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Oracle sues support firm over 'massive theft'

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Oracle is suing third-party support provider Rimini Street, alleging "massive theft" of its software and support materials via illegal access to its technical support websites.

Rimini Street sells enterprise software support for Oracle SAP, Siebel, PeopleSoft, and JD Edwards-branded software, boasting 50 per cent savings in annual fees versus vendor-provided support.

While third-party maintenance means customers can't get software upgrades, Rimini provides fixes specifically made for legacy releases.

In a lawsuit filed Monday in US District Court for the District of Nevada, Oracle claims Rimini Street's business model revolves around illegally helping itself to Oracle's support offerings.

The lawsuit fingers Rimini Street along with its CEO, Seth Ravin

"Rimini Street typically logs on to Oracle's password protected Technical Support websites using a customer credential, then downloads Software and Support Materials in excess of the customer's authorization under its license agreement," the lawsuit alleges.

It goes on to claim Rimini uses automated crawlers to download "hundred of thousands" Oracle's materials at a time, "causing the databases which host the Software and Support Materials to freeze, disrupting their operations and impeding the availability of lawful downloads to Oracle's other customers."

Ravin was also the co-founder of TomorrowNow, a one-time SAP subsidiary that Oracle accused of identical practices back in 2007. Although Ravin left TomorrowNow shortly after selling the company to SAP, Oracle claims that "the corrupt business model Ravin helped to create continues in full force at Rimini Street."

Rimini Street said in its year-end earnings report — which saw revenue for 2009 increase 270 per cent compared to last year — that it will "vigorously" respond to Oracle's complaint.

“I believe Oracle’s actions are an attempt to forestall competition and limit market choices for its software licensees," Ravin said in a statement. ®

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