Licensing Due Diligence: It Takes Two to Tango

By Spencer F. Katt  |  Posted 2002-06-10

El Gato wasnt surprised to hear that Oracle finally decided to dedicate a full-time public relations person to concentrate solely on fielding issues regarding its licensing practices. Besides the company having to grapple over contract controversies with several states, Gartner and Meta Group in March warned users to watch out for the Oracle sales tactic of trying to grab more licensing revenues from customers while final contract terms are being ironed out. Aggressive sales tactics are one thing, but recent reports, such as how Toronto suddenly realized that its $11 million contract with Oracle covered about 9,000 more users than the 1,000 or so it needed, makes Spencer wonder about who signs such contracts, too. "Its like making sure a car dealer doesnt keep trying to sneak the rust undercoating onto the sales contract, no?" pondered the Puss.

A Katt crony claimed the Virtual Access Network may have shut its virtual doors. It seems like only yesterday that the PC migration company won the best enterprise product award at Comdex/Fall 2000. "We all thought it was a joke," quipped the tipster. "It looks like the VC pulled out and told everyone to go home. At one point, there were about 40 people working there."

Even a settlement cant erase bad blood. After settling a patent infringement suit with Business Objects in which Cognos had to pay out $24 million, Cognos CEO Ron Zambonini said the suit was "baloney." The statement prompted Business Objects CEO, Bernard Liautaud, to fire back, "If Cognos doesnt think they lost this, they must think the [Toronto] Maple Leafs are still in the playoffs." Cognos is based in Ottawa, where fans of the local NHL team, the Senators, despise the Maple Leafs.

The Katt was amazed to see that the Greek government, after admitting its inability to distinguish between a harmless video game and illegal gambling, has decided to ban all electronic gaming devices. Offenders could face fines of up to 75,000 euros and imprisonment, according to Greeces Kathimerini newspaper. "So, remember this Tabby travel advisory," mused the Mouser, "Pokemon could land you in the pokey, man."

The Kitty got a chuckle from a billing notice concerning his home AT&T Broadband service that said, "Your monthly modem lease price will decrease by $7 to a monthly charge of $3. At the same time, the price of your monthly service will increase by $7. As a result, there will be no change to your total monthly bill."

"As Yogi Berra said, If you come to a fork in the road, take it!" laughed the loopy Lynx.

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