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Oracle & Google Ordered to Cop to Any Influence Peddling

They have until noon on Friday, August 17 to ‘fess up

In an odd turn of events, Oracle and Google have been ordered to disclose the names of any journalists, commentators and bloggers they paid to influence public opinion on the high-profile Android Java trial that Oracle wound up losing.

District Court Judge William Alsup, who presided over Oracle's patent and copyright suit against Google, wrote in his one-page order Tuesday that:

"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. Although proceedings in this matter are almost over, they are not fully over yet and, in any event, the disclosure required by this order would be of use on appeal or on any remand to make clear whether any treatise, article, commentary or analysis on the issues posed by this case are possibly influenced by financial relationships to the parties or counsel. Therefore, each side and its counsel shall file a statement herein clear 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."

He gave them until noon on Friday, August 17 to ‘fess up.

A statement out of Oracle, which has said it will appeal, makes it sound like it may have influenced the judge to make this ruling. It said:

"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."

Google said it would comply.

Oracle hired Florian Mueller, who writes FOSS Patents and followed the case, as a consultant, but Florian disclosed that relationship months ago.

Reuters said "the order, several months after a jury found that Google did not infringe on Oracle's patents, hints at the possibility of a hidden world of for-pay press coverage and injects uncertainty into the widely followed case."

We're clean, by the way.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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