As reported at MediaPost, the District Court for the Northern District of California has once again ordered Google to disclose whether it had paid any journalists, bloggers or other commentators who wrote about the patent dispute between the companies.
Google said in court papers filed on Friday that it hasn’t directly paid anyone to comment on the issues in the case. But — as Google acknowledges in its court papers — that doesn’t answer the question whether the company had paid people who later took it upon themselves to comment on the case.
The point being that any blogger who uses Google’s advertising systems for his or her site revenue is technically paid by Google and, therefore, any legal blogger who happens to opine on the case may need to be disclosed to comply with this order.
As Google points out:
“Given the rise of self-publishing, individual blogs, and other fora for coverage and opinion, it is possible that any number of individuals or organizations, including those with indirect or attenuated financial connections with the parties, might have expressed views regarding this case,” the company said in its response. “Google employs tens of thousands of people and also hires many vendors,” the company says. “It would be extraordinarily difficult and perhaps impossible for Google to identify any and all such individuals who also happened to comment upon the instant lawsuit.”
MediaPost earlier questioned how this order would reveal any legally relevant information. We are curious to know as well.
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