A couple of months after Oracle’s billion-dollar fishing expedition went bust when Google’s Android was found not to infringe on Java patents, the judge has asked both parties which bloggers they paid.
In judge William Alsup’s own words:
The Court is concerned that the parties and/or counsel herein may have retained or paid print or internet authors, journalists, commentators or bloggers who have and/or may publish comments on the issues in this case.
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… each side and its counsel shall file a statement herein [clearly] identifying all authors, journalists, commentators or bloggers who have reported or commented on any issues in this case and who have received money (other than normal subscription fees) from the party or its counsel during the pendency of this action.
The case is basically over, and anything that surfaces as a result of this disclosure is extremely unlikely to change anything, but the results should be interesting.
The request may be related to Florian Mueller of FOSSpatents, who reported on the legal proceedings while also consulting for Oracle (and disclosing that fact).
According to Oracle, however, Google might have more to say. As an Oracle spokesman told The Verge,
Oracle has always disclosed all of its financial relationships in this matter, and it is time for Google to do the same. We read this order to also include indirect payments to entities who, in turn, made comments on behalf of Google.
Indirect payments? Curiouser and curiouser. We’re digging for more details.
[ update August 8 ]
Oracle PR returned my message with a short one-line comment:
Sorry. Can’t comment further.
So: speculation. It’s probably not about bloggers getting paid via AdSense … the word “entities” seems to indicate analysis firms, or larger corporate groups. Still digging.
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