Oracle Taking Laid-Back Approach to Piracy

Oracle Corp. has a message for those obsessed with software piracy: relax.

While most of the software industry has begun doggedly tracking down and stamping out instances of illegally copied software, Oracle's top licensing executive said that her company will tolerate scattered instances of piracy if it means keeping an enterprise customer up and running.

"We're not going to turn you off if you use more CPUs [than you've contracted for]," Woods said here during a panel discussion at SoftSummit, the industry's e-licensing forum. "That's not our philosophy. Customers want to pay us. We can't do anything about what people are going to do. We can't go out and sniff them out."

Woods' comments came as an apparent shock to others on the panel, among them e-licensing vendor Macrovision Corp., whose business is providing tools so that software publishers can maximize revenue by preventing cracks and other licensing exploits. After the panel, David Rowley, vice president of business development at Macrovision, approached Woods and arranged a meeting.

Rooting out the last instance of software piracy doesn't make sense in a corporate IT environment, Woods said. In an interview following the panel discussion, she said Oracle has not been able to determine how many of its customers have innocently or maliciously exceeded the terms of the company's licensing agreements; in other words, how much potential revenue Oracle has lost to piracy. However, she added, it makes little difference.

News source: eWeek - Oracle Taking Laid-Back Approach to Piracy

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