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Google and Oracle ordered to disclose bloggers and journalists they paid to influence coverage (update)

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Judge William Alsup has sent a court order demanding both Google and Oracle to disclose which bloggers and journalists it has financially compensated.

Oracle logo (STOCK)
Oracle logo (STOCK)

Google vs. Oracle is wrapping up, but a surprising court order has just been issued by Judge William Alsup demanding both companies to reveal which bloggers and journalists they have compensated. The judge appears to be concerned that evidence presented over the course of the case may have included commentary from bloggers and journalists that was directly or indirectly influenced by financial compensation. Most notably among this group is Florian Mueller of the blog FOSS Patents, who is openly paid by both Oracle and Microsoft, and who has consistently commented on the merits of the case.

It sounds like whatever is revealed from the court order won't have any immediate bearing: Judge Alsup says it's more important that this information makes it into the case now so that it can be considered for the appeal or a potential remand of the case in the future. Both companies have until noon, Pacific Time, on Friday the 17th to submit their disclosures.

Update: Google tells us that it will be complying with the order.

Update #2: An Oracle spokesperson has provided us with a comment as well — that points a finger squarely at Google:

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.