Rupert Murdoch in Twitter attack on Google over 'piracy'
Rupert Murdoch has used his Twitter account to attack Google, accusing the search engine of being the "leader" of internet piracy and highlighting free links it promoted to the film Mission Impossible.
His comments about “plain thievery” put the News Corporation boss at loggerheads with the multi-billion pound online company - which described them as "nonsense".
They also set the tycoon on a collision course with the Obama administration in Washington, which he accused of bending to the will of “Silicon Valley paymasters” over plans to water down online piracy legislation.
Twitter: Rupert Murdoch - Piracy leader is Google who streams movies free, sells advts around them. No wonder pouring millions into lobbying.
The “tweets” were the 80 year-old’s latest controversial foray into the website since signing up earlier this month. He previously poured scorn on Britons for the number of holidays they take, after which he appeared to receive a ticking off from his wife, Wendi. However, her comments turned out to have been put on the website using a fake account set up in her name. Mr Murdoch’s latest comments come at a time of intense debate in the US over online piracy legislation.
On Saturday, the White House indicated that it would not proceed with far-reaching proposals to give the state power to interfere with the architecture of the web.
Reacting to the plans being watered down, Mr Murdoch wrote: “So Obama has thrown in his lot with Silicon Valley paymasters who threaten all software creators with piracy, plain thievery.”
The message did not name any website or corporation as the subject of his ire, but an hour later Mr Murdoch went further. “Piracy leader is Google who streams movies free, sells advts around them. No wonder pouring millions into lobbying.”
Mr Murdoch went on to issue further tweets in which he apparently complained about the damage caused by online piracy to the film-making industry. He said he had searched for Mission Impossible on Google and found several sites offering free links, adding: “I rest my case.”
Mr Murdoch added in another tweet: “Google great company doing many exciting things. Only one complaint, and it’s important.” A further tweet yesterday continued the theme, as the tycoon apparently defended his comments from criticism. “Sure misunderstand many things, but not plain stealing. Incidentally, Google blocks many other undesirable things.”
Last month it emerged that websites may have to apply for certification as “licensed sites” to appear high up the Google rankings, if a treaty between rights holders and search engines comes into force.
Twitter: Rupert Murdoch - So Obama has thrown in his lot withSilicon Valley paymasters who threaten all software creators with piracy, plain thievery.
A Google spokesman said last night: "This is just nonsense. Last year we took down 5 million infringing web pages from our search results and invested more than $60 million in the fight against bad ads.
"Like many other tech companies, we believe that there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking US companies to censor the Internet."