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Judge Wants Ellison, Page To Settle Differences 83

Posted by samzenpus
from the taking-care-of-things-personally dept.
itwbennett writes "Apparently, Oracle's president, Safra Catz, and Google's head of mobile, Andy Rubin, aren't senior enough to attend a court mediation session. Judge William Alsup, who is overseeing the dispute between the two companies, wants the Larrys to go head to head instead. Oracle agreed with part of Alsup's recommendation, saying in a Wednesday evening filing that, 'Oracle believes the prospects for a successful mediation will be far greater if Google's executive-level representative is a superior to Mr. Rubin, who is the architect of Google's Android strategy — the strategy that gives rise to this case.' Oracle also noted that Rubin has represented Google in past, failed mediations."
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Judge Wants Ellison, Page To Settle Differences

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  • Oh, Lordy. (Score:5, Funny)

    by hey! (33014) on Thursday September 08, 2011 @07:16PM (#37346546) Homepage Journal

    Does the judge even know who Larry Ellison *is*? A normal person's first reaction would be to throttle the man for the good of humanity.

    • Who are you saying this normal person should throttle, Ellison or the judge?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 08, 2011 @08:00PM (#37346918)

      Does the judge even know who Larry Ellison *is*? A normal person's first reaction would be to throttle the man for the good of humanity.

      I would assume he does. I mean, his name is right in the company... I mean, that's what ORACLE stands for, right? One Rich Asshole Called Larry Ellison?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      A normal person's first reaction would be to throttle the man for the good of humanity.

      I think that's the plan [wikipedia.org].

      • by ppanon (16583)
        Could be a problem if Ellison gets to choose weapons and choose fighter jets.
    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Perhaps hes stacking the deck in Google's favor?

  • by bennomatic (691188) on Thursday September 08, 2011 @07:17PM (#37346556) Homepage
    Kill all IP laws, but force any company over 500 employees to split into two completely independent entities, neither of which has an employee base greater than 300. Then tax anyone who is earning anything--dividends, stocks, profit sharing or W2 income--from more than one organization at 90% for everything outside of their primary income.

    That'll encourage competition.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      Yeah, some solution. a bunch of corporations steal new ideas. I mean, under you idea, MS could have just swollen Googles IP and implemented it.

      How about we actually think reasonably?

      Boeing makes planes*, it takes hundreds of people to build a plane. How do you split that up?

      What about other manufacturing company's that produce a product and hire 10's of thousands on employees?

      you hAve no clue what goes on in the world outside of your computer , do you?

      • by lastx33 (2097770)
        Surely concerns with larger projects which could not be split could be nationalised instead?
        • You're joking, right?
        • by JustNilt (984644)

          Surely concerns with larger projects which could not be split could be nationalised instead?

          What the FREAKING heck gives you the idea that things can simply be nationalized in the US?! That wouldn't be constitutional in any way as an over-riding policy. WTF?!

          • >What the FREAKING heck gives you the idea that things can simply be nationalized in the US?! That wouldn't be constitutional in any way as an over-riding policy. WTF?!

            Two words: eminent domain.
            Sorry, your constitution allows it's existence which makes pretty much anything else it says about private property nothing but sugarcoating.

          • by lastx33 (2097770)

            Surely concerns with larger projects which could not be split could be nationalised instead?

            What the FREAKING heck gives you the idea that things can simply be nationalized in the US?! That wouldn't be constitutional in any way as an over-riding policy. WTF?!

            And why not? Surely if it is an improvement for the benefit of the economy and of the majority of the citizens of the US, it cannot be unconstitutional?

      • Boeing makes planes*, it takes hundreds of people to build a plane. How do you split that up?

        I suspect in much the same way that they make them right now. In pieces. Some companies make landing gear, some companies make navigation systems, some companies design the planes, some companies do final assembly, etc.

        • by gknoy (899301)

          I shudder to think about how that would affect the cost of new airplanes. We already spend bizarro-world numbers on designing and testing new airplanes, let alone purchasing them from a production line.

        • by JamesP (688957)

          Boeing makes planes*, it takes hundreds of people to build a plane. How do you split that up?

          I suspect in much the same way that they make them right now. In pieces. Some companies make landing gear, some companies make navigation systems, some companies design the planes, some companies do final assembly, etc.

          Yeah, that'll work beautifully... see Boeing 787

          Making everything work together is the biggest PITA in every project.

    • Tax anyone with more than 1 job? So the millions of poor who work 2 or 3 jobs to put food on the table get taxed at 90%?
      • Sorry, forgot to mention that nobody making less than $50k would be taxed, and raise that number by $25k per child or disabled dependent.
    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      How do you split a company with 2000 employees into two companies each of wihch have at most 300 employees?

      Sack 1400 people at random?

      And wow, way to push those who are currently working two jobs to make ends meet into complete poverty. Great way to encourage people to save for the future, tax 90% of their interest earnings. And anyone who is a little risk averse and wants to start up their own local business but in case it doesn't work wants to do so part time while keeping a normal job to pay the bills -

      • by Narnie (1349029)

        It's a recursive solution. Did you have problems with you intro to CS class?

        • by nedlohs (1335013)

          No it isn't. Maye you should try reading it first? Or repeat that CS intro class again and maybe pay attention this time?

          You could easily write numerous recursive algorithms to give the end result of splitting all large ompanies into smaller companies with 300 or less employeed, but what was described is not one of them.

      • OK, my suggestion was a paragraph long, not a 1600 page document with all the details outlined, but let's use some imagination here:

        "Two companies" could be "two or more companies" to resolve your first question.

        And the latter question could be addressed a number of ways, including raising the minimum threshold for taxation, and maybe allow a grace period for transitional income for someone starting a new business.

        In your rage, you missed my point, which is that the wealthiest among us make lots an
    • by dudpixel (1429789)

      How?

      Why pass a law that means companies will try not to hire people? The way the world is going, they are already trying to replace people with machines, so your proposal would just accelerate that goal.

      You have to remember that it isn't wrong for a company to be successful.

      • Success is one thing. The trouble is when it leads to a lack of competition because the companies in an industry are each so large that only a small number of companies produce the products consumed by all customers, and with so few competitors it becomes trivial for them to engage in "conscious parallelism" [wikipedia.org] if not outright forming a cartel.

        • The best way to deal with "too large" companies is to reduce government regulation. The thing most people do not understand is that all government regulation stifles competition to one degree or another, even regulations whose purpose is to encourage competition. It is easier for a large company to afford the cost of compliance with a regulation than it is for a small company. Furthermore, large companies usually end up having a greater impact on what regulations are actually implemented than small companie
          • The thing most people do not understand is that all government regulation stifles competition to one degree or another, even regulations whose purpose is to encourage competition.

            The flaw in your logic is that you've turned a reasonable heuristic into an absolute rule. Let me give you a counterexample: Suppose there exists a regulation that says that if two companies want to merge and the combined entity will have more than 5000 employees and more than $50,000,000 in annual revenue, it has to undergo review by the FTC. This regulation has literally zero impact on small companies, because it doesn't apply to them whatsoever.

            Furthermore, the valid criticism that large corporations hav

            • I, at no time, have argued that there should be no regulation of large corporations. My argument is that there should be less regulation of all kinds than what currently exists.
              • OK, but you said "all government regulation stifles competition", which is complete nonsense.

                How about anti-trust laws? They require a whole bunch of regulations for corporate reporting approval of mergers, etc. The whole purpose of these regulations is to increase competition. You might try to argue that you have some brilliant new set of anti-trust laws that would do a better job (and maybe you do, though I doubt it), but you're insane if you think that fewer anti-trust regulations will, necessarily, l
                • So look at anti-discrimination regulations. Insurance companies, for example, are not allowed to price based on race, even if their research shows that race is a predictor of life expectancy.

                  The thing I find ridiculous is the extent to which such regulations are self-defeating. If it is actually the case that race correlates with bad insurance risk, the reverse correlation will also be true: Bad insurance risk will correlate with race. So you say that they can't use race, but they can use credit rating, occupation, etc., which are also predictors of bad insurance risk but, since insurance risk correlates with race, are also predictors of race. So at the end of the day you end up with the same s

                • We know what happened before anti-trust

                  Yes, the government established rules that favored one company over another allowing that company to become a monopoly. Funny, that still worked after anti-trust laws (AT&T).

                  So look at anti-discrimination regulations. Insurance companies, for example, are not allowed to price based on race, even if their research shows that race is a predictor of life expectancy. Does this reduce competition among insurance companies? No ...

                  Sorry, yes it does. Not because of the impact on discrimination, but because the companies now have the added cost of documenting that they do not discriminate. This is one more cost that makes it more difficult for a smaller company to survive in the market.
                  I happen to think that it is not the government's business to enforce anti

                  • Sorry, yes it does. Not because of the impact on discrimination, but because the companies now have the added cost of documenting that they do not discriminate. This is one more cost that makes it more difficult for a smaller company to survive in the market.

                    No. This does impose a cost, but the cost is the same for all companies in the market, so it doesn't disadvantage the small company (well, possibly there are economies of scale in favor of the larger company but that's not necessarily true and, in any case, those economies of scale apply to lots of things that have nothing to do with regulation). In any case, the cost is really small. Documenting non-discrimination is basically documenting how the company came up with the rate. If they don't already documen

                    • No. This does impose a cost, but the cost is the same for all companies in the market, so it doesn't disadvantage the small company (well, possibly there are economies of scale in favor of the larger company but that's not necessarily true and, in any case, those economies of scale apply to lots of things that have nothing to do with regulation).

                      Yes, but regulatory compliance costs add to the stack. Large companies tend to be inefficient and bureaucratic, in large part because economies of scale allow them to do so for the sake of stability and risk-avoidance without necessarily losing their competitiveness. But when a large company is too inefficient, it provides an opportunity for a smaller company to make up for their own lack of economies of scale by operating with greater efficiency and less bureaucracy.

                      The more regulatory compliance costs the

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Better solution:

      How about we force any country that's over 50M people to split into multiple countries, with the exact same constitution. And we let all people have the same freedom of movement across borders that we allow incorporeal corporations. Watch market forces work *then*.

      Companies face market competition, so long as the government maintains a somewhat even playing field (yeah, I know. But go with me on this).

      But what produces that effect for governments?

      The original United States it setup. But

      • Maybe not specifically better, but certainly interesting and in the same vein. Of course, the one time a federal breakup has been tried was when the south tried to secede in order to protect their *ahem* way of life. Makes one wonder how the splits would occur. Also, unfortunately, I don't know that we could simply write off all those war debts you're talking about just by splitting them up. Finally, regarding those war debts, do you know what that total is compared to our anachronistic 21st century war
    • Kill all IP laws, but force any company over 500 employees to split into two completely independent entities, neither of which has an employee base greater than 300.

      Great plan. Just what the world needs! Now we'll have 3,333 different variations on Walmart.

    • The more splits, the more management you need as opposed to worker bees who actually do things.

  • Is this the judge telling Oracle that the case is absurd? How often do judges tell litigation-happy plaintiffs to settle out of court?

  • I guess the thing I don't fully understand is, does Oracle have the goods to stick it to Google or not?
    • It isn't a question of whether Oracle has the evidence, but whether or not Oracle would get the money they originally demanded.

      Oracle's original win from SAP of $1.3 billion got knocked down [cnet.com] to a (relatively) tiny $195 million.

      By those proportions, Google could lose the case, but still likely end up paying less than what Oracle normally would charge for licensing fees.

      I'm guessing that news alone is/was enough to get Ellison to shut up and pay attention, and probably even got him to consider sitting down wi

    • Yeah, it looks like they do. They got their virtual machine patents from Sun, which were used successfully by Sun to extort $900 million from Microsoft (not that I care about Microsoft losing money). There's one link, [microsoft.com] do a search for 'Sun Microsoft $900 million' to see a bunch of stories. Not to be confused with the earlier Java lawsuits, those patents covered virtual machines, which Microsoft needed for C# (or CLI). It could be Microsoft settled too early, but I'm guessing they thought about it very hard b
  • by twoears (1514043) on Thursday September 08, 2011 @08:22PM (#37347048)
    Page should know you don't negotiate with terrorists. Ellison is a software terrorist.
  • by bigsexyjoe (581721) on Thursday September 08, 2011 @09:44PM (#37347516)
    The judge has no idea what to do. The lawsuit is just a giant mess. Our IP laws strongly discourage competition and the judge doesn't want to admit it. He probably can't even begin to decide how the laws actually determine this complex case.
  • Aren't they both friends of Tony Stark? Have them get into a power-suited brawl to determine who wins all.

  • I say we solve this Highlander style give the two Larry swords and let them settle this!.There can be only one Larry! (Who CEO of a big tech cartel!) Hell Google and Oracle can make a killing on the pay-per-view!
  • ThunderCourt: Two men enter, one man leaves.

  • I don't think I've ever seen such a load of crock as I've seen in the first 51 responses to this article. No one, and I mean, no one, seems to have a clue.

    Or maybe I've just missed the sarcasm tags in every post.

  • fight to the death."

    /Star Trek dueling music

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990

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