It's been dragging on forever, the 2001 class-action lawsuit filed by shareholders who claim Larry Ellison and his team lied about the company's financial shape prior to Q2 '01 — back when New York still had a World Trade Center. Now, local district judge Susan Illston has ruled that Oracle conveniently failed to preserve Ellison's email from that period, as well as tapes and transcripts from Matthew Symonds, who interviewed Oracle's yachtbuilder-in-chief at length for his Ellison biography, Softwar.Illston, who won fans among copyright wonks for ruling in favor of fair-use DRM hacks, is pretty clear that she doesn't see the lost evidence as an accident: "It is appropriate to infer," she wrote, "that the emails and software materials would demonstrate Ellison's knowledge of, among other things, problems with Suite 11i, the effects of the economy on Oracle's business and problems with defendants' forecasting model." Oracle spokespeople are keeping a tight lip on the situation.