Judge Alsup Orders Further Disclosures from Google in Google v. Oracle

Judge Alsup held Google’s disclosures were insufficient, and clarified in a way that he suggested might result in further disclosures by Oracle. He explained: “the order was designed to bring to light authors whose statements about the issues in the case might have been influenced by the receipt of money.” He also wrote: “listing all commenters known by Google to have received payments as consultants, contractors, vendors, or employees. As for organizations receiving money, they need not be listed unless one of its employees was a commenter.”

My impression from going through all these orders is that the Judge has seen some smoke, and believes there is fire. Whether that fire is something the judiciary should be concerned with is itself an interesting question.  Again, I analogize it to sponsored science, where disclosure by a scientist that he has been paid by X corporation to conduct a study on Y compound, which is made by X corporation, is something that should be disclosed. Arguably, the case is stronger in instances of “soft” information like legal analysis, since, in theory, a scientific article should disclose enough that it could be judged on its own.

The order is here.

 There is an article here.

About David

Professor of Law, Mercer University School of Law. Formerly Of Counsel, Taylor English Duma, LLP and in 2012-13, judicial clerk to Chief Judge Rader.

6 thoughts on “Judge Alsup Orders Further Disclosures from Google in Google v. Oracle

  1. 3

    I can think of several sensible reasons that neither party would want oppose the order, even if they believed the judge lacked authority to make it:

    It may not have been worth the cost to oppose (if they have nothing to hide, then there’s no harm in disclosing).

    Opposing the order could annoy the judge.

    Opposing the order could result in a lot of negative press, particularly if the other party did not oppose.

  2. 2


    It was interesting to me that neither Google nor Oracle opposed complying with the order, so I presume they believe he has the authority, but I don’t know. It is a good question, the authority, but it seems it won’t be addressed here.

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