There have been a few incidents of late. First there has been the Open Office/Libre Office fiasco, where Open Office was essentially forked by its own community. Then there was the Java/JCP tantrum thrown by Apache, where Apache noisily left the JCP over spats with OSS licenses for the JVM (Harmony). And lately there are more, notably one with NetBeans. But one that is closer to home (and my wallet) involves a project led by an employee of Cloudbees.
Basically, if I understand the situation correctly the lead developer was a Sun employee when he started Hudson. So Oracle claims they own IP and brand, which very frankly is completely irrelevant since the license is OSS and the guys at Cloudbees can continue their work un-encumbered. And there is one thing left to do, which is basically to fork the project. And so it is... a lot of the OSS community is flipping the bird to Oracle.
But this outburst of belligerence is a sign of a deeper malaise within Oracle/SUN. I have had my own issues with SUN back in the days, when they wouldn't allow us to get certified. But by and large the attitude from SUN was one of "laissez faire". SOMEONE at Oracle has woken up and declared that all java assets were to be monetized and therefore there seems to be crackdown going on in the java open source community.
There is also a large dose of ignorance of how "things work" on the part of Oracle in how it approaches these problems. At the end of the day, an OSS project is lead by a few individuals that truly drive the community. If Oracle feels it "owns" certain projects but the work is done outside the company, then Oracle doesn't own shit. Point in case when it gets down to it in Hudson, it seems to me that Kohsuke Kawaguchi, also known as KK, and his friends do all the work, while Oracle just waves their arms wildly. A community without its community of developers is an empty vessel, and Oracle is about to learn this lesson.
It saddens me in a way, I was hoping Oracle would continue the benevolent dictatorship style of SUN when it came to things java. It seems bent on dictatorship alone. I doubt few will follow.
In a way, I can understand where they are coming from, after all Java is in maintenance mode and it is therefore time to derive maintenance revenue. The execution however seems tone-deaf and frankly clumsy. I am glad I am not the one having to be the corporate pitbull.
FORK YOU ORACLE.