Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Oracle Obtains Judgment in Gray Market Case

Asa Mathat /

Software giant Oracle today obtained a judgment against ServiceKey, a managed service provider, and its CEO, Angela Vines. The judgment, recorded as the result of a settlement that headed off a trial, is being seen as a blow against so-called “gray market” players in the IT support business. It includes claims for copyright infringement, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Lanham Act, which is a trademark infringement law, and fraud, among others.

Oracle sued ServiceKey in the U.S. District Court for Northern California last February, saying that ServiceKey plus a second company had used Oracle software code and access credentials as part of a scheme to sell support services to companies that had no active support contract in place with Oracle itself.

ServiceKey admitted in court that it downloaded, copied and distributed Oracle’s Solaris Operating System, acquired by Oracle when it bought Sun Microsystems in 2010. The company then advertised that it could provide Solaris software patches to customers. It also trafficked in passwords to gain access to Oracle’s customer support website.

Oracle had accused ServiceKey, as IDG News reported last month, of paying Oracle technical support fees for a small number of Solaris machines it owned, but then using those credentials to offer support to its customers.

Oracle will receive no monetary damages as a result of the judgment.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald