Oracle's CEO made some statements in a 2006 article that are coming to bear frut today. Oracle is suing Google over Java patents in their new Androud platform. Like most big business CEOs, Larry Ellison is interested in profit above all else, and unabashedly proud of that interest. In an interview with the Financial Times, he made the following statements:
"In the end, the only thing that really matters is how many billions we make this year. I'd much rather make $10bn at 40 per cent margins than $8bn at 50 per cent margins. I want to make $10bn . . . If an open source product gets good enough, we'll simply take it . . . Take [the web server software] Apache: once Apache got better than our own web server, we threw it away and took Apache. So the great thing about open source is nobody owns it -- a company like Oracle is free to take it for nothing, include it in our products and charge for support, and that's what we'll do."
Most of us little guys in the open source world are grateful for the help we get to make our projects better, and deliver a higher quality result to our clients. We appreciate this opportunity, and do our part to contribute in kind to this equitable and valuable systerm.
We are not positioned to take the free software and make billions of dollars. We use the free software and make excellent websites at fair prices.
Open source technology was built to augment the democratic nature of the Internet, and to create a level playing field for anyone with the interest, time, and effort to learn the basics and become empowered to take their piece of the world wide web.
Perhaps Oracle has made enough billions already. But for them it will never be enough.