Inside Oracle's bombshell plan to support Red Hat
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| Could you briefly describe what Oracle is doing with regard to
| Red Hat Linux?
| Tony Iams: Oracle is exploiting the open source business model
| to try and offer a competitive alternative to Red Hat for
| supporting Linux. This is something that is clearly enabled by
| the open source model where a vendor such as Red Hat offers a
| product that virtually anyone else can recreate under their
| own brand. They can take the exact same technology that Red
| Hat has and offer their own version of it, under their own
| brand, and with their own support program, without having to
| become too deeply involved with the development.
| Oracle says it will provide full indemnification or legal
| protections for its users. Do you expect Oracle to provide
| better legal protections than Red Hat and other Linux
| distribution providers?
| Iams: It's not clear. The [intellectual property] questions
| here run quite deep and are potentially quite far reaching
| when you examine the impact of patents and so on. And Oracle
| clearly has a lot of intellectual property and thus they're
| in a position to provide some degree of protection. But they
| compete with Microsoft as well and so to what extent they're
| going to take sides in this potential conflict remains to be
| seen. Anytime there is a risk of a patent war starting you
| have to look at where the arsenals of patents are and who
| might potentially participate and take which side and I think
| it's too early to tell.