Google list of paid bloggers not sufficient, judge says
By Alexei Oreskovic
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc failed to comply with a court order to disclose the bloggers and other commentators on a patent and copyright case who might have been influenced by payments from the Web company, a judge said on Monday.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup gave Google until noon on Friday, August 24, to provide an amended list of public commentators on the high-profile case between Google and Oracle Corp who have received payments as consultants, contractors, vendors or employees.
"Just as a treatise on the law may influence the courts, public commentary that purports to be independent may have an influence on the courts and/or their staff if only in subtle ways," wrote Alsup.
Earlier this month, Alsup issued a highly unusual order, riveting technology and legal circles, that Google and Oracle identify all writers who commented on the companies' intellectual property lawsuit and who received money from the technology giants.
The lists, submitted by the companies on Friday, contained no huge surprises. Oracle acknowledged it hired blogger Florian Mueller, who often comments on patent issues, as a consultant -- a relationship that was already known.
Google acknowledged contributions to various groups but said it has not paid any of them to comment on issues in the case.
But Alsup said on Monday he was interested not only in authors that the companies paid specifically to comment on the case but also those who commented and received money from the companies in other ways.
"Rather, the order was designed to bring to light authors whose statements about the issues in the case might have been influenced by the receipt of money from Google or Oracle," Alsup wrote. Continued...