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Sun Disrespects Copyright of Independent Publisher

East Chiltington, UK - April 27, 2007 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. ( has shown that it does not respect or value the copyright works of others by its recent action of misusing content from an independent publication called the SPARC Product Directory ( in a new website celebrating Sun's 25th anniversary.

"First Sun used our content, without permission or attribution" says the original author and publisher Zsolt Kerekes. "Then we were offered a form of attribution which was worthless (a footnote at the bottom of a multiple screen long article. Finally after I mentioned possible legal sanctions - Sun replaced the content with a plagiarized version of the original purloined text. I still haven't had an apology from Sun or admission that they did anything wrong. The whole episode has tainted Sun's 25th anniversary celebration for me."

Here are the details of what was done.

In Sun's 25 year timeline article which appeared on Sun's website on the following paragraph appeared alongside the image which marked the launch of the SPARCstation 1.

"It certainly wasn't clear that SPARC was going to become the leading hardware platform for serious server applications. At that time most computer manufacturers were talking about introducing their own RISC based computers. Few have survived with today's Unix derived computerware. Many simply vanishing once SPARC became successful."

The above paragraph was directly copied from a very popular article on the history of the SPARC systems market on

The original text appears below for comparison.

"it certainly wasn't clear that SPARC was going to become the leading hardware platform for serious server applications. At that time most computer manufacturers were talking about introducing their own RISC based computers. The few which have survived ... ... Many others vanished without trace once SPARC became successful."

Following complaints by the original author and Sun's unwillingness to put in place an a satisfactory attribution (the one they offered would have been almost invisible). Sun replaced this text with the plagiarized text below.

Plagiarized text which Sun's PR people used to replace the purloined text - "Most computer manufacturers at that time were thinking about bringing in RISC based computers into the market. While some of Sun's competitors were delayed in producing their next-generation products, Sun came in with the SPARCstation 1. No one knew that it would become the leading hardware platform for serious server applications."

The full "Sun authored" paragraph also includes another sentence which is identical to another part of Kerekes' original article - making it even clearer what the original source was. It shows that Sun's PR didn't do a good enough white wash.

Kerekes admits that is not the first time that parts or even the whole content of his articles have been copied without permission or attribution on the web. But Sun's refusal, in this case, to include attribution at the same level of visibility as the content it had taken, even after being found to be in the wrong - suggests a cultural unwillingness to admit mistakes or co-operate with independent publishers which they do not control.

"It's a real problem for publishers when a company with the reputation of Sun with its hand caught in the cookie jar - wriggles and does everything it can to avoid giving a satisfactory attribution" commented Kerekes. "In this case - the botched PR handling of Sun's 25 year celebration web site - has become the story."

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publisher info

ACSL, founded in 1991, is a small privately owned publisher focused on the enterprise storage market. Our publications include the SPARC Product Directory (first published 1992) and (first published 1998).

The editor / publisher is Zsolt Kerekes

contact info

ACSL (Applied Computer Science, Ltd.)
Chiltington House, Chiltington Lane
East Chiltington, Lewes
tel:- +44 (0)1273 890 060

trademark info below

Megabyte the Mouse and the "Byte family" are copyright trademarks of ACSL. SPARC(r) is a registered trademark of SPARC International, Inc. SPARC Product Directory(sm) is a service mark of SPARC International, Inc used under license by ACSL. Products using the SPARC trademarks are based on an architecture developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc.

editor's more readable note on trademark info

SPARC Product Directory is a trademark which was licensed to ACSL for use in our own publication by SPARC International back in the mid 1990s to acknowledge the outstanding job that we had been doing as an independent publisher evangelising the Sun market since 1992.

Back in the dayes before the web, when it was a printed edition, Sun gave us this endorsement "The SPARC Product Directory is used as a reference in all the US sales offices of Sun Microsystems."...

text still viewable on

In more recent years our warnings to oems about how Sun culled SPARC compatible partners in the past have possibly been viewed as inconvenient.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Applied Computer Science, Ltd. (ACSL) in the following categories: Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit