Shuttleworth: Oracle dooms its prospects in open source business

Shuttleworth: Oracle dooms its prospects in open source business

Summary: Oracle's ill-advised patent infringement case against Google will backfire, and hurt its prospects in the growing open source business market.That, according to Ubuntu creator and Linux giant Mark Shuttleworth, is the natural outcome of Oracle's case against the Linux-based Android operating system.

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Oracle's ill-advised patent infringement case against Google will backfire, and hurt its prospects in the growing open source business market.

That, according to Ubuntu creator and Linux giant Mark Shuttleworth, is the natural outcome of Oracle's case against the Linux-based Android operating system.

Shuttleworth, who stepped down as Canonical's chief last spring to focus on the technical development of Ubuntu Linux, was more than happy to weigh in on the patent infringement case filed late last week.

Here's the entirety of  Shuttleworth's comments, submitted by request to ZDNet this week:

Oracle has significantly undermined its relationship with the open source and developer community. That may or may not have an immediate impact on its bottom line, but it's going to present real challenges for the pace of adoption of key Oracle technologies, like Java and MySQL, which have traditionally been led from the bottom up. Developers have been the drivers of adoption of open source platforms, and they will avoid platforms that look like patent traps.

Major software houses have historically been promoters of software patents, they have said that patents will help them defend their margins, and protect their incumbent position on lucrative markets. Microsoft, for example, spent much of the last decade threatening suits to keep Linux out, and attempting to generate revenue from its patent portfolio. But looking at the numbers, it's apparent that patent suits hurt the largest software companies the most - they are the ones who are obliged to ship new products to large numbers of users, and are most vulnerable to patent attacks. Meanwhile, being focused on the defense of existing markets is a recipe for missing out on the next opportunity, something that Microsoft feels very keenly today.

The largest software companies in fact stand to benefit from reducing the scope of patents in the software industry. Oracle may well be the last to realise that.

Topics: Oracle, CXO, Open Source, Software, IT Employment

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  • RE: Shuttleworth: Oracle dooms its prospects in open source business

    But, it is Google who is infringing on the Linux and Java mobile markets by forking the code without giving it back. Oracle is a different company that does not rely on spying on their customers to make money, but providing proprietory solutions for a profit. Oracle's customers are companies, not individuals. Google's customers are the whole world, and they spy on everybody equally.
    jorjitop
    • Wrong. Dalvik is a cleanroom design.

      @jorjitop
      Oracle's Ellison is wagering for a settlement in the form of cross-licensing.

      Nothing was forked and Google will defend that position vigorously.

      This will play out with Oracle being the loser.
      Dietrich T. Schmitz, ~ Your Linux Advocate
      • RE: Shuttleworth: Oracle dooms its prospects in open source business

        @Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate
        You say that Dalvik is a cleanroom design, others say not. Of course Google will defend vigorously, their whole business model depends on it.

        We will see who is the loser. But, if Google wins, the general public will be the loser.
        jorjitop
      • RE: Shuttleworth: Oracle dooms its prospects in open source business

        @Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate:

        Sorry, but Oracle likely has Google by the short-and-curlies. Also, the Java bits in contention are not open-sourced.
        Random_Walk
      • RE: Shuttleworth: Oracle dooms its prospects in open source business

        Canonicals chief last spring to<a href="http://www.nerdysouthrecords.com/"><font color="light&amp;height"> about it</font></a> is bank that <a href="http://rabbiburton.com/"><font color="light&amp;height">website</font></a> attacked from the <a href="http://thescatterload.com/"><font color="light&amp;height">site support</font></a> from any soldier <a href="http://www.macnerdnews.com/"><font color="light&amp;height">site</font></a> to the light <a href="http://www.ventasyacom.com/"><font color="light&amp;height">home page</font></a> is great focus
        musdahi
    • RE: Shuttleworth: Oracle dooms its prospects in open source business

      @jorjitop dude Android is open source, the difference with the license will allow other mobile companies which develop on top of Android to close source their code. It doesn't really matter whether Oracle spying or not spying on people but the fact that even though they said they support open source, they still target Android just because it is widely adopted and backed by Google. And now the stop the distribution of OpenSolaris.. That already proves your own sentence "providing proprietory solutions for a profit". Oracle only hunger for money
      otnateos@...
      • RE: Shuttleworth: Oracle dooms its prospects in open source business

        @otnateos@...
        Android is supposed to be open source. But Google is not fulfilling their obligations to the Linux group.

        Google is a business to make money. They do it by borrowing other people's IP, data, and private information, and repackaging it to sell advertising. They pretend to be good, but have the potential to do tremendous evil. They are devious.

        Oracle is in business to make money. They sell products and services to make a profit. They buy other businesses in order to sell their products and services to make a profit. They do not pretend to "do no evil". They only intend to stay in business and grow their business. That is capitalism. If they make a mistake, they will pay as Sun did. If that makes them evil, then I suggest you go live in a truly socialist society and see how you like it.
        jorjitop
  • I agree

    Oracle must drop the lawsuit and commit $ 1 billion for FOSS projects each year, otherwise the community will strike back.
    Linux Geek
  • Oracle will lose open-source customers?

    You mean that subset of customers that provide absolutely zero revenue, but expect the same level of support (not to mention free source code) as they offer commercial customers?<br><br>Wow.. sounds like they're really in trouble now!
    daftkey
  • This is coming from a guy who was made an open-source millionaire..

    ..but started out as a billionaire!
    daftkey
  • RE: Shuttleworth: Oracle dooms its prospects in open source business

    If Dalvik has been a fork of Sun's JVM, then Google' only sin was to release it under Apache license instead of GPL.
    S P Arif Sahari Wibowo - http://www.arifsaha.com/
  • question for jorjitop

    in your post you seem to question the claim that Dalvik is a clean - perhaps debatable ??? (I don't know for sure)

    but then you go on...

    "We will see who is the loser. But, if Google wins, the general public will be the loser."

    QUESION FOR YOU -

    By what logic would the Google position be a loss for the public?

    And more importantly, how could Oracle's corporate greed and legal attempt to re-classify an open source asset as a re-protected form of IP... possibly benefit the many thousands of users/businesses that depend on the "openly usable" classification of java as a foundational technology in their product service offerings?

    Now really!... How can you throw such an ignorant (or if not ignorant...) maliciously inflammatory comment out there?

    Are you an Oracle lawyer?
    tyelmene
  • Ditch Java & MySQL!

    Go with Python & PostgreSQL instead. FirebirdSQL is also an EXCELLENT RDBMS based on Interbase' lineage. It blows MySQL out of the water -- and it's FREE.
    maxtheitpro
  • RE: Shuttleworth: Oracle dooms its prospects in open source business

    quote: That is capitalism. If they make a mistake, they will pay as Sun did. If that makes them evil, then I suggest you go live in a truly socialist society and see how you like it.

    Watch what you say, make sure you know what you are talking about, otherweise you might just sound like a moron. Germany is very socialist and they got a working health system and many less people dying from lacking health care like in the US. AND: Switzerland is also much more socialist and... is one of the richest countries in the world, with more per capita GDP (money made by each individual) than the USA. Switzerland has lower taxes, but free universities and healthcare. It just works. So before you talk about something you don't know, educate yourself. I have lived in Switzerland, Germany and the US for many years and do know from experience.
    It is sad that so many people in the US don't have a clue what socialism actually is and why the difference between hypercapitalism (USA) and capitalism (Europe) is.
    nigratruo@...
  • oracles sueaside

    To be clear.....Ellison pulls development on Opensolaris due to cost...he then spends the same millions on lawyers..Clearly no logic here?
    The Management consultant
  • RE: Shuttleworth: Oracle dooms its prospects in open source business

    Quote It is sad that so many people in the US don't have a clue what socialism actually is and why the difference between hypercapitalism (USA) and capitalism (Europe) is. <br><br>Americans come to the UK and love it because is socially much more stable than the states.The US unstable system is to blame for the current world recession.With the economey still driven by oil in the US the future does not look good for the home markets unless business strategy changes in the US.Opensource is a target for commercial vendors as they are scared of its success.For me I hope the new opensource project to succeed Opensolaris rumoured to be called OPEN unix gets sponsors.
    The Management consultant
  • What?! Shuttleworth: Oracle dooms its prospects in open source business

    Trust Larry Allison to Sort this out sooner than Later and I will not go into Details and technicalities, Oracle/Sun is very much part of UNIX/LINUX Market.<br>Large Companies like IBM and Oracle always Co-Op with everybody as that is what their Customers need.<br>Google is there! And for example If a Customer has HP with Oracle ERP he is probably not throwing it out. So Patience.
    Samuel C.