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Oracle touts proof SAP stole software

US business software giant Oracle is claiming that it has new proof that its German rival SAP looted its software libraries for competitive advantage.

Oracle touts proof SAP stole software
Photo: DPA

Oracle on Monday formally amended the civil suit it filed against SAP in the US District Court in San Francisco in March of 2007, enhancing its accusations with information gleaned during the case’s evidentiary phase.

“Oracle has now obtained SAP’s internal records, which confirm that SAP spent years systematically taking unauthorized support materials from Oracle’s systems,” lawyers for the California firm said in the revised complaint.

Oracle says in court documents that SAP used a customized software tool dubbed “Titan” to plunder Oracle’s website of patches, updates, fixes and other programs crafted for Oracle’s paying customers.

Titan and other tools were used to pack SAP data vaults with more than five terabytes of proprietary Oracle software, according to the revised complaint. Oracle says it found nearly eight million Oracle programs on just one SAP computer. Oracle says it has proof that SAP executives not only knew of the online theft but endorsed the tactic.

SAP dismissed the revised allegations in a curt response posted online at www.tnlawsuit.com, a website it devotes to information about the case.

“This amended complaint repeats many of the themes and allegations in Oracle’s amended complaint filed in 2007,” SAP said in the posting. “SAP will respond to this amended complaint in court.”

SAP’s response to Oracle’s most recent legal move is due in court by September 11. A trial is tentatively scheduled to begin in February of 2010.

SAP earnings beat expectations

SAP, the world’s biggest business software maker, posted on Tuesday a second quarter net profit that fell by nine percent but nonetheless exceeded analysts expectations.

SAP made a profit of €408 million ($642 million) in the three months from April to June, or 0.34 euros per share. Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast net profit of 0.31 euros per share.

The lower result was largely a result of SAP’s acquisition last year of the French software firm Business Objects. Software revenues, a benchmark of group growth, increased by 25 percent from the second quarter of 2007 to €898 million.

Total sales gained 18 percent to €2.86 billion, while operating profit was up by 2.0 percent at €593 million, with both figures exceeding expectations.

Taking the market by surprise, SAP expressed cautious optimism for the full year, saying its operating profit margin should come out “in the high end” of a forecast range of 28.5-29.0 percent.

Last year, excluding results of Business Objects, which it bought for €4.8 billion, and allowing for foreign exchange factors, SAP posted a profit margin of 27.3 percent. On the same basis, SAP said Tuesday it expected sales to increase this year at the upper end of a range of between 24-27 percent.

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EXPLAINED: What you need to know about gun laws in Germany

Germany is known for having some of the world’s strictest gun laws, but shooting incidents continue to cause concern.

EXPLAINED: What you need to know about gun laws in Germany

Is it difficult to get a gun in Germany?

To get a gun in Germany you firstly have to obtain a firearms ownership license (Waffenbesitzkarte) – and you may need a different one for each weapon you buy – or a license to carry (Waffenschein).

Applicants for a license must be at least 18-years-old and undergo what’s called a reliability check. This includes checking for criminal records, whether the person is an alcohol or drug addict, whether they have a mental illness or any other attributes that might make them owning a gun a potential concern for authorities.

They also have to pass a “specialised knowledge test” on guns and people younger than 25 applying for their first license must go through a psychiatric evaluation.

Crucially, applicants must also prove a specific and approved “need“ for the weapon, which is mainly limited to use by hunters, competitive marksmen, collectors and security workers – not for self-defence.

Once you have a license, you’re also limited in the number of and kinds of guns you may own, depending on what kind of license you have: Fully automatic weapons are banned for everyone, while semiautomatic firearms are banned for anything other than hunting or competitive shooting.

A revolver lies on an application for the issuance of a firearms license. Photo: picture alliance / Carsten Rehder/dpa | Carsten Rehder

How many legal guns are there in Germany? 

According to the latest figures from the Federal Ministry of the Interior, as of May 31st, 2022, there were 5.018,963 registered guns in Germany, and 946,546 gun owners entered in the National Weapons Register (NWR).

Where are the most guns in Germany?

Most legal guns are found in rural areas and are used in hunting or shooting sports. Guns are also more widespread in the western States than in the states that make up the former East Germany, where private gun ownership was extremely limited. 

READ ALSO: German prosecutors say poaching led to double police murder

What about undocumented guns in Germany?

One problem in Germany is so-called ‘old’ weapons. It’s impossible to estimate how many weapons from the two world wars are still in circulation and such antiques have appeared in a number of high-profile incidents in the last few years.

The pistol hidden in a Vienna airport by Bundeswehr officer Franco A was a Unique pistol from 1917 and the 2007 murder of a police officer in Heilbronn involved a Wehrmacht pistol. 

In 2009, around 200,000 weapons were returned in a gun amnesty, but it is still unclear how many illegal weapons are still out there.

Does Germany have a gun violence problem?

Gun crime is relatively rare in Germany, which has some of the strictest gun laws in Europe and, according to the latest figures from the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), gun-related crimes in Germany are decreasing.

In 2021, there were 9.8 percent fewer crimes committed with a firearm than the previous year, while the number of cases recorded by the police in which a firearm was used to threaten fell by 11.2 percent. Shots were fired in 4,074 of the total number of recorded cases, down 8.5 percent from 2021.

An armored weapons cabinet filled with long guns. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Friso Gentsch

Despite this, there have been several mass shootings within the past two decades, which have had a big impact on public consciousness and on gun control policy. 

Between 2002 and 2009 there were three major incidents of young men carrying out shootings at their former high schools and, in 2020, a racially motivated gunman shot and killed 11 people and injured numerous others in an attack on two shisha bars in Hanau. The perpetrator was allowed to legally possess firearms, although he had previously sent letters with right-wing extremist content to authorities.

Recently there were also shootings at Heidelberg University in southwestern Germany and at a supermarket in Schwalmstadt in Hesse.

Are German gun laws about to change?

The German parliament reacted to the mass shooting incidents in the early 2000s by tightening the gun laws, and, in the wake of the Hanau attack, a new amendment is in the works, which aims to shift focus towards monitoring gun owners with extremist, right-wing views.

READ ALSO: Germany marks a year since deadly racist shooting in Hanau

In December 2021, Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) announced her intention to further tighten gun laws, as part of a plan to tackle right-wing extremism.

The authorities in charge of the protection of the constitution have been warning for some time that neo-Nazis are deliberately joining shooting clubs to obtain guns and the Federal Ministry of the Interior reports that 1.500 suspected right-wing extremists among legal gun owners.

Campaigners say more needs to be done to stop gun crime. 

Dagmar Ellerbrock, a historian and expert on weapons history at the Technical University of Dresden said: “It is high time that we try to at least make it more difficult for these political groups to find their way through the shooting associations.”

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