January 22, 2022

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Support specialist Rimini Street found in contempt of court for continued Oracle copyright infringements

Support specialist Rimini Street found in contempt of court for continued Oracle copyright infringements
A US court has found Oracle support specialist Rimini Street in contempt of court and ordered it to pay $630,000 in sanctions – peanuts for the $40bn-revenue Big Red software company. In a dispute dragging on for more than a decade, the District Court of Nevada also imposed reasonable attorneys' fees and costs against Rimini,…

A US court has found Oracle support specialist Rimini Street in contempt of court and ordered it to pay $630,000 in sanctions – peanuts for the $40bn-revenue Big Red software company.

In a dispute dragging on for more than a decade, the District Court of Nevada also imposed reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs against Rimini, to be decided at a later date.

District Judge Larry Hicks found Rimini in contempt of court on only five of the 10 issues presented at the hearing. “The Court’s finding of willfulness on the majority of these issues clearly supports the award,” the ruling said.

In August 2018, the court granted Oracle’s renewal of a permanent injunction to prevent Rimini from infringing copyright on Oracle software. But the court found infringements continued. According to court documents, Rimini clients sent Oracle-copyrighted PeopleSoft software to Rimini, which stored the copyrighted material on its systems.

While Rimini’s conduct in three instances was not wilful as the material had been unsolicited, it “became wilful when it forwarded the prohibited materials to other Rimini employees and saved the prohibited materials to a shared drive on Rimini’s systems,” the order said.

The support firm failed to tell clients not to send the copyrighted material, or report the presence of the material to its security or compliance departments, the ruling said.

“The court recognises that Rimini has taken steps in an attempt to comply with the Court’s Order. However, Rimini’s steps have clearly proven inadequate. Rimini’s annual training on its Acceptable Use Policy has not created a corporate environment where employees are clear on the prohibitions put in place by the Permanent Injunction,” the judge said.

In another instance, the court determined that when Rimini tested Oracle software from one client’s environment it then sent the software to multiple clients, which was prohibited in the permanent injunction.

“Rimini’s contemptuous conduct was extensive, deliberate, and pervasive – Rimini repeatedly infringed on Oracle’s copyrights in essentially the same manner the Court and a jury previously determined was unlawful. And Rimini has been on notice since at least 2015 that this conduct is prohibited, three to four years prior to committing the infringing conduct,” the ruling said.

Rimini lost the copyright case in 2015, and was ordered to pay some $124m in damages as well as the so-called “full costs” of Oracle’s lawsuit.

Later, the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Oracle would not get $12.8m in legal bills when the software giant tried to recover non-taxable court costs from Rimini.

Rimini Street told us it was looking at its options, including an appeal. Meanwhile, it was also pursuing a lawsuit brought against Oracle in 2014, including a claim that Oracle has engaged in illegal anticompetitive conduct.

The support firm also said that while it was found in contempt in five of the 10 instances put before the court, extensive discovery by Oracle had taken more than two years and included millions of pages of documents.

Dorian Daley, Oracle executive veep and general counsel, said: “We are grateful that our rights have been vindicated once again, and the court recognises Rimini as a bad actor that violates federal law.” ®

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