John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Ellison to Testify in SAP Case on Monday

If there are to be any moments of courtroom spectacle in Oracle’s legal showdown with SAP and its now-shuttered TomorrowNow subsidiary, they’ll likely occur Monday, when Oracle CEO Larry Ellison testifies in his company’s copyright infringement case against SAP. Late Wednesday it was widely reported that Ellison was to testify on Friday, but Oracle tells me its legal team won’t put him on the stand until Monday (and that’s now been confirmed in court by Oracle counsel Geoff Howard).

Before that, the jury will hear testimony from former Oracle co-President Charles Phillips and the deposition of former SAP chief and newly appointed Hewlett-Packard CEO Léo Apotheker, who has so far dodged Oracle’s efforts to subpoena him.

Speaking of Apotheker, sources tell me that Oracle is pretty much convinced he isn’t even in the country. “Larry predicted they’d keep him far away from HP headquarters, and that seems to be exactly what they’re doing,” one told me, adding, “It’s not like Oracle hasn’t put some effort into finding him.”

Keeping Apotheker out of Oracle’s reach is likely a wise move. It’s clear that beyond squeezing all the copyright damages it can out of SAP, Oracle’s goal in this trial is to embarrass HP for hiring him. Putting him on the stand after Ellison would just be silliness anyway–like watching someone trying to play a set of Volksmusik after the “Live at Leeds”-era Who have just left the stage strewn with broken drum heads and guitar shards.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald