Oracle perpetual license policies

One reader asks about his company's Oracle software licenses that they want to drop support on, saying that Oracle wants them to discontinue product use altogether.

We have Oracle Identity Manager and Business Intelligence licenses that we want to drop support on. These are all perpetual licenses yet Oracle is saying we need to sign a termination letter and discontinue use. In the past I know I saw a document stating that an Oracle perpetual licenses can be used forever. You just would not be able to obtain support or updates. Oracle is saying even though these are on separate contracts, because we are using other Oracle licenses and databases it's considered bundled and that's why we could no longer access the database even for historical purposes. Can you clarify exactly what perpetual means in this case?

Oracle support policies prohibit the termination of support of a "subset" of licensing or licenses that share the same source code. Thus, you need to maintain the same level of support for all products within a program type and cannot eliminate support for a portion of that total quantity owned. Oracle claims that this rule is in place to make certain clients who are utilizing support are not gaining support value on unsupported licensing by calling into Support hotline (metalink) but only referencing those licenses covered under support. So, Oracle makes its clients sign a 'termination letter' whenever they wish to reduce a quantity of product from support where other products will remain active with support.

So, in summary, 'perpetual' means you own the licensing as procured 'perpetually,' however Oracle does not guarantee 'perpetual' support and even mentions in its agreements and contracts that it may change its support rules and offering at any time.

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