Judge William Alsup has ordered Google and Oracle to identify any writers it paid during the bitter Java copyright case.
The two technology heavyweights have until 17 August to name names. The order extends an already lengthy case which resulted in Oracle claims that Google used copyrighted Java code in its Android OS were rejected.
"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," read the judge's order.
"Although proceedings in this matter are almost over, they are not fully over yet and, in any event, the disclosure required by this order would be of use on appeal."
Representatives for both companies told V3 that they would comply with the judge's order.
"Oracle has always disclosed all of its financial relationships in this matter, and it is time for Google to do the same," said an Oracle spokesperson.
"We read this order to also include indirect payments to entities who, in turn, made comments on behalf of Google."
The court order extends a copyright trial that many felt had ended with a favourable Google ruling last May.
Google won its case when Judge Alsup ruled that the 37 application programming interfaces (API) Oracle said were infringed on were not copyrightable.
Following the order Oracle was also ordered to pay Google's court bills. The company reportedly had to foot a $4m bill.
While the judge did not publicly disclose any writers to be named in the order, some bloggers already described their involvement with the case.
Florian Mueller of the FOSS Patents blog several months ago admitted to having worked as an Oracle consultant.
"As an independent analyst and blogger, I will express only my own opinions, which cannot be attributed to any one of my diversity of clients. I often say things none of them would agree with," Mueller said in a posting in April.
"That said, as a believer in transparency I would like to inform you that Oracle has very recently become a consulting client of mine. We intend to work together for the long haul on mostly competition-related topics including, for one example, FRAND licensing terms."
After word of the order broke, Mueller clarified on Twitter that he proactively disclosed the consulting agreement long before the call for disclosure. The patent law blogger told V3 that he didn't disclose his consulting partnership with Oracle last April because of any legal reasons.
"I disclosed because I believed it was the right thing to do, not because I thought there was any legal obligation," Mueller said.
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