Tag: oracle

Oracle forced to pay back taxes

Multinational tech giant Oracle has been charged $293 million for corporate tax evasion in South Korea.

The $293 million charge is made up of back taxes, as well as a punitive charge from the government tax agency.

Oracle was told of the tax debt in January last year, when the National Tax Service charged Oracle with evasion of corporate tax payments from 2008-2014.

The outfit was accused of funnelling revenues to Ireland to avoid paying taxes in South Korea. In an audit of the company’s books, the tax authority found that Oracle had channelled profits generated in South Korea to an Irish subsidiary.

It was found that those funds profited the company’s headquarters in the United States.

Because of this, the NTS figured out that Oracle should have paid taxes on profits generated in South Korea to the South Korean government.

 

Oracle’s increased cloud profits are cool for Catz

Database outfit Oracle reported better than expected quarterly profit and adjusted revenue as the business software maker benefits from its transition to cloud-based products.

Sales of the company’s cloud-computing software and platform service rose nearly 62 percent to $1.19 billion.

However, it was not all plain sailing because its software licensing business fell nearly 16 percent. This is being seen by some analysts that Oracle has managed to move to the cloud to tackle the shrinking licensing business.

Safra Catz, Oracle chief executive, said during the earnings call that growth in revenue from its cloud business has overtaken new software licenses.

She said adjusted revenue from its Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) unit rose 86 percent to $1.1 billion on a constant currency basis, which was at the high end of its previous guidance.

Oracle’s net income rose to $2.24 billion in the third quarter ended 28 February, from $2.14 billion last year.

Oracle’s total adjusted revenue rose nearly three percent to $9.27 billion, marginally beating estimates.
The company revenue to grow between negative one percent and positive two percent.

Oracle’s Trumpeter CEO lays off more employees

CatzOne of Donald (Prince of Orange) Trump’s staunchest allies Oracle CEO Safra Catz, has decided that the best way to Make America Great again is to lay off lots of American workers.

Catz, who is on Trump’s transition team, does not appear to have got the memo about providing more US jobs. Mercury News said that Oracle is laying off approximately 450 employees in its Santa Clara hardware systems division.

This is a conservative number as a discussion board for technology business firings, claim about 1,800 employees company-wide are being told to clear out their desks.

Oracle claims the company isn’t closing the Santa Clara facility. Instead, “Oracle is refocusing its Hardware Systems business, and for that reason, has decided to lay off certain of its employees in the Hardware Systems Division”.

Those going are members of Oracle’s failing SPARC hardware department. In mid-2016, Oracle claimed its new SPARC S7 processor would be offered on Oracle Cloud. The cloud is Oracle’s new revenue hope since its new software licensing revenue plummeted by 20 percent in its last quarter ended December 15. At the same time, Oracle’s hardware revenue had fallen 13 percent. In Oracle’s most recent SPARC/Solaris roadmap, the next generation Solaris 12 has vanished to be replaced by moderate refreshes called Solaris 11.next and SPARC next.

While some of the staff cleaning out their desks are management and staff, the majority are hardware and software developers.

Things are not going well at Oracle.  The US Department of Labor filed a lawsuit against Oracle in January claiming that Oracle had engaged in pay discrimination practices against female, African-American, and Asian employees.

Oracle spokesperson Deborah Hellinger claimed that the court case was politically motivated, based on false allegations, “and wholly without merit”.

Oracle official appeals the Java case

Consulting-the-Oracle-JWW-1884The Oracle versus Google litigation case, which could force most of the software industry to pay billions to Oracle, has gone into its appeal state.

For those who came in late, Oracle sued Google claiming that its developers used its copyrighted material in Android.  The material in question were Java APIs which are effectively notes that developers used in framing the code.

The case has been going on since 2010,  Oracle initially lost but had part of its case revived on appeal. The sole issue in the second trial was whether Google infringed the APIs in Java, which the appeals court held are copyrighted. In May, a jury found in Google’s favor after a second trial, stating that Google’s use of the APIs was protected by “fair use.”

Legal experts think that Oracle’s appeal is a long shot. The four-factor “fair use” test is a subjective one, and Oracle lawyers must argue that the jury’s unanimous finding must be overturned.

Oracle could focus on jury instructions that it viewed as improper, or argue that the evidence presented at trial was so overwhelming that no reasonable jury could have found in Google’s favour.

If Oracle wins it could create a mess for developers. The trillions of lines of code out there might contain APIs which developers could have used without thinking. Patent trolls could buy up old software, look for dodgy APIs in others code and sue for millions. That is even without factoring in the impact of Google having to sign off billions of dollars to Oracle.

Ellison declares victory over Amazon in cloud wars

oracle-founder-larry-ellisonOracle supremo Larry Ellison has announced Oracle’s second generation cloud package and is already claiming that it will clean Amazon’s clock.

The announcement was made at Oracle’s OpenWorld conference in San Francisco  and it is basically all about Oracle’s  second generation of cloud infrastructure for third-party developers to run their applications in Oracle data centers.

It is pased around different virtual-machine s that Oracle is making available in this second-generation offering. The first is dubbed the Dense IO Shape and it offers 28.8TB, 512GB, and 36 cores, and will set you back $5.40 per hour. This product offers more than 10 times the input-output capacity of Amazon Web Services (AWS), specifically the i2.8xlarge instance, Ellison told the assorted throngs.

“Amazon’s lead is over. Amazon’s going to have serious competition going forward,” Ellison said.

For those who came in late, AWS leads the cloud infrastructure market, with Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and IBM trailing behind. Oracle’s public cloud was not included in the most recent version of Gartner’s highly regarded cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) Magic Quadrant, which was released last month.  This is mostly because Oracle also does not have enough market share to qualify for inclusion.

Ellison clearly thinks that will all turn around now. The new offering takes advantage of regions, each of which contains three separate “availability domains,” or connected data centres. Oracle’s competitors in the cloud also offer regions of data centers. But this represents a step forward for Oracle.

Ellison said that he respects Amazon for being the “first mover” in the business of cloud infrastructure. “But now we’re aggressively moving into infrastructure, and we have a new generation of data centers that we’re building around the world.”

He also announced a new product called Cloud@Customer, which lets customers place servers that are identical to Oracle’s cloud infrastructure in their own on-premises infrastructure (the servers run the same software as the software on Oracle’s cloud servers). These servers have the same price structure as their corresponding cloud versions.

Oracle funds “anti-Google” group

Consulting-the-Oracle-JWW-1884A non-profit group calling itself the “Campaign for Accountability” appears to be an anti-Google group funded by Oracle.

According to Fortune magazine, the group appeared in Washington in the spring and is keeping quiet about who pays for its activities.

While the group appears to be covering issues like  LGBT rights, clean water it has a permanent campaign called “The Google Transparency Project,” which claims to expose the dark satanic doings of the search engine.

Ken Glueck, Senior Vice President of Oracle has admitted that it is contributor to the Transparency Project.

“This is important information for the public to know. It is 100 percent public records and accurate,” said

The admission comes after Fortune was giving a tip off about Oracle funding the anti-Google project.

Oracle is still embroiled in a bitter intellectual property lawsuit with Google. Microsoft, which has run secret anti-Google campaigns in the past, said it is not a contributor.

The deputy director of the CfA, Daniel Stevens, declined to name the group’s other donors, or to explain why it does not disclose its funders.

Google has declined to comment on Oracle’s decision to fund the project.

 

Thin Client rides again

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Larry Ellison rode the “thin client” architecture back in the mid 1990s. Called the diskless desktop among various other names it amounted to a “smart terminal”. It was a tad premature.

Given another two decades the arrival of the Cloud as a “connected” computational facility for not so capable smartphones has belatedly arrived. And with that arrival Oracle is now in the mode of beefing up their “Cloud” capabilities with the announcement of its purchase of NetSuite Inc. for $9.3 billion. Oracle has been lagging the competition in cloud-based services, and is essentially buying market share according to several analysts based in San Francisco.

Oracle is a company caught between extending the viability of its installed hardware based system-software hegemony and the emerging Open Systems that most Cloud vendors are engaging. Their investment in the purchase of Sun Microsystems has not been primary to the company’s earnings potential. There was a time when Intel was non-persona grata at Oracle – that began to change two years ago.

The deal has been rumored for months, because the relationship between Oracle and NetSuite goes back decades. Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison has been a NetSuite investor since he co-founded the company with Evan Goldberg in 1998. Ellison and his family own about 45.4 percent of NetSuite’s common stock, according to a recent company filing. Zach Nelson, NetSuite’s CEO, ran Oracle’s marketing operations in the 1990s.

As Ellison and his family are part owners of Net Suite, a group of independent Oracle directors (excluding Ellison) helped evaluate and negotiate the deal with NetSuite. For NetSuite, approving the deal will mean getting clearance that sidesteps the large stockholder. The company said a majority of shares not owned by Ellison and his family; or by directors and executive officers; must vote in favor of the deal for it to be acquired.

If the deal is not approved there will be more than just a few amazed people to say the very least.

Salesforce Next?

Salesforce’s name has a marker on Oracle’s takeover radar. According to several sources this has reached the level of a personal vendetta with Larry Ellison – and Larry does like to win. So please standby…,

Oracle asks a Judge to forget Java ruling

Consulting-the-Oracle-JWW-1884Optimistic lawyers working for Oracle have asked a Judge to set aside a landmark jury trial which prevents it screwing shedloads of cash from Google and its Android operating system.

A jury found Google rightfully helped itself to Oracle programming code to create the Android operating system.

The law allows use of copyrighted material in limited circumstances based on the scope of use, to what extent the purpose is commercial, and the effect of the use on the material’s value or market potential.

For six-years, Oracle had been seeking up to $9 billion in damages from Google. A judge already rejected a bid in May by Oracle to get the verdict thrown out. But the software and cloud company hasn’t given up.

It has filed a motion in San Francisco U.S. District Court again asking the same judge, William Alsup, to toss the verdict. It has cited case law suggesting use is not legal if the user “exclusively acquires conspicuous financial rewards” from its use of the copyrighted material. Google, said Oracle, has earned more than $42 billion from Android.

It is unlikely that Judge Alsup would agree. He had noted in rejecting Oracle’s first attempt at scuttling the verdict that the jury could have “reasonably found” that the commercial use also “served non-commercial purposes as well, i.e., as part of a free and open software platform, namely Android.”

Google has consistently argued that the Java code was free and open to all and that its use of the code was transformative. More over Sun Microsystems, which created Java in the 1990s long before it was bought by Oracle, had no problem with Google using the code without a license.

Larry Page, CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet, told the court said that Google did not pay for free and open things.

Oracle appeal blasted by Judge

A US judge has blasted Oracle’s defence when it tried to get a jury verdict against it set aside.

For those who came in late Google successfully made its case to a jury last month that its use of Java APIs in Android was “fair use,” and the verdict rejected Oracle’s claim that the mobile system infringed its copyrights.

Oracle filed a motion arguing that the judge should decide as a matter of law that fair use didn’t cover it.  However US District Judge William Alsup shot down the motion on Wednesday and also denied Google’s motion making similar arguments.

Alsup defends how he ran the trial. The evidence and instructions presented to the jury were a mix of mandates from the appeals court, which overruled Alsup on the key issue of API copyrightability, and modifications urged by both sides’ lawyers.

“The final jury charge culminated an exhaustive and iterative process of proposals by the judge followed by critiques by counsel,” Alsup wrote.

He then goes on to dismantle Oracle’s suggestion that its case was so strong that the jury’s verdict should be ignored.

“Oracle has portrayed the Java programming language as distinct from the Java API library, insisting that only the language itself was free for all to use,” Alsup wrote.

He added that in order to write the Java programming language, 62 classes (and some of their methods), spread across three packages within the Java API library, must be used or the language itself will fail.

The 62 “necessary” classes are mixed with “unnecessary” ones in the Java API library and it takes experts to comb them out. Oracle said it was fair to use the 62 “necessary” classes given that the Java programming language itself was free and open to use without a license.

He said that Oracle’s argument boils down to saying that it was okay to use the language, and okay to use the 62 “necessary” classes, but that Google “should have scrambled the functionalities among a different taxonomy of packages and classes.”

This would mean programmers would have to learn two different systems of “structure, sequence and organisation,” and the jury could reasonably have found that such a division “would have fomented confusion and error.”

He gave this analogy. All typewriters use the same QWERTY keyboard—imagine the confusion and universal disservice if every typewriter maker had to scramble the keyboard. Cleary he has not heard of the French keyboard that does just this.

Alsup said that Oracle’s cross-examination had been harsh and focused on character assassination of Schwartz who it claimed resented Oracle for its treatment of Schwartz after the buyout.

“That Oracle resorted to such impeachment underscored how fact-bound the issue was, another classic role of a jury to resolve.”

Alsup said that the jury could have reasonably concluded that Google’s copying of a “tiny fraction of one percent” of the copyrighted works represented the “bare minimum… to preserve inter-system consistency in usage.”  He thought it was reasonable to decide that Android “caused no harm” to the market for the copyrighted work, which was Java Standard Edition, built for use on desktop and laptop computers.

Java Mobile Edition was in decline before Android was even released and the jury could have determined Android had no negative impact “beyond the tailspin already predicted within Sun,” Alsup said.

The comments are important because they show what Oracle’s appeal plan will be and how Alsup is defending how he ran the court.

Google has killed open source claims Oracle

screaming babyOracle has had huge sulk over losing its Java court battle to Google and is saying some surprisingly strange things in the tech press about it.

Probably the daftest is a comment by Annette Hurst is an attorney at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe who represented Oracle in the recent Oracle v. Google trial. In an op-ed she claimed that Oracle’s loss means that Open Source is dead in the water.

For those who came in late, Google successfully argued that its use of Java APIs, about 11,500 lines of code in all, was protected by “fair use.”

Hurst said that rather than developers celebrating that they will not be sued by copyright trolls for using bits of code, they should be worried that the free software movement itself now faces substantial jeopardy.

She said that Google argued that Java APIs have been open, any use of them was justified and all licensing restrictions should be disregarded. In other words, if you offer your software on an open and free basis, any use is fair use.

However if that narrative becomes the law of the land, the GPL is toast.

“No business trying to commercialise software with any element of open software can afford to ignore this verdict. Dual licensing models are very common and have long depended upon a delicate balance between free use and commercial use. Royalties from licensed commercial exploitation fuel continued development and innovation of an open and free option. The balance depends upon adherence to the license restrictions in the open and free option. This jury’s verdict suggests that such restrictions are now meaningless, since disregarding them is simply a matter of claiming “fair use,” Hurst said.

She said that it was hard to see how the GPL can survive such a result. Software businesses will have to accelerate their move to the cloud where everything can be controlled as a service rather than software. Consumers can expect to find decreasing options to own anything for themselves, decreasing options to control their data, decreasing options to protect their privacy.

“Developers beware. You may think you got a win yesterday. But it’s time to think about more than your desires to copy freely when you sit down at a keyboard. Think about the larger and longer term implications. You should have been on Oracle’s side in this fight. Free stuff from Google does not mean free in the sense Richard Stallman ever intended it,” Hurst said.

True, but what difference would have made to developers who instead of being allowed to write code which included similar APLs?  The would risk being sued into a coma by Oracle or any other copyright troll who thought they saw a couple of lines of their code in a trillion word program.