Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Judge Orders Google and Oracle to Disclose Who They Paid to Write About Java Trial

In something of a peculiar turn in the nearly concluded lawsuit between Oracle and Google over the Java platform, the judge in the case has ordered both parties to disclose who they paid to cover and write about the trial.

Judge William Alsup, who presided over the case in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, wrote in his order that he’s “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.”

Google and Oracle have 10 days from today to “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.”

The only one known so far is Florian Mueller, who writes a blog called Foss Patents that covered the legal maneuvering in the trial extensively. He disclosed on April 18 (see the relevant section in the last four paragraphs or so) that he had been hired by Oracle as a consultant.

Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger just sent a comment that seems to put the onus on Google to disclose some relationship that both parties know about:

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 has yet to return my email seeking comment. If there’s anything that either party has yet to disclose on the subject I guess we’ll learn that from the filings, which are due no later than next Friday.

Of course this goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: While I wrote quite a bit about this case, no one paid me, aside from my AllThingsD salary, to write anything about it or to color the direction of my coverage one way or the other. And if you want any further information on the subject you can refer yourself to the ethics statement that’s linked directly to the right of my grinning mug at the top of this page.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way you can read the full filing, all one page of it, below.

ORDER RE DISCLOSURE OF FINANCIAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH COMMENTATORS ON ISSUES IN THIS CASE


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work