to pay for writing the software or update manuals and can just redistribute them as the license allows.

I fixed that for you. If you don't like it, don't release your code under the GPL.

Re:Pot calling the kettle black? (4, Interesting)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 6 months ago | (#46098321)

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.

Re:Pot calling the kettle black? (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 6 months ago | (#46098335)

I don't think this includes software, or Microsoft will face some legal battles in Europe after April 8.

Re:Pot calling the kettle black? (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 6 months ago | (#46098351)

I don't think this includes software, or Microsoft will face some legal battles in Europe after April 8.

I'd be curious to know why it wouldn't include software.

As I said, I imagine a court would say it's unreasonable to expect a vendor to engineer fixes forever, but if those fixes are being engineered *anyway* should a vendor be allowed to withhold them from certain customers?

Re:Pot calling the kettle black? (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 6 months ago | (#46098373)

Because that's how Oracle makes money. Solaris itself is a free download, but that's only for the install media. The patches is what they charge for. If they would have to give away the patches for free then that would mean a big loss for them.

Re:Pot calling the kettle black? (3, Insightful)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 6 months ago | (#46098405)

A vendor having an incentive to make their product defective so they can charge for fixes doesn't exactly sound like it's in the customer's interest...

Re:Pot calling the kettle black? (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 6 months ago | (#46098463)

Not at all. The reason why customers are not fleeing to other vendors is that Oracle actually does a good job.

Re:Pot calling the kettle black? (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 6 months ago | (#46099419)

In what way. They made a decent product at one point, that has become so bloated, and their support sucks. So where is the good job?

Re:Pot calling the kettle black? (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 6 months ago | (#46098495)

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.

1. It's EU directives, which need to be turned into law in individual countries.
2. There is most definitely a time limit, which is "defect free for a reasonable amount of time". And for example in the UK, there are general limits.
3. This is all "Consumer Protection Law". If you are a company buying from another company, a contract is a contract.

Next you need to argue that a software bug is a manufacturing defect. That will be very hard to argue indeed. Sure, if the binary you received is different from the one that I received because your DVD is defective, that's a manufacturing defect. A bug that keeps the software from doing what it is intended to do is a manufacturing defect. But a bug in some rarely used functionality that is not explicitly advertised is not a manufacturing defect. Unless Oracle was stupid enough to claim its software is bug free. "Defect" is measured against what is advertised. If your shoes fall apart after swimming in the sea or your watch stops working, that's not a manufacturing defect because it's not what the seller promised.

Re:Pot calling the kettle black? (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 6 months ago | (#46098559)

2. There is most definitely a time limit, which is "defect free for a reasonable amount of time". And for example in the UK, there are general limits.

As I understand it, a product is expected to not break for "a reasonable amount of time" (i.e. through normal wear and tear), but there is no time restriction on _manufacturing/design defects_ (i.e. things that were wrong on the day that you bought it, rather than things which broke at a later date).

Re:Pot calling the kettle black? (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 6 months ago | (#46099435)

Generally most features of a software product is advertised somewhere. In addition a bug that allows hackers to compromise the system is indeed a defect in all sense.

Re:Pot calling the kettle black? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46099809)

Cough. Ahem. But then they wouldn't be able to effectively single-source support contracts from the govt., ie. the taxpayers.

Re:Pot calling the kettle black? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46099735)

Sorta like GM has the right to franchise dealerships to whomever it wants. Does make you wonder, though.

Eleven! (2)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 6 months ago | (#46097609)

11 !

[Old Oracle joke --- probably before your time ... ]

Big Ego (-1, Redundant)

no-body (127863) | about 6 months ago | (#46097637)

+ submissive lawyers = what's happening.
Would anyone want to work under this "Larry"?

If so, what is it like? Is he throwing chairs as well or is he not strong enough?

In what percentage bracket is he - 2, 3.. important questions, right?

http://www.forbes.com/pictures... [forbes.com]
http://www.forbes.com/profile/... [forbes.com]
http://www.celebritynetworth.c... [celebritynetworth.com]

http://elitedaily.com/money/en... [elitedaily.com] ...
He is a serious Womanizer

Ellison, like all Elite men, is a womanizer. He has been linked to countless celebrities, heiresses, and other notable figures over the world. He is also divorced 4 times. Ellison can often be found dating three Oracle employees simultaneously literally.

Hrm...

Good (2, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about 6 months ago | (#46097667)

That will accelerate the move away from Solaris. It is more of a problem than a solution anyways these days.

Re:Good (3, Insightful)

russbutton (675993) | about 6 months ago | (#46097775)

There ya go. There's no better way to kill off Solaris, not that they really needed to try...

Sun made good hardware back in the day. I had a Sun Sparc 2 I ran Solaris 2.7 on until it was about 14 years old. Imagine trying to run anything on a PC or a Mac that was 14 years old and expect it to hold up. The only reason I retired the Sun box was that I just wearied of running my mail/DNS server at the house off my DSL line.

oh well (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about 6 months ago | (#46097693)

makes for a cheap marketing campaign for linux ;-)

& now the 'weather' (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46097727)

sponsored by US & brought to us today (& every day now) by wizards&warloks.bomb & thanks for watching; http://www.globalresearch.ca/weather-warfare-beware-the-us-military-s-experiments-with-climatic-warfare/7561

why are they forced to wear blue ties constantly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46097745)

nobody knows or cares is the thinking we only need to look good in our new mirrors they say

Oracle is going down (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about 6 months ago | (#46097759)

exactly by this kind of practices, which make it a sort of oversized patent troll. In the lifecycle of each corporation there are various phases: start-up, growing/innovator, mainstream, dinosaur/conserver, dying. A company like IBM managed to go back from stage 4 to stage 2 by taking some radical decisions. Oracle didn't. Now the only way forward for Oracle is toward stage 5. All dinosaurs eventually die. Remember Blackberry !!!!

Mark my words: By 2030, Oracle will not exist anymore in its current form. In fact, it may have dwindled into nothingness well before that date.

Obligatory NSA Comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46097877)

Oracle was a product of the CIA; nsa1.0, so to speak.

Hey, we have intellectual property! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46097951)

And we have a room full of lawyers fighting over it!

The good old days are still here and we are relevant!

There is a piece of us someone wants and we are barking as loud as we can to get attention!

(That, I perceive, is the idea.)

Dear Oracle, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46097975)

Please stop fucking up Solaris.

Thanks,

All of us.

Re:Dear Oracle, (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46098081)

Dear Customer.

Please stop redistributing our binary updates.
We charge money for them. That's how we make money of Solaris.

Re:Dear Oracle, (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 6 months ago | (#46099509)

Dear Oracle, Then give me the money back for the machines I bought with the understanding I would get those updates. That is false advertising.

Maybe Oracle should focus on providing support... (2)

LoadWB (592248) | about 6 months ago | (#46098093)

...rather than suing companies which pick up its slack. I've tried on-and-off for several years to get support from Oracle on my Solaris machines. I'm even offering to pay for the support contracts which abruptly ended when Sun was bought out. It wouldn't have been such a problem if Oracle hadn't pay-walled the Recommended updates for Solaris. I'm having to move away from the venerable old operating system because of Oracle's neglect.

That stench in the air is the SCO disease.

does this affect illumos? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46098221)

the two of us would really like to know.

Re:does this affect illumos? (3, Informative)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 6 months ago | (#46098287)

It does not affect Illumos since it is based on the open source release of Solaris. The article is about a company redistributing the binary patches to Solaris provided by Oracle.

Who care? Solaris is irrelevant. It is a dying OS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46098421)

Who care? Solaris is irrelevant. This is a dying OS that is miliking its remaining customers.

In a few years Oracle will slash SPARC servers, and Solaris will dissapear. It can't be profitable to build a cpu with so few servers selled

Re:Who care? Solaris is irrelevant. It is a dying (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 6 months ago | (#46098619)

They compensate by charging a lot for them. A Sparc server usually goes for about 10x the price for the equivalent x86 server. I guess some people really want it.

Re:Who care? Solaris is irrelevant. It is a dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46099487)

Even if you pay x10 the difference is very big against Oracle

SPARC is reaching the level of sales of Itanium, and Itanium will disappear.

HP-UX/Itanium has a loyal base, but Oracle has many angry customers waiting to migrate to other operative systems. The decline will be faster.

The behaibour of Oracle working as a mafia with extortion with their customers can work with Oracle DB, but not with servers, it is more easy to migrate.

Re:Who care? Solaris is irrelevant. It is a dying (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 6 months ago | (#46099789)

Some other products from Oracle may still be relevant for you, and the problem there is not Solaris, is Oracle. If you think the saga is over, just wait for the next attack. So if you care you should be running from any of the technologies they fully control, like being sure that your java apps runs with other jvms, switching to i.e. mariadb if you use mysql, and so on.

Oracle is killing Solaris (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46098423)

One law suit at a time.

Suicide (3, Interesting)

e70838 (976799) | about 6 months ago | (#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:Suicide (2)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 6 months ago | (#46098611)

How is it misbehaving to stop another company from redistributing your proprietary binary blobs that you have copyright to?

Re:Suicide (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 6 months ago | (#46098761)

I guess it depends on whose rules you're following. On a legal level, no, it's not misbehaving.

On the other hand, when you (or rather the company you've taken over) declares that, henceforth, Solaris shall be thought of as an open source operating system, and promotes the fact it's open source, and nearly a decade later you're finding legal loopholes the company you took over left in place, that you're using in order to sue people who treat it as one, then you're not exactly playing the rules you (or Sun) declared you were playing by.

Darl? Is that you? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46098855)

Okay, so maybe Larry Ellison went on a booze cruise to Mexico with a bunch of hookers, got drunk, and named Darl McBride chief counsel of Oracle.

enter illumos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46099317)

If you're already running Solaris 11, and you're sick of Oracle's shenanigans, you might find a transition to OmniOS [omniti.com] to be surprisingly painless. OmniTI doesn't grind up small children with their coffee beans like Larry Ellison does, either. Their work is completely Open Sourced so you can participate in improving the free operating system, and pay for support, hosting, etc.

OmniOS is based on illumos (kind of like RHEL is based on Linux & GNU). There are a number of other illumos distributions besides OmniOS that are worth a good serious look. Get out of bed with Oracle, already.

scott tiger (1)

netsavior (627338) | about 6 months ago | (#46099681)

j/k... please don't sue.
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