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Google finally coughs up list of commenters in Oracle case but denies paying bloggers

Following a 7 August court order forcing Oracle and Google to give up any authors, journalists, commenters, or bloggers whose financial relationship with either company may surface during lawsuit appeals, Google has finally named some names.

The new list includes "all commenters known by Google to have received payments as consultants, contractors, vendors, or employees," as well as commenters employed by organisations that receive money from Google, according to a document filed by the search giant.

In May, Google prevailed in a copyright and patent suit brought against it by Oracle over the search giant's use of parts of Oracle's Java programming language in the creation of its Android mobile operating system. Oracle is appealing the verdict by a federal jury.

Six people were named among consultants, contractors, vendors, or employees who have commented on the ongoing litigation, without payment from Google, the company said.

They are current Google employees William Patry and Timothy Bray, as well as consultant Bruce Perens, outside counsel Professor Mark Lemley, former short-time employee James Gosling, and former Google engineering intern Timothy Lee.

A number of organisations which receive funding from Google were listed, including the Computer and Communications Industry Association and Jonathan Bland, both of which Google claims Oracle falsely suggested were influenced by Google money. Also listed: non-profits the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Public Knowledge, as well as the Center for Democracy and Technology and Lauren Weinstein at Vortex Technology.

Despite submitting a new, longer list, the search giant still insists that it never paid anyone for coverage of the trial.

"Google again states that neither it nor its counsel has paid an author, journalist, commentator or blogger to report or comment on any issues in this case," the company said.

In the 24 August document, Google often calls Oracle's claims "false," saying they "were off base."

In its own 19 August disclosure of trial commenters receiving compensation, Oracle named two individuals: blogger Florian Mueller, author of the FOSS Patents blog who served as a consultant to Oracle, and Stanford University professor Paul Goldstein, who assisted a law firm Oracle contracted.

The Oracle/Google case dates back to 2010, when Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, and then sued Google for infringing on its Java-related copyrights and patents with the Android operating system, introduced three years earlier.

Conducted in phases, May's first segment of the trial resulted in a verdict partially in Oracle's favour, with questions about Google's "fair use" of portions of the Java software platform left unresolved. Two weeks later, a jury found that the Android operating system did not infringe on Oracle's patents.

Finally, on 31 May, a California judge ruled that Google was within its rights to use parts of Oracle's open-source Java programming language while building Android.