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Oracle needs to get hurt .. badly!

Note: This article was originally published at Planet PHP on 14 August 2010.
Planet PHP

There are plenty of bad things in the world. But I guess there is nothing that has such a drastic and dangerous impact on my life that software patents. If patents are good thing in other industries can be discussed, but in the software industry its a clear cut thing: they hurt innovation, they hurt small businesses and they scare the shit out of me. And if you are a software developer, they should scare the shit out of you too! Now Oracle decided as the first big company that is not just a patent troll to actually sue a company over software patents. heck maybe others have sued before, but lets stop this behavior right here right now. We must send a clear message. We must send a clear message to Oracle that they better stop. And we must send a clear message to any other company holding software patents that they better not think of suing. I have not thought this out all the way yet, but right now I am thinking the best form of protest would be if all of us open source developers strip out support for any Oracle product in our next release: Throw out support for BerkleyDB, MySQL, Oracle whatever. The business math must be clear: Suing over software patents will cost more then it can ever get in returns. Who is with me in organizing such a protest? Or does someone have a better idea of how to approach this?

Maybe I should clarify: The point is not to hurt any of the open source projects that would be affected by such a move. Stripping out the support for one release would of course be a nuisance for users, but it would not be a big issue in the long run. Of course if Oracle doesn't react we might need to continue or to turn up the heat. It might actually lead to a fork or two if Oracle decides to keep this up. In this case I am also hoping that this will cause a few OSS guys at Oracle to hand in their notices .. even more people willing and capable to lead forks. Anyway the stronger our immediate message the lower the chances we need to be doing anything for any extended period of time.