Murdoch claims Google is 'piracy leader'


Media magnate Rupert Murdoch has caused more controversy on his Twitter feed, labelling Google a "piracy leader."

Murdoch made the comments on Friday, the same day he issued a tirade against President Barack Obama's criticism of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

"Piracy leader is Google who streams movies free, sells advts around them. No wonder pouring millions into lobbying," Murdoch tweeted, later saying Google was a "great company doing many exciting things."

Google respects copyright - and we've worked hard to help rights holders deal with piracy.

"Only one complaint, and it's important," he added.

Google has responded to Murdoch's criticism by pointing to the anti-piracy work it has done.

"Google respects copyright - and we've worked hard to help rights holders deal with piracy," a spokesperson said.

"Last year we took down five 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."

Google faced pressure in September last year to block copyright infringing websites in its results.

Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission is said to be expanding its antitrust probe of Google to cover the company's social network Google+, according to Bloomberg.

Obama bashing

As for Obama, Murdoch said the president had "thrown in his lot with Silicon Valley paymasters who threaten all software creators with piracy, plain thievery."

The Obama administration has made it clear it will not stand for some of the more controversial aspects of Sopa and its Senate equivalent the Protect Intellectual Property Act (Pipa).

In particular, Obama is concerned about legislation that would force internet service providers to block access to websites deemed to be infringing copyright.

According to Texas congressman Lamar Smith, the DNS blocking provision in the bill is to be dropped.

Various tech companies have distanced themselves from Sopa support, some soon after Anonymous threatened to take action against those in favour of the bill.

EA, Nintendo and Sony all recently backed away from the legislation.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.