Friday, August 24, 2012

Thanks to Judge Alsup and Google for Publicizing My Blog!

I wrote previously about the Oracle v. Google trial involving the copyrightability of Java APIs.  A few weeks ago, Judge Alsup ordered Oracle and Google to disclose if they had paid money to anyone who had commented or blogged about the case.  I figured that wouldn't include me -- neither party pays me anything to write this blog.

After Oracle and Google filed their disclosures, the Judge ordered Google to do a better job.  That order included organizations to whom the parties gave money and whose employees commented or blogged -- whether or not the payment was to comment about the case.  That was quite a broad standard for disclosure.  I figured that might include the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), since Google donates to EFF and (independently of the donations) EFF blogged about the case.  I still didn't figure it would include me, since EFF doesn't sponsor my blog, and I'm not an EFF employee anyway -- I'm an unpaid volunteer.

Today Google filed its supplemental disclosure.  Google made it clear that "neither it nor its counsel has paid an author, journalist, commentator or blogger to report or comment on any issues in this case."  However, at page 7, Google identified its contributions to EFF, and identified EFF's blog posts about the case.  But Google also identified this blog and me. 
Michael Barclay, now a volunteer fellow for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, commented on the case on his blog, IP Duck.  See Ex. Y (available at http://ipduck.blogspot.com/2012/05/judge-alsup-rules-that-java-apis-are.html); Ex. Z (available at http://ipduck.blogspot.com/2012/05/phase-one-verdict-in-oracle-v-google.html). Mr. Barclay’s interest in the copyrightability of software interfaces, however, long predates his association with EFF, and in fact predates Google’s existence—Mr. Barclay represented Borland in Lotus v. Borland. Ex. AA (Borland’s Supreme Court merits brief).
I assume Google was just being overly careful here by including me although it didn't really have to.  (Or as Mike Masnick put it -- since Google also listed him and his Techdirt blog -- "Apparently I'm a Google Shill and I Didn't Even Know It.")  Anyway, since people will read this filing, my thanks to Judge Alsup and Google for publicizing this blog!

Update: Here's Eric Goldman's post about this filing.

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