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Posts tagged as “openoffice.org”

Ellison & the GPL Part III

If you’ve downloaded and installed a copy of OpenOffice.org recently, you’ve probably noticed Oracle’s red lettered logo on the splash screen. This caught my attention the first time I saw it because I didn’t remember ever having seen Sun’s logo on the splash screen, so I fired up an ancient PC running Windows98 and opened OOo, version 1.x. I was right, Sun’s logo was nowhere to be seen.

As much as I don’t like to see Oracle’s branding on an important open source project like OpenOffice.org, this might be a good thing for the office productivity suite, which has become the de facto alternative to Microsoft’s Office franchise. It means that Ellison & Company evidently places value on the OpenOffice brand and values the company’s association with it.

Ellison & the GPL Part I

You would think a firm that fancies itself a Linux development company would have some respect for the GPL. With most companies, you’d be right. But not with Oracle. It becomes more obvious with each passing day that Larry Ellison has absolutely no respect for the GPL. The FOSS community would do well to consider Ellison to be the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing and act accordingly – for “FOSS-friendly” Oracle might pose more of a threat than Microsoft ever did.

Ellison seems to be making the GPL his play toy, shamelessly looking for holes in the license to exploit to his own advantage. Several years back, to show his displeasure at Red Hat for potentially moving into his territory when they acquired JBoss, he boldly announced the release of Unbreakable Linux, which was really Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) rebranded as an Oracle product (which he was perfectly free to do under the terms of the GPL).

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

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