Menu
Oracle broadens legal fight against third-party Solaris support providers

Oracle broadens legal fight against third-party Solaris support providers

StratisCom is the latest provider to be named in an Oracle lawsuit in the US.

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."

"StratisCom has taken, or facilitated the taking of software patches and updates for Oracle's proprietary Sun Solaris operating system, and other technical support files used on Oracle's Sun computers (collectively, 'Solaris Updates'), and in at least one case, StratisCom distributed a copy of the entire Solaris operating system itself," Oracle said in its complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

StratisCom was a subcontractor hired by DLT Federal Business Systems Corporation, which Oracle sued in 2012 on similar grounds. DLT-FBSC hired StratisCom to work on a number of U.S. government accounts, including the U.S. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command and the Food and Drug Administration.

Some StratisCom consultants are former employees of ServiceKey, according to Oracle. ServiceKey was also named in Oracle's 2012 lawsuit.

DLT-FBSC gave customers a phone number to call in requests for support, which was answered by StratisCom workers, according to the suit.

In October, a contractor working for the Navy group called the number to ask for a Solaris update, it states. A StratisCom employee then emailed back a link to Oracle's password-protected support website, along with access credentials to download the update, and the Navy contractor did so, Oracle claims.

The StratisCom worker had obtained the credentials from ServiceKey, according to Oracle's complaint.

StratisCom hadn't filed a response to Oracle's suit as of Tuesday, and did not respond to a request for comment.

The latest lawsuit's language is worded much like a similar action Oracle brought against a number of other third-party Solaris support providers, Terix and Maintech. Earlier this month, a judge dismissed Oracle's assertion those companies engaged in software trafficking, but declined to dismiss a number of other Oracle claims.

Those companies and others have maintained they operate within the bounds of their customers' license agreements with Oracle.

However, last year ServiceKey and Oracle reached a settlement under which Oracle received no monetary damages but ServiceKey was compelled to meet a number of conditions and restrictions

Like other vendors, Oracle makes hefty profits from annual maintenance contracts, so it's no surprise that it would fight vigorously against what it says are illegal competitors.

"As a strategy, it potentially puts fear into the partners who are providing service and potentially scares customers away," said analyst Ray Wang, chairman and founder of Constellation Research, via email Tuesday. "Even if they do not have the legal grounds to pursue the case, a prolonged legal battle will impact the third party maintenance provider's business. Some may back off, others may hang on in principle. Given that the economic model for Oracle is reliant on maintenance revenue streams, Oracle has little choice but to seek legal action."

That said, "it's bad for customers not to have choice in maintenance," but hopefully the rules of engagement will be more clearly defined after these cases conclude, Wang added.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags TerixStratisComintellectual propertyit strategyCivil lawsuitslegalsoftwareIT managementOracleServiceKey

Featured

Slideshows

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

​As the channel changes and industry voices deepen, the need for clarity and insight heightens. Market misconceptions talk of an “under pressure” distribution space, with competitors in that fateful “race for relevance” across New Zealand. Amidst the cliched assumptions however, distribution is once again showing its strength, as a force to be listened to, rather than questioned. Traditionally, the role was born out of a need for vendors and resellers to find one another, acting as a bridge between the testing lab and the marketplace. Yet despite new technologies and business approaches shaking the channel to its very core, distributors remain tied to the epicentre - providing the voice of reason amidst a seismic industry shift. In looking across both sides of the vendor and partner fences, the middle concept of the three-tier chain remains centrally placed to understand the metrics of two differing worlds, as the continual pulse checkers of the local channel. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable, in association with Dicker Data and rhipe, examined the pivotal role of distribution in understanding the health of the channel, educating from the epicentre as the market transforms at a rapid rate.

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel
Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar last night, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and resellers descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kickstart 2017. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017
Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow Electronics introduced Tenable Network Security to local resellers in Sydney last week, officially launching the distributor's latest security partnership across Australia and New Zealand. Representing the first direct distribution agreement locally for Tenable specifically, the deal sees Arrow deliver security solutions directly to mid-market and enterprise channel partners on both sides of the Tasman.

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel
Show Comments