Oracle and Google Must ID Writers on Payroll

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The federal judge in Oracle’s copyright and patent battle against Google told both sides to identify “all authors, journalists, commentators or bloggers” whom either tech giant paid to report on the case.
     “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,” U.S. District Judge William Alsup wrote in a characteristically terse one-page order.
     “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,” Alsup wrote.
     Google issued a statement saying that it would comply with the order but had no further comment. A spokeswoman for Oracle said the company “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.”
     The two companies have been locked in a bitter dispute for two years after Oracle accused Google of developing the Android operating system with stolen Java source code. Oracle acquired the Java platform when it purchased Sun Microsystems in 2010.
     Though a jury found that Google had infringed Oracle’s copyrights in May, there was a stalemate as to whether the infringement was fair use. The same jury cleared Google of patent-infringement charges, and Judge Alsup ruled that application programming interfaces are not copyrightable, leaving only a verdict for infringement of rangeCheck code in place.
     Alsup awarded Oracle $0 in damages for the infringement because of a prior agreement between the two companies. Oracle is expected to appeal both Alsup’s ruling and the jury’s verdict.
     Alsup gave both sides until Aug. 17 to submit the names of funded writers. A hearing on Google’s demands for attorneys’ fees and other costs is set for Aug. 23.

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