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FBI Watching Oracle-SAP Trial

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the keeping-an-eye-on-things dept.

Oracle 66

angry tapir writes "An FBI agent has been in the courtroom each day this week watching the Oracle-SAP trial, suggesting US law enforcement continues to take an interest in the case. SAP said in 2007, when Oracle filed its civil lawsuit against the company, that the Department of Justice had requested documents related to the matter from SAP and its TomorrowNow subsidiary. SAP said at the time that it would 'fully cooperate.' In a court filing in August, SAP said there was an 'ongoing investigation' by the DOJ and the Federal Bureau of Investigation into 'some facts and circumstances that are involved in this matter.'"

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Hello, I'm with the FBI (5, Funny)

Sam_In_The_Hills (458570) | more than 3 years ago | (#34157612)

""We have an interest in the case," the FBI agent said in court Thursday. He declined to comment further or provide his name."
If he hadn't spent the day talking into his coat sleeve maybe they wouldn't have spotted him.

Re:Hello, I'm with the FBI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34157884)

""We have an interest in the case," the FBI agent said in court Thursday. He declined to comment further or provide his name."

If he hadn't spent the day talking into his coat sleeve maybe they wouldn't have spotted him.

imanimanamar@yahoo.com

. And her husband, too.

TomorrowNow subsidiary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34157626)

A division of SerenityNow Enterprises.

Reminds me of a great joke! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34157636)

Q: What did the deaf and dumb orphan get for chirstmas?

A: Cancer, lol!

Nothing but Oracle-related news here at /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34157658)

Last month it was nothing but news about Apple, and this month it's nothing but news about Oracle.

Can we go back to having news about a variety of companies, rather than just the one getting the most media hype?

Re:Nothing but Oracle-related news here at /. (3, Funny)

longacre (1090157) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158048)

Slashdot is a news aggregator...it can only link to stories that exist.

Re:Nothing but Oracle-related news here at /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159066)

Slashdot is a news aggregator...it can only link to stories that exist.

Spoken like someone who doesn't know what cherry-picking and confirmation bias are.

Re:Nothing but Oracle-related news here at /. (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34164722)

Time to start creating news stories. Anyone want to sneak in to HP and get them to release a WebOS tablet or Personal Transportation/Fax Machine?

Nah, he's not doing anything important. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34157676)

He's just there because his boss can't think of any better assignment, and the guy is GS-13.

What the trial is about (5, Informative)

Migala77 (1179151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34157716)

There is a great summary at ComputerWorld [computerworld.com] . How I read it: a company bought by SAP is accused of copyright infringement by Oracle. SAP does not deny this, and the trial is basically about the height of the damages. Oracle is making a media circus of it and sues for $ 2 billion, and SAP just wants to get it over with, and is willing to pay tens of millions.

Re:What the trial is about (0)

WolphFang (1077109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34157760)

So... is this where they got the idea that Google would just "roll-over' ?

Important note for the lawyers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34157718)

If you find an electronic tracking device up your ass, you may have to give it back.

Re:Important note for the lawyers (2, Funny)

psbrogna (611644) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160830)

The real question for this audience is whether or not we have the right to reverse engineer any devices up our asses.

OK.. (3, Insightful)

js3 (319268) | more than 3 years ago | (#34157740)

so the FBI is watching them..how is this news for nerds or news for that matter? what's the relevance of this story? An FBI agent goes to work. that's it?

Re:OK.. (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 3 years ago | (#34157746)

so the FBI is watching them..how is this news for nerds or news for that matter? what's the relevance of this story? An FBI agent goes to work. that's it?

Exactly. Aren't we ALL being watched now?

Re:OK.. (1)

shougyin (1920460) | more than 3 years ago | (#34157950)

Due to paranoia on your behalf, we believe you have something to hide, and are launching a team to fully investigate what you are hiding. V/R The Government

Re:OK.. (2, Funny)

shougyin (1920460) | more than 3 years ago | (#34157980)

Our investigation is complete, and revealed you are in fact boring and just overly paranoid. We would suggest getting out some time at a local Bar/Pub of your choosing. Please feel free to keep the tracking device on your vehicles, and use it should you become too intoxicated to find it.

V/R The Government

Re:OK.. (1)

niftymitch (1625721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34166078)

so the FBI is watching them..how is this news for nerds or news for that matter? what's the relevance of this story? An FBI agent goes to work. that's it?

Exactly. Aren't we ALL being watched now?

But we are being watched....

Re:OK.. (2, Funny)

glwtta (532858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34157944)

Exactly! What happened to stories that are actually important? Like what the Queen of England does online?

Re:OK.. (2, Informative)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34157992)

so the FBI is watching them..how is this news for nerds or news for that matter? what's the relevance of this story? An FBI agent goes to work. that's it?

It may not be news for nerds but it certainly appeals to the tinfoil hat contingent which seems to be prevelent here on Slashdot.

Re:OK.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158094)

What?! How did you know I'm wearing a tinfoil hat?

Re:OK.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158242)

Tinfoil hats are sooo yesterday. Velostat and Mylar are where it's at!

Re:OK.. (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158318)

It makes the story sound more exciting, as if the SAP guys are gonna try to escape by helicopter and be thwarted by enforcers kicking in the courtroom doors and shootin' up the place or some shit.

Re:OK.. (1)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160118)

FBI agents are cool! When I get out of my basement I wanna be a FBI agent.

Re:OK.. (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160602)

The X-Files is over, they've gone back to blackmailing gays and framing communists.

It's the Larry Ellison Parade (3, Interesting)

christoofar (451967) | more than 3 years ago | (#34157768)

Too bad it's not a jury of dimwits that gets to determine the award. Then they'll have to ask themselves in a conference room if Larry's crocodile tears are worth excising a large sum of money from one of Germany's largest companies and giving it to a douchebag who already has loads himself.

Maybe if there's some scarlet twist to this suit that hasn't been made public yet----like SAP had intended to modify Oracle's code to make the database columns with German identifiers like SAP's?

I cannot tell you with what joy I have going into transaction SE38, then digging through ABAP code, then trying to figure out what column identifiers (like LOGIKZW, STABPRRT) means...

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34157786)

That's quite an interesting way to put this... When it comes to SAP, you talk about the company as a whole, but when it comes to Oracle, you talk about Larry as an individual and characterize him as a "douchebag". What's the matter? Can't compare apples to apples?

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (2, Insightful)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 3 years ago | (#34157922)

Well, if you think about it, between the two he is kinda the only CEO of the two who is a megalomaniac.

SAP doesn't seem to have a CEO who thinks the very breathing of the company is his own.

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (1)

christoofar (451967) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158120)

Well, Leo Apotheker wasn't anything to write home about. And you have to wonder why HP---which has boardroom problems galore, hired him. Fiorina was a big problem, Hurd was a big problem... and Leo was a money-loser the entire time he was head of SAP. HP is doomed.

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (2, Interesting)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159678)

That's why we replaced him with two CEOs! As an SAP employee, I can't say Leo did everything right, but it's hard to blame everything on him since he was CEO during the worst recession in recent times.

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (1)

sempir (1916194) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160002)

but it's hard to blame everything on him since he was CEO during the worst recession in recent times.

Maybe if they hadn't paid him so much money they most probably would not have had such a bad time during the recession. : ~)
No fucking sarcasm button on this damn keyboard!

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (1)

onionman (975962) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158118)

... What's the matter? Can't compare apples to apples?

You're new here, right? We compare Apples to Apples all the time! Just look at the threads comparing iOS with OS X. Don't get me started about the PPC vs. Intel fights we had years ago...

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (1)

ocdscouter (1922930) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159474)

For me, it's all about the PPC vs. LBX-AC debate.

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34181122)

For me, it's all about the PPC vs. LBX-AC debate.

For one, you have decently high frequency, but high heat. The other you have a lower frequency but an overall equivalent amount of potential, depending on the range of your work. If you have a long-range project that requires a lot of cycles, then the PPC is your weapon of choice. If you have something that's more short-range and requires some grunt but not a lot of cycles, the LBX-AC is your friend.

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158594)

That's quite an interesting way to put this... When it comes to SAP, you talk about the company as a whole, but when it comes to Oracle, you talk about Larry as an individual and characterize him as a "douchebag". What's the matter? Can't compare apples to apples?

 
OK, sure, we can do that. Steve Jobs is a douchebag and so is Larry Ellison. I'm not sure that it is relevant to the story, but you did ask.

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159494)

Well, he IS a douche bag, but that doesn't make you wrong...

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34160422)

What does Steve Jobs have to do with this?

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160618)

Because any chance to annoy an Apple fanboy is worth taking?

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (1)

Ironlenny (1181971) | more than 3 years ago | (#34165138)

What's the matter? Can't compare apples to apples?

It's disabled on the iphone for security reasons. You insensitive clod.

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (4, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158072)

While I don't think Larry is a nice guy, and figure he probably IS a giant egotistical ass, in THIS case he is in the right. You buy sioftware A you are allowed packages A-f. If you want G-Z that costs an extra "premium support" contract. What the company that SAP was stupid enough to buy out did was set up a bank of servers to crawl ALL the Oracle servers and grab ALL the files, whether their customers had paid for the Premium package or not, and then undercut Oracle by offering the Premium package (which they had ZERO rights to) at a steep discount.

In this case it would be like going to an OEM that had rights for Windows 7 Basic and offering them Ultimate for $5 a pop, simply because you were able to snatch a copy off of MSDN. Software has licenses and levels whether you like it or not, and in this case they took those that had bought the bottom tier product and gave them all the top tier goodies. I'm sorry but SAP is screwed, the only question is how big a check they are gonna have to cut. You'd think a company of THAT size would have checked out the business they were buying before shelling out the bux just to make sure it was legit.

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (2, Interesting)

christoofar (451967) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158152)

I don't dispute that at all. SAP owes money. Question is how much. Did SAP really capitalize and make any gains off the back of Oracle that warrants a gigantic payout by SAP? That's what the trial is all about.

SAP did make some very smart buys by the way. BusinessObjects was probably their best purchase ever and probably was a huge thorn in Oracle's butt... and Leo was lucky to be present on the closing of that deal. Oracle has yet to come up with a decent fully-integrated BI suite to match what BO users are doing with that software. And now that BO is permanently married to SAP, Oracle has to steer their customers away from what is actually quite a nice product.

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (2, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158454)

While I'm sure SAP have made some smart buys, they wouldn't be here if they hadn't, you have to admit this one was a GIANT fuckup. It would be like buying a factory in a really nice area sight unseen, without even bothering to check whether that nice area is a bombed out area of Detroit or the nice factory is sitting on a toxic waste dump.

As for the pay, that should be simple: How much did the company that SAP bought make selling to Oracle customers? Take that figure and add 30% for interest. Otherwise you have a situation where you can do any kind of hinky shit you want as long as you can sell it to another company who'll get a slap on the wrist. Theft is theft, and in this case I would argue it is no different than going to OEMs and selling them "Windows 7 Ultimate Razr1911 Edition". They had NO rights to ANY of what they were pushing, those LIMITED rights were the customers and the customers ONLY (I'm sure old Larry has that pretty much ironclad in the contract) so basically their entire business was nothing but a scam. At the very least I'd say it is worth what SAP paid for the company, since they obviously thought the company was worth that much and their business was built on theft.

To use a /. car analogy: If I get a great deal on a chop shop should I only have to pay a percentage because I didn't bother to even find out where the business I bought was making their money from? In the end it doesn't matter whether you think SAP is great and Larry is a douche (haven't used either companies products but I'll take you word and have seen enough of Ellison to know he is probably an ass) it comes down to whether one can profit by stealing a product to undercut the one who made it. Just imagine the shitfit they'd have here on /. if it was RHEL that was having their code snatched. In the end what is wrong is wrong and SAP is gonna get screwed for this, and rightly so. Whatever moron told them purchasing that company was a good idea needs to be stuck in a hut selling SAP products in Antarctica.

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159920)

IIRC Jammie Thomas owes 1.5 million for 24 songs.

So how much did SAP copy? The equivalent of 240 songs?

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (2, Funny)

rve (4436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160362)

IIRC Jammie Thomas owes 1.5 million for 24 songs.

So how much did SAP copy? The equivalent of 240 songs?

That would be a little harsh. How about 20 songs and a porn video?

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (0, Offtopic)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158666)

An advantage of open source is that it allow multiple companies to offer support for the same code, allowing improved competition.

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161610)

Actually I'd say that is a DISadvantage of open source, as it means less companies overall. Just look at the profits of say Red Hat, then compare them to an Oracle or MSFT. If anything this "code wants to be free!" attitude is literally killing FOSS slowly but surely as it gives an advantage TO those that don't actually do the work!

Look at it this way: Windows 7 has 4 major products: Home and Pro, Enterprise and Ultimate. Now imagine I can not only print my own discs and sell them, I'm allowed to sell support for those products. Who do you think will be able to offer the cheaper price? Me, who put in ZERO code, or MSFT who paid for all the R&D? And don't say they'll have an advantage because they wrote the code, because in FOSS I have the SAME code that they do, and I don't have to be as good, I just have to be "good enough" and cheaper than them.

For a real world example, just look at how many Enterprise IT guys were having a heart attack when it looked like internal bitching was gonna take out CentOS. Now why would they give a shit about that? Because they were setting up corporate servers to their bosses running CentOS instead of paying RHEL for the software, that's why. You can hold hands and sing "free as in freedom!" all you want but someone has to pay the developers and the R&D and I'd argue that the FOSS model basically comes down to begging, because I can always just use your code and give you $0 for it.

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34170426)

MySQL AB for example was seriously hurt by distribution vendors taking all the money, as I said in another comment.

Got it! Bingo! Thanks! (1)

new500 (128819) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161750)

Wish i had mod points.

I read like a dozen news pieces on this case, and you're the first to actually explain it. Nice work.

Now i get it. TomorrowNow was basically set up to skim and scam from the start. No wonder the FBI are interested. Interstate Wire Fraud. Hundreds of thousands of counts.

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#34162012)

You'd think a company of THAT size would have checked out the business they were buying before shelling out the bux just to make sure it was legit.

The lawyers/accountants responsible for due diligence are likely to be sued in turn by SAP...

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158572)

I think the jury needed is that one that decided 24 songs downloaded and shared == 1.5 million US dollars. I wonder what kind of an award they would give to Oracle for TommorowNow downloading and sharing all of that expensive software with its "customers"? Probably a lot of quatloos.

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159246)

"Hardcoded German" is definitely one of the problems with Satan's Accounting Program. :P

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159948)

Often limited to 9 uppercase characters too :).

WUNDERBAR

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161514)

supposedly the program's not case-sensitive, but we're cautioned to do things in the right case, because who knows what it messes up?
Also, cryptic transaction codes like SE38.
How "VK32" translates as 'update price list', I'm not sure. :P

SAP-type systems seem like a promising concept that get f***ed up by all these details.

Re:It's the Larry Ellison Parade (1)

eriqk (1902450) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161512)

STABPRRT

That's not a column identifier, that's a raspberry.

I wish we had that for SCO (2, Funny)

elronxenu (117773) | more than 3 years ago | (#34157958)

An FBI agent watching the courtroom activity might have curbed some of SCO's outrageous behaviour.

Secondary Audio Program? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158070)

Who is SAP?

Re:Secondary Audio Program? (3, Insightful)

leamanc (961376) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158388)

Although there used to be several large players in the ERP software business, it basically comes down to SAP [wikipedia.org] and Oracle now. Since Oracle likes to have as few competitors as possible, they filed suit in 2007 against SAP, claiming that SAP's ERP software [wikipedia.org] infringed on Oracle's intellectual property in an effort to cripple SAP, in the hopes of one day being the only player in the large-scale ERP software world.

Re:Secondary Audio Program? (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159506)

Depends on how you define ERP. If you mean Enterprise only, you're right. If you include the mid-market Sage and Microsoft are big players...

Re:Secondary Audio Program? (1)

Mantrid (250133) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160444)

Ugh PFW...only one site left to switch to SAP...PFW is a PITA, would've been tolerable if they'd at least used a REAL database backend.

RE: FBI Watching Oracle-SAP Trial (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158326)

There has been much questionable behavior between Oracle and the Chinese Central Committee in the last 19 months to date.

Intercepts indicate exchange of TOP SECRET ROUGH data by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison to Chinese Central Committee Officials.

The FBI wants to know if the transmissions from Oracle to the Chinese Central Committee was for the money transferred from China Central Bank to Bahamas Bank to an account owned by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.

Oh dear.

Re: FBI Watching Oracle-SAP Trial (2, Insightful)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159520)

Citation needed.

Re: FBI Watching Oracle-SAP Trial (1)

christoofar (451967) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160186)

Yeah no kidding. That kind of statement needs a WikiLeak to back it up.

America's Cup (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158796)

The enterprise software industry is starting to resemble the America's Cup yachting competition: a contest ostensibly open to all comers, but in practice there are only a handful of contenders that have the ridiculous sums of money, global scale and access to technology and top talent-for-hire it takes to be truly competitive. It's customary for the egos at the top to be massive, with lots of trash talk between camps. Oh, and better have a big budget for lawyers because a lot of the action takes place in courtrooms.

It's hardly a coincidence that Larry Ellison is a big player in both arenas.

FBI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34160434)

FBI means FaceBook International, isn't it?

Tin-foil hat approach (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160488)

SAP doesn't have an FBI-compliant backdoor.
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