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Oracle and Florian Mueller Got Hitched ~ pj
Thursday, April 19 2012 @ 07:59 AM EDT

Florian Mueller has confessed -- in the interests of being "transparent", he says -- that Oracle has hired him, for his analysis of FRAND issues. I know. You are shocked, shocked. Who'd have ever guessed?

We did. Groklaw did. We get suspicious when someone's "analysis" is uniformly that Google is doomed. It's my Spidey sense. And it's usually on the money, as they say.

It seems, according to the story, that Mueller and Oracle kissed and made up after he fought against Oracle and lost before the EU Commission, back when it was considering whether or not to allow Oracle to buy Sun. Remember the MySQL affair? No doubt Oracle deeply admired his work. Well. That's not what *I* heard.

Anyway, he has known, I gather, that he was going to be working for Oracle as an "analyst" and "for the long haul" for some time, he indicates. But he didn't think to mention it until now.

Does that clear up some mysteries for you?

They both thought, he says, that the Google case would be over before his starting date, but it isn't, and he is now analyzing FRAND issues for both Microsoft and Oracle. So, Oracle and Mueller have been living together with their little secret, and now they are officially hitched. Someone check if they've registered with Tiffany's.

Microsoft and Oracle, sharing the same bed with the same lover. How quaint. How sad, actually, for Oracle, if it's going to push FRAND with Microsoft. I hope that isn't what this means. FRAND is a standard bodies' term that is perfectly designed to keep the GPL and other FOSS out of the field and unable to compete.

And now, Mueller says he will be gracing us with some "independent" coverage of the Oracle v. Google trial. He hasn't been covering the trial until now, he writes, and in an amazing coincidence of timing, right after signing on with Oracle, he will begin. I would like to ask, what do you call that coverage? Do you call that journalism, analysis, or paid propaganda?

I'll tell you that his first article about the trial says that Google is doomed, so you don't need to bother to read it. You've read it already over and over, because although he wasn't covering the trial, despite, he says, analyzing events going on in San Francisco, he certainly has been covering the litigation for a long time. This is the "independent" analyst who stressed that Oracle was going for $6 billion in damages, if I recall correctly. And I usually do. Did you notice that didn't turn out to be the case in the end? Analysts, as I told you jokingly years ago when analysts were predicting SCO Group would win, don't need to be accurate. That's a goal for journalists. There's a difference.

Let me tell you publicly, in the interests of transparency, that Groklaw has never taken a dime from Oracle or Google. Nor will it ever. It's not something a journalist would do or ever could do and still remain a journalist. There are standards. Journalism is an honorable profession, but only so long as you are honorable. Analysts? Well, they get paid and then analyze stuff. For clients. I'll remind you of the frank comments of Microsoft's employee James Plamondon in his evangelism how-to back confidential memo [PDF] back in the day that surfaced in the exhibits from the Comes v. Microsoft antitrust litgation:

Analysts: Analysts are people who are paid to take a stand, while always trying to appear to be disinterested observers (since the appearance of independence maximizes the price they can charge for selling out). Treat them as you would treat nuclear weapons – as an important part of your arsenal, which you want to keep out of the hands of the enemy. Bribe Hire them to produce "studies" that "prove" that your technology is superior to the enemy's, and that it is gaining momentum faster.

I never link to Mueller. I stopped long ago, when my Spidey sense first started twitching. But if you want to read it for yourself, it's here: http://www.fosspatents.com/2012/04/oracle-v-google-trial-evidence-of.html

Here's a relevant taste:

After the third day of the Oracle v. Google trial, this is my first post on this litigation since the trial started. From the outset, I have been monitoring the events in San Francisco by analyzing new filings on the docket, Oracle's and Google's opening slides, media reports, and the Twitter feeds of journalists who are in the courtroom....

Disclosure of recently-formed consulting relationship relationship with Oracle

I have been following Oracle v. Google since the filing of the lawsuit in August 2010 and have read pretty much every line of each court filing in this litigation. My long-standing views on this matter are well-documented. As an independent analyst and blogger, I will express only my own opinions, which cannot be attributed to any one of my diversity of clients. I often say things none of them would agree with. That said, as a believer in transparency I would like to inform you that Oracle has very recently become a consulting client of mine. We intend to work together for the long haul on mostly competition-related topics including, for one example, FRAND licensing terms....

We've known each other ever since I vocally opposed Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems (not because of Java), but that's history as I fully respect the European Commission's clearance decision and the subsequent closing of the deal. When Oracle and I started talking about areas in which I could provide analysis, we thought that the Google litigation was going to be over by the time we would work together.

When Oracle and I started talking about areas in which I could provide analysis, we thought that the Google litigation was going to be over by the time we would work together. Due to various delays, the trial now happens to occur pretty much at the start of this new relationship, and I will continue to cover this lawsuit in detail on this blog, especially during these eventful and interesting weeks. I won't have access to confidential information, but as Judge Alsup noted, this is a public trial, so there's no shortage of publicly available information.

No confidential information, the man said. We'll be tracking that.

Update: I see Jan Wildeboer making this point explicitly:

I have always said that in my personal opinion Florians “analysis” is biased. Seems I wasn’t that wrong ;-) All journalists that have used his public and non-public information should take note that they are talking to someone that works (and/or has worked) for both Microsoft and Oracle and thus is not exactly an independent source or expert.

That’s all.

And they shouldn't they let their readers know too, so readers are not misled?

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