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Judge orders Google, Oracle to disclose paid journalists & bloggers

A California court this week ordered Google and Oracle to disclose the identities of any bloggers or journalists who might have received payment in return for writing about issues related to firms' recent copyright battle.

"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," Judge William Alsup wrote in a Tuesday filing.

The judge's filing comes several months after Google was handed a victory in its battle against Oracle when Alsup found that Google was within its rights to use parts of Oracle's Java programming language in the creation of Android.

Nonetheless, Judge Alsup said the case is not completely closed and argued that details about paid bloggers "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."

As a result, "each side and its counsel shall 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 judge asked that that information be revealed by noon (US Eastern Standard Time, 17:00 GMT) on 17 August.

In July, meanwhile, Google delivered a $4 million legal bill to Oracle over their patent dispute, which Oracle is fighting.

Image credit: XDA Developers forum