Pleasanton Weekly

News - September 23, 2011

Oracle customer fined $20 million

TomorrowNow admits to copyright infringement, unauthorized access

TomorrowNow, a former subsidiary of SAP, has been ordered to pay a fine of $20 million for unauthorized access to computer servers belonging to Oracle Corp. and for infringing Oracle copyrights; TomorrowNow was also sentenced to probation, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag announced.

The company entered its guilty pleas to the unauthorized access and criminal copyright infringement charges through a corporate representative, immediately before sentencing in Oakland.

TomorrowNow was headquartered in Bryan, Texas. It provided third-party maintenance and support services to business, government and other organizations that used software licensed from Oracle or one of its subsidiaries, including from PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, and Siebel Systems. That meant TomorrowNow directly competed not only with other third-party maintenance and support providers, but with Oracle itself, which also offered the same services.

From at least 2005 to 2007, TomorrowNow worked to convince Oracle customers, who had purchased licensed Oracle software, to terminate their use of Oracle's services for its software and switch to TomorrowNow.

TomorrowNow employees downloaded Oracle software and related documentation from Oracle itself, despite license agreements with that customer and terms of use specified on Oracle websites.

As a result, a number of Oracle customers moved to TomorrowNow; the company admitted in a plea agreement that employees downloaded Oracle software and related documentation from Oracle's servers without authorization.

TomorrowNow also pleaded guilty to criminal copyright infringement charges because employees used Oracle copyrighted works that were downloaded or otherwise obtained by TomorrowNow employees. In the plea agreement, TomorrowNow also admitted that its employees made numerous illegal copies of Oracle copyrighted software applications on TomorrowNow's computer systems and installed copies of Oracle copyrighted software applications on TomorrowNow's computer systems.

--Glenn Wohltmann


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