Judge William Alsup issued a new order demanding both parties in the Oracle vs. Google patent and copyright trial reveal the names of all authors, journalists, commentators or bloggers who have reported on any issues in the case and who have received cash.
The trial was heavily covered by the tech media but it seems that one of the litigants had a paid relationship with one journalist or blogger.
Alsup is apparently planning the case going to appeal and wants to know if any article, commentary or analysis on the matters in the case are influenced by financial relationships with Google or Oracle.
The US tech press moans that such an order is unconstitutional. But they forget that once they accept a bribe they are a paid contractor for the client and all bets are off.
It could also expose a deeply unpleasant relationship between big tech companies and the US tech press.
It may seem strange to European hacks, given the sanctimonious attitude of the US to its journalism, that any of them would have their snouts in the trough. However it would explain the obsequious attitude that many of them have towards certain companies.
Once I was told off by one fat US hack for asking a question which was "embarrassing to our Microsoft hosts."
If the court order reveals that both sides bribed journalists then it could turn that particular culture on its head.