Feeds

Google names names in amended 'shills' list

Employees, consultants, trade groups outed

Remote control for virtualized desktops

As ordered by the court, Google has submitted a new and longer list of bloggers and other commentators who have written about its ongoing patent litigation with Oracle, even as it continues to insist that it has never paid anyone to report or comment on the case.

On Monday, Judge William Alsup gave the online ad giant five days to better document its relationships with media, after Oracle claimed in its own statement that the Chocolate Factory's support for industry trade organizations was a deliberate strategy designed to "shape public perception."

Oracle went as far as to name Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) president and CEO Ed Black and author and lobbyist Jonathan Band as members of what it described as Google's "network of influencers," adding that Google was obliged by Judge Alsup's order to reveal others.

In its new statement issued on Friday, Google shot back at these claims, calling them "false" and "off base." The CCIA has maintained the same positions on legal matters pertinent to the case since before Google was incorporated in 1998, the search giant argued, while Band had similarly penned most of his opinions on relevant matters long before the case was ever brought to 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 statement read.

Nonetheless, the ad-slinger went on to name names, citing a list of consultants, contractors, vendors, employees, and members of Google-backed trade organizations who had written about the case, while maintaining that all had done so independently and without encouragement.

Among those it fingered were a number of high-profile current and former Google employees and consultants, including XML co-inventor Tim Bray, open source advocate Bruce Perens, and Java daddy James Gosling.

Google's chief in-house copyright counsel William Patry was also named, but only for comments he made on copyrights and computer software in a book he wrote in 1996, long before the current lawsuit began.

Also noted were articles by Timothy Lee, a former engineering intern who now writes for Ars Technica, but who says he has never received any money from Google since leaving the company.

In addition to the CCIA, Google named the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, the Center for Democracy and Technology, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute as organizations who have received funds from Google, although it noted that all are non-profit organizations.

The search giant even went so far as to call out Lauren Weinstein, whom it claims is affiliated with an organization that has conducted paid research for Google, for commenting on his personal Google+ page.

Perhaps the most damning disclosure on Google's list is Professor Mark Lemley, an attorney who has commented on the Oracle-Google litigation for a number of newspapers and other media outlets. Google admitted that Lemley sometimes serves as its outside counsel, though it says he does so only for "unrelated cases."

No matter how innocuous most of this list seems, however, it's sure to fuel the fires of those who accuse the authors of articles affiliated with the groups mentioned of pro-Google bias.

Mike Masnick, who has written articles commissioned by the CCIA that were cited in Google's statement, writes that the fact that that his name appeared in the document, even though his own connection to the Chocolate Factory is tenuous, demonstrates that Judge Alsup's original order was overly broad.

"I can handle people not understanding the details here and attacking me," Masnick writes, "but the fact that we did unrelated research for a different organization that Google is a member of gets me named on a list of 'shills' just doesn't seem right." ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Free virtual appliance for wire data analytics
The ExtraHop Discovery Edition is a free virtual appliance will help you to discover the performance of your applications across the network, web, VDI, database, and storage tiers.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.