Judge oders companies to reveal payments to bloggers

By Dyenamic Solitions - Last updated: Monday, August 13, 2012 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

Oracle and Google have been ordered to reveal the names of bloggers who they have paid  by a US judge during their Java intellectual property legal battles.Judge oders companies to reveal payments to bloggersThe judge said he was “concerned” that financial relationships may have influenced analysis published in newspapers and on the internet.

He added the information would be useful to an appeal hearing. The two firms have been given until 17 August to provide the information.

Oracle – which licenses products based on the Java programming language – had pursued a patent and copyright challenge alleging it was owed about $1bn (£640m) in compensation for Google’s use of its technologies in the Android system.

But the jury ruled that the patents involved had not been breached, while a judge dismissed the key copyright claim – a decision against which Oracle said it would “vigorously appeal”.

Regarding the latest development Oracle said it “always disclosed all of its financial relationships in this matter, and it is time for Google to do the same”.

Google said it would comply with the order.

Several instances of the firms paying commentators are already known.

Florian Mueller, a patent consultant based in Germany, revealed on 18 April that Oracle had “very recently become a consulting client” – two days after the court case began.

He had written about the lawsuit over previous months on his influential Foss Patents blog and continued to do so after his declaration, often making comments sympathetic to Oracle’s claims.

Google is also known to have given money to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The San Francisco-based campaign group posted articles including “Oracle v Google shows the folly of US software patent law” during the case.

The search engine paid $1 million to the organisation in 2011 after being fined over privacy rights violations which the EFF had championed.

Fortune Magazine has also reported that the Android developer had also given the EFF smaller voluntary donations in 2010 and 2011.

The ruling highlights the crucial difference between bloggers and professional journalists.

Journalists are professionals who understand their obligation to their listeners and viewers – not the interested parties about which they are writing. Many bloggers ignore that distinction.

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