Into absurdity

So the judge in Oracle v. Google is “concerned” that the parties or counsel have paid people to publish comments on the case, and so ordered disclosure of anyone who has received money from them (“other than normal subscription fees”).

Neither is apparently appealing, at least not yet. Oracle has coughed up the names of a blogger and an academic who were on their (or their counsel’s) payroll. Google has asked for clarification (all those one-click adverts…, reminding Oracle that support contracts are so old school).

I think the order is absurd and goes beyond what the court should be “concerned” with. The judge doesn’t say he’s concerned with jury tampering or poisoning, which would be the only legitimate reasons to go there. Certainly he can’t be worried that outside press would have influenced himself.

Apart from the risk of jury prejudice, it really is the job of the press to uncover these kinds of things (although many of us are not impressed with their ability to to this in the past — the press is not what it once was, assuming it ever was as good as we once thought).

Two comments to the news that came up on Groklaw (who declare they’ve received nothing from either party — Mark Webbink is a class act) are worth reproducing though.

First this:

Authored by: BJ on Friday, August 17 2012 @ 04:18 PM EDT
I hereby declare that I was sympathetic to Google’s side of this case. My sympathies were based on the merits of its arguments.

As well Oracle’s assertions and tactics caused me to smell a rat, making me highly unsympathetic to Oracle.

My sympathetic / unsympathetic feelings towards these parties were mutually independent, and thus unlike ‘communicating vessels’.

I hereby declare that I have not and have never had and don’t foresee having any relation to Google nor Oracle in whatever way that might fall under the judge’s definition, or the spirit of his inquiry.

I hate bullies, that’s all.


Make this a petition and sign me up!

And then this:

Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, August 17 2012 @ 06:50 PM EDT
What a blow to the ego it would be if Judge Alsup decided there was no need to further pursue this inquiry, as “The lone identified journalist for hire produced no descernable influence or effect.”

Mr. Mueller might prefer to be jailed for a week or something.

Ouch! That would really hurt, wouldn’t it?