1709 Blog: for all the copyright community

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Murdoch v Obama, Google v Murdoch

Further updates on the ongoing debate over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), after the Obama administration responded on Saturday to the "VETO the SOPA bill and any other future bills that threaten to diminish the free flow of information" petition and made it clear that, though online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, it will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet (full response was reported by this Blog here).
Right away, on Saturday night, Media mogul Rupert Murdoch embraced the arms of his Twitter account to blast President Obama for throwing "his lot with Silicon Valley paymasters who threaten all software creators with piracy, plain thievery." 
He also used a couple of tweets to attack Google: "Piracy leader is Google who streams movies free, sells advts around them. No wonder pouring millions into lobbying." and added "Film making [is as] risky as hell. This has to lead to less, hurting writers, actors, all concerned."  
As noted by The Hollywood Reporterconsidering Murdoch was airing his complaints on the Internet, he didn't exactly find a sympathetic audience.
Captain Hook reading latest SOPA updates 
In an e-mail sent to CNET on Sunday afternoon, Google responded to Murdoch's statements.
"This is just nonsense," wrote a Google spokeswoman. "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."
Google said it thinks there are better methods to fighting piracy than those sought by copyright owners: "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."

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