Oracle scans BEA code for GPL and LGPL

'Business-friendly' OK


Oracle is sifting through millions of lines of code in BEA Systems WebLogic and AquaLogic, to check that products are, as claimed free of unwanted open source licenses.

The database giant is making sure here's no code licensed under GPL and LGPL that can be downloaded with BEA's middleware. GPL and LGPL are viewed by the companies as “viral” - a contentious term that critics say is a misunderstanding of the licenses - and therefore potentially damaging to BEA's licensing-based revenue.

WebLogic Server comes with up to 60 open source packages for download, including Log4J and Xerces parser. These are licensed under a range of open-source licenses deemed "business friendly" including Apache.

A source familiar with the matter told Reg Dev there is a "big fear" that $300m in annual WebLogic revenue could be destroyed should the software become "infected" by GPL.

Oracle is paying $8.5bn for BEA and while not all product lines are expected to survive given there's duplication between the companies, Oracle is playing it safe.

The topic of whether GPL and LGPL are viral is a long runner - here and here. The cause of most debate is what a “derivative” work means precisely in relation to what happens when GPL and LGPL code ships with proprietary code; and whether these nullify a company’s ability to charge for more than the cost of distribution.

BEA, like Oracle, already has a policy of not allowing GPL or LGPL software to be downloaded with its products. But as part of the due diligence process in purchasing BEA, Oracle is checking that the claims stack up.

Oracle's checks come as the company today cleared the latest hurdle in its proposed acquisition process. BEA shareholders on Friday voted to approve the deal, leaving just European Commission regulators to give the go ahead. The deal is expected close on April 30.®


Other stories you might like

  • Old school editor Vim hits version 9 with faster scripting language
    All of the famed user-friendliness and ease of use, but 'drastically' better performance

    Old school editor fans, rejoice: some two and a half years after version 8.2, Vim 9 is here with a much faster scripting language.

    Vim 9 has only a single big new feature: a new scripting language, Vim9script. The goal is to "drastically" improve the performance of Vim scripts, while also bringing the scripting language more into line with widely used languages such as JavaScript, TypeScript, and Java.

    The existing scripting language, Vimscript, remains and will still work. Only scripts beginning with the line vim9script will be handled differently. The syntax changes are relatively modest; the important differences are in things like local versus global variables and functions, and that functions defined with :def will be compiled before they are run. This allows many errors to be caught in advance, but more significantly, compiled functions execute from 10× to 1000× faster.

    Continue reading
  • Iceotope: No need to switch servers to swap air-cooled for liquid-cooled
    Standard datacenter kit just needs a few tweaks, like pulling off the fans

    Liquid cooling specialist Iceotope claims its latest system allows customers to easily convert existing air-cooled servers to use its liquid cooling with just a few minor modifications.

    Iceotope’s Ku:l Data Center chassis-level cooling technology has been developed in partnership with Intel and HPE, the company said, when it debuted the tech this week at HPE’s Discover 2022 conference in Las Vegas. The companies claim it delivers energy savings and a boost in performance.

    According to Iceotope, the sealed liquid-cooled chassis enclosure used with Ku:l Data Center allows users to convert off-the-shelf air-cooled servers to liquid-cooled systems with a few small modifications, such as removing the fans.

    Continue reading
  • Gartner predicts 9.5% drop in PC shipments
    Stark contrast to 11 percent increase year-over-year in 2021 shipments

    The party is over for PC makers as figures from Gartner suggest the market is on course for a breathtaking decline this year.

    According to the analysts, worldwide PC shipments will decline by 9.5 percent, with consumer demand leading the way – a 13.5 percent drop is forecast, far greater than business PC demand, which is expected to drop by 7.2 percent year on year.

    The PC market in the EMEA region is forecast to fare even worse, with a 14 percent decline on the cards for 2022. Gartner pointed the finger of blame at uncertainty caused by conflicts, price increases and simple unavailability of products. Lockdowns in China were also blamed for an impact in consumer demand.

    Continue reading
  • Samsung beats TSMC to be first to produce 3nm chips
    Lower power consumption, improved performance, and a second generation of the technology on the way

    Samsung has started production of chips using its 3nm fabrication process, beating rival TSMC, which expects to begin making chips with its N3 node generation later this year.

    The resultant chips are claimed to reduce power consumption by up to 45 percent and improve performance by up to 23 percent, with further gains promised in a second generation of the process.

    Korea's electronics giant said it has started initial production with its 3nm process node, which introduces what the firm calls Multi-Bridge-Channel FET (MBCFET) technology. This is Samsung's version of the Gate-All-Around (GAA) transistor architecture, where the gate material wraps around the conducting channel.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022