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FBI Watching Oracle-SAP Trial 66

Posted by samzenpus
from the keeping-an-eye-on-things dept.
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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FBI Watching Oracle-SAP Trial

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  • by Sam_In_The_Hills (458570) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @06:34PM (#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.
  • by Anonymous Coward

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

  • by Migala77 (1179151) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @06:55PM (#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.
  • OK.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by js3 (319268) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @06:59PM (#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?

    • 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?

      • by shougyin (1920460)
        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: (Score:2, Funny)

          by shougyin (1920460)
          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
      • 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: (Score:3, Funny)

      by glwtta (532858)
      Exactly! What happened to stories that are actually important? Like what the Queen of England does online?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by shoehornjob (1632387)

      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: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        What?! How did you know I'm wearing a tinfoil hat?
    • 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.
    • FBI agents are cool! When I get out of my basement I wanna be a FBI agent.

  • by christoofar (451967) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @07:05PM (#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...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 07, 2010 @07:14PM (#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: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by arkane1234 (457605)

        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.

        • 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: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by mobby_6kl (668092)

            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.

            • by sempir (1916194)

              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!

      • by onionman (975962)

        ... 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: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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.

      • Well, he IS a douche bag, but that doesn't make you wrong...
      • What's the matter? Can't compare apples to apples?

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

    • by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Sunday November 07, 2010 @08:13PM (#34158072) Journal

      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: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by christoofar (451967)

        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 B

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by hairyfeet (841228)

          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

        • by TheLink (130905)
          IIRC Jammie Thomas owes 1.5 million for 24 songs.

          So how much did SAP copy? The equivalent of 240 songs?
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by rve (4436)

            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?

      • 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.

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        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: (Score:1, Interesting)

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

      • by TheLink (130905)
        Often limited to 9 uppercase characters too :).

        WUNDERBAR
        • 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.

    • by eriqk (1902450)

      STABPRRT

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

  • by elronxenu (117773) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @07:56PM (#34157958) Homepage

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

  • by Anonymous Coward

    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.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    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

  • SAP doesn't have an FBI-compliant backdoor.

What the world *really* needs is a good Automatic Bicycle Sharpener.

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