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Murdoch attacks Google

Murdoch tweets accusation

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has accused search giant Google of leading internet piracy – something which Google has dismissed as ‘nonsense’.

The octogenarian, chairman and CEO of News International, signed up to Twitter at the end of 2011 and has already attracted controversy on several occasions. One of his latest tweets, added on 14 January 2012, stated: “Piracy leader is Google who streams movies free, sells advts around them. No wonder pouring millions into lobbying.” [sic]

One of Murdoch’s main complaints was reportedly that he had searched for the film Mission Impossible via Google and discovered numerous websites offering free links to download it, thereby eating into film-making profits.

Google hit back with an emailed statement, quoted by online news magazine CNET: “This is just nonsense. Last year we took down 5 million infringing web pages from our search results and invested more than $60m in the fight against bad ads.”

‘Plain thievery’

The war of words stemmed from controversy surrounding the US government’s decision not to alter the structure of the internet, which was announced on 14 January. Murdoch angrily asserted that US president Barack Obama was teaming up with the country’s rich information technology culture and allowing ‘plain thievery’ to take place.

The businessman has long been famously opposed to the way in which the internet operates, introducing paywalls in 2010 for his newspaper websites – the Times, the Sunday Times and the now-closed News Of The World. The former are still in place and operate via traditional internet access and smartphone applications.

Richard Frost, managing editor at theEword, said: “Many people in the media and arts industries may sympathise with Murdoch’s view that the internet should not be a place to consume products for.

“However, many also believe that’s exactly what is so appealing about the internet, as it allows the unrestrained sharing of ideas and materials.”

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