Sunday, 12 December 2010

The oracle at Compiegne


The even forces, at least on paper, that were standing in late 1939 at either sides of the Maginot Line, would not imagine that less than 6 months later, the initially outnumbered German army would inflict the French the worst defeat ever.

22 years earlier, Germany surrendered to the French. The French required the Germans to sign off the Armistice in a train wagon at Compiegne. The French kept the wagon as a monument to the French Victory and as well to the German Defeat. Fro the French, the German surrender of 1918 was a revenge to the German victories in the 1870s, and so it was carved on stone near the place where the train wagon was exhibited.

When in June 1940 the German flags were unfurled in Paris, the French High Command still had to formally sign its surrender, and they were called to do so at, precisely, Compiegne, and precisely in the same train wagon that the French had kept. Fro the German Leader, as important as the victory itself, the Germans were seeking revenge to the limit of humiliation. He instructed specifically his generals to set the ceremony that way. Anecdotally, the Germans made and intentional stop in front of the stone carving before the actual surrender signing.

We have witnessed recently the Oracle-SAP case verdict. It states that the latter has to pay the former the highest ever penalty in copyright infringement cases. Oracle’s victory sounds pretty much like the worst defeat ever inflicted to SAP.

It looks, however, like the Pontifex Maximus at the oracle is looking after his own Compiegne… Not really necessary, not fundamentally changing the lawsuit case, appearing more as a token gesture than a fundamental part of the trial, is this really something beyond a simple wish of humiliation?