Google Tries Again to Respond to Judge Alsup’s Shill Disclosure Order. Now, How About Oracle?

By Eric Goldman

Oracle America, Inc. v. Google Inc., 3:10-cv-03561-WHA (N.D. Cal. Aug. 24, 2012)

In the ongoing saga about Judge Alsup’s requests that Oracle and Google disclose possible shills, Google filed a supplemental disclosure that listed 13 individuals/organizations. There’s not much in Google’s disclosure that I didn’t already know, and I wonder if the judge has finally gotten whatever he’s looking for. Google has a better basis to argue that it properly responded to the judge’s request, but I still have no idea how the judge will respond.

Some mildly interesting points about Google’s supplemental disclosure:

* Google disclosed William Patry this time, but baffingly, Google did not identify him as a treatise author. Given that the judge has made his interest in treatise authors quite clear, I don’t understand why Google didn’t explicitly close this loop.

* Google cited a tweet by its employee, Tim Bray. Google didn’t include the tweet’s contents in the filing (or that it got retweeted 575 times!), but it’s worth including here:

“Speaking only for myself as an individual of course: Fuck Oracle.”

It’s a little hard to characterize this as a “comment” on the case!

* Google disclosed Bruce Perens as a consulting expert. Normally, consulting experts aren’t disclosed to a litigation opponent or the public at large unless they become testifying experts. I haven’t checked to see if his involvement in this case was previously disclosed. If not, Oracle may have learned something new.

* Google lists Mike Masnick because a Google-funded organization (CCIA) paid him to write his The Sky is Rising report. I don’t understand why this is on Google’s list, as Judge Alsup’s order clearly said he only was interested in “employees” of Google-funded organizations. Ditto for Google’s disclosure of Michael Barclay, an EFF fellow.

Overall, Google’s disclosure list disclosed, or name-checked, many well-known figures in the cyberlaw community, including the people I’ve already mentioned plus Mark Lemley, Paul Levy, Timothy B. Lee, Julie Samuels and others. If we got all of the referenced folks together in one room (and hid the knives), it would be a pretty cool party.

My biggest question: Why didn’t Oracle supplement its initial disclosure in light of the judge’s clarification? I can’t believe Oracle has not provided any money to organizations whose employees commented on the case. So how about it, Oracle? Plead a mea culpa to the judge for blowing off his deadline and provide a more complete disclosure.

Our prior posts on this matter:

* Judge Alsup Tells Google to Try Harder With Its Shill Disclosures

* Oracle and Google Make Unenlightening Disclosures of their “Shills”

* Judge Alsup Tries to Out the Shills in Oracle v. Google

* Java APIs Aren’t Copyrightable–Oracle v. Google (Guest Blog Post)