It’s been going on since mid-2010 and if Oracle has anything to do with it, it won’t be ending anytime soon. Despite the fact that the judge had ruled in Oracles favour, they weren’t awarded any damages and had to pay Google’s legal fees. Oracle has said that they intend to appeal the decision.
In expectation of this eventuality, the judge on the case ordered that both parties release details on any journalists or writers that they had a monetary relationship with that either influenced their reporting or caused them to write about the case.
Although it seemed only one party thought it applied to them
Oracle opened a case of copyright infringement against Google in August 2010 when Oracle acquired the software company Sun Microsystems. Sun, the original developer of the massively popular programming interface Java, had previously allowed Google to make use of their patents for Java in the development of their mobile platform Android.
When Oracle took the helm, they weren’t as accommodating. However in the ensuring court case, the jury ruled that Google had used code that performed the same function but wasn’t specifically the same line of code. So the violations were only minor.
Google Fails to Properly Disclose
After the case the judge asked both Google and Oracle to disclose any financial links between them and authors, journalists, bloggers or commenters that had written about the case, as it would be pertinent information for an appeal.
Oracle had already disclosed some their journalistic links and provided a further list to the court. Google’, on the other hand explicitly started they hadn’t paid or exchanged services and goods for any type of coverage from any kind of writer.
The judge refused to accept this response and further claimed that Google had deliberately misinterpreted the order. Google responded by saying that, due to their various content delivery systems and advertising networks that tracking down each person who was financially influenced to report in Google’ favour in the case, would be next to impossible. The judge told them to try harder.
Both Companies Come Clean
Finally Google released its list of 12 individuals to the court. There were no major surprises. Google, as stated, hadn’t employed or paid anyone to report on the case. Rather there had been financial contributions to companies and consortiums whose publications had reported in Google’s favour about the court case. There were also a handful of instances where either former or low-level employees had commented on the case on their social network profiles.
Google adamantly claim that that these contributions were entirely business related and not specifically aimed at influencing management to pressure its writers to report on the case.
It seems Google and Android are safe for now. But with Oracle still reportedly intent on appealing the court ruling, one can only wonder what other activities may surface.