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Businesses Crime Oracle Piracy The Courts

SAP To Plead Guilty For Downloading Oracle Software 43

Posted by timothy
from the how-to-imprison-a-corporation dept.
itwbennett writes "Slashdot readers will remember that on Sept. 1, a federal judge overturned a $1.3 billion judgment and approved SAP's request that Oracle accept a lower award of $272 million. Now, according to court documents filed this week, former SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow will plead guilty to criminal charges of copyright infringement for downloading software from Oracle's servers. Sentencing will take place at a hearing on Sept. 14."
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SAP To Plead Guilty For Downloading Oracle Software

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 10, 2011 @07:50AM (#37361694)

    That would've bankrupted them.

  • It seems that the outcome wasn't foreseeable.

  • considering there are many high quality open source alternatives that perform quite well, it's silly to pirate Oracle's software.

    • by Splab (574204)

      Really? Do tell, only thing I can think of that does anything like any Oracle software is Android vs. JAVA.

      Databases? Postgres does come close, but is still lacking hugely in clustered environments (they have gotten the message and 9 series are getting better, but they are no where near).

      So what alternatives do you mean are matching oracle?

      • by sjames (1099)

        About half the Oracle installations out there because "We have a high-powered very special application and only the best will do" could actually run OK on Access. There are a few out there who really do need Oracle (a few less if they're willing to do some programming), but there's a lot of Oracle installations that could easily switch.

  • I download stuff from Oracle all the time. What were they downloading that makes them evil wrong and bad?

    And yes, I did read the linked articles. All it says was they downloaded software and docs as part of offering support to their clients. Like I said, I do that all the time. What were they downloading that makes it illegal?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Most likely Oracle Database, which requires no CD keys, activation, or any of that, and you can download the full Enterprise Editions right from oracle directly. (the CDs actually are all identical too, it's kind of assumed licensees are honest on the installation screen and actually don't select "Enterprise Edition" when they only own Standard :P)

    • by Tauvix (97917)

      From what I can tell, it's not that they downloaded freely available software; it's that they downloaded software behind a paywall - certain patches, etc, only available via a support contract.

      I believe the crux of the issue would be that SAP was downloading and providing those patches to other companies wholesale, in the course of providing a competing service. So, SAP had a support contract with Oracle, and then using the resources of that support contract to provide services that allowed other companies

    • by sgt scrub (869860)

      I download stuff from Oracle all the time. No shit! How long before we find out it is the same bullshit Cisco pulled with updates to equipment? ie. "You downloaded an update of IOS for the hardware you bought without paying for an account to access the updates" == "You downloaded updates for OCI" or whatever the fuck it was they used.

    • by mabhatter654 (561290) on Saturday September 10, 2011 @09:07AM (#37362024)

      First, it wasn't "SAP" but a support company SAP bought, then discovered was doing this after the deal was done. Oracle waited to sue SAP and not the tiny little company SAP bought.

      The company was using it's one customer support connection to Oracle's website to support OTHER ORACLE CUSTOMERS that needed security patches locked behind a paywall.

      Unfortunately, the suit doesn't address the real problem.. Of Oracle structuring "support" rates as their own little piggy bank... How many companies have "maintenance" as X% of "current market price" ... Then jack that price to 200% and grant "discounts" to anybody shopping for NEW licenses.

      My own company ran into this with some other companies software that wanted more for "hardware transfer" and " maintenance" in one year than we paid for the initial license. The yearly "20%" is more like 50% of what we initially paid...

      Should alert the purchasing managers that they need to limit "yearly increase" to 5% or an audit of their "sold" pricing for the year. Gotta be clever! The FUN companies are ones that want you to may maintenance AND separately for UPGRADES.

      • Ah, thanks, that explains everything.

      • by rta (559125)

        Yeah, the world of enterprise software/hardware pricing and licensing is "interesting" that way. You really have to look at TCO type numbers rather than initial price due to the various schemes that marketing departments have come up with.

        Sad thing is though that even though you have to pay for support in order to get the patches and upgrades, if you actually have any problems the support is usually pretty useless if you already have decently good people in-house. Say you run into a bug with Oracle DB... ar

  • by sgt scrub (869860) <saintium@@@yahoo...com> on Saturday September 10, 2011 @08:35AM (#37361872)

    I can see criminal charges for this "Unauthorized Access to a Protected Computer with Intent to Defraud and Obtaining Something of Value" but this "criminal infringement of a copyright"? Why do I have the feeling their "access to the protected computer" was a machine containing content they once shared using the same passwords they had when they had a partnership with Oracle? It is that feeling one gets when a corporate spokes person opens their mouth. ~Shiver~ And wtf is up with criminal infringement of a copyright? Did they hold a gun to someone's head while infringing? Sure, sue the fuck out of them for making money off of your work but criminal charges?!?

    • as the bankers got for defauding investors....

      Oh... wait...

      • We were pondering that for a moment, but realized that that could really be the last straw on the budget's back.

    • by lgarner (694957)
      Many torts are, or are similar to, crimes.
  • I always feel guilty when I download Oracle software too.
  • How can a company be found guilty of something? I hate this legalese bullshit. We need to clearly distinguish between corporations and people in our laws. The conflating of the two is a corrupting influence.
  • Socially Awkward Penguin ?

  • TomorrowNow will plead guilty to criminal charges of copyright infringement for downloading software from Oracle's servers

    Now, if only everyone who downloaded and used Oracle software could be found guilty ... :-)

    Yes, I'm a fan of DB2 and dislike what Oracle have done as a corporation recently. Can you tell?

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