Google is fighting back against Rupert Murdoch’s claims that the company leads the pack of online pirates.
When Murdoch took to Twitter — his new favorite medium — on Saturday night, he launched 140-character verbal grenades at Google and President Barack Obama in a rant over a sore subject for the media mogul.
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The News Corp. boss criticized Obama for “throwing his lot with Silicon Valley paymasters” — presumably, Google — who oppose a pair of anti-piracy bills, Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act, both pending in Congress.
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“Piracy leader is Google who streams movies free, sells advts around them,” Murdoch wrote. “No wonder pouring millions into lobbying.” Another choice tweet: “Just been to google search for mission impossible. Wow, several sites offering free links. I rest my case.”
Google was not amused.
“This is just nonsense,” company spokesperson said in a statement to CNet. “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… We fight pirates and counterfeiters every day.”
The statement continued: “We believe, like many other tech companies, that the best way to stop (pirates) is through targeted legislation that would require ad networks and payment processors — like ours — to cut off sites dedicated to piracy or counterfeiting.”
Earlier Saturday, the Obama administration released its own message on the issue, toeing the line in the debate that has Hollywood battling the tech industry.
“Let us be clear, online piracy is a real problem that harms the American economy, threatens jobs for significant numbers of middle class workers and hurts some of our nation’s most creative and innovative companies and entrepreneurs,” said the White House’s statement.
Playing to the tech side, the administration “will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet,” the statement said.