Feeds

Oracle scans BEA code for GPL and LGPL

'Business-friendly' OK

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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.®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Do Moan! MONSTER 6-day EMAIL OUTAGE hits Domain Monster
Customers freaked out by frightful service
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.