Oracle Corp said yesterday it would give away free copies of its internet-enabled 8i database to customers who have old versions of the software and who haven’t got the time (or presumably the money) to update their systems in time for the year 2000. Greg Kuhn, VP for Oracle’s Y2K taskforce said the offer was aimed at small and medium-sized companies running obsolete versions of its databases and tools for which they are no longer receiving technical support from Oracle. Kuhn reckons there are around 3,000 to 4,000 organizations, or roughly 3% of its installed base, which fit this bill, including numerous small government agencies, such as municipalities, he said. The offer is valid for the months of March and April as long as customers can prove they were legitimately licensed in the past, Kuhn said. Companies requesting the upgrade will be sent a free CD with the latest version of its database, version 7.34, or the upcoming internet-ready version, 8i. There’s nothing in it for Oracle, Kuhn insists, although the company will offer the customers its installation and ongoing support services, for which they’ll have to pay if they require them.