Rupert Murdoch may have only joined Twitter a couple of weeks ago, but he has wasted no time is letting the world know that he grasps the internet no better in 2012 than he did when News Corp purchased MySpace in 2005, and has called out Google as a piracy leader.
His reasoning for libelling Google? That the Obama White House have come out and said that they aren’t too fond of SOPA – a US bill designed to give more power to entertainment companies, effectively giving them the ability to control what flows over the web. For its part, the White House was just responding to two petitions that reached the 25,000 signatures required for official response, namely the Stop the E-PARASITE Act and Veto the SOPA bill and other future bills that threaten to diminish the free flow of information online petitions.
SOPA is overwhelmingly unpopular with internet companies and internet users, with Godaddy losing over 40,000 domains in response for their support of the bill, with Reddit and Wikipedia both mulling the idea of taking their sites down for 24 hours in protest. But as the White House did not come out in support of a bill which is essentially giving the entertainment industry’s profits priority over the freedom of speech or freedom to start digital businesses, Murdoch has accused Obama is in cahoots with his “Silicon Valley paymasters” with Google a piracy leader for streaming movies for free:
Now I don;t think anyone would deny that YouTube did originally have major problems with hosting copyrighted clips – with Steven Colbert recently noting that the video sharing site became popular partly due to their illegal hosting of clips from his show. However, the situation has improved greatly under Google’s control – with automated tools scanning for copyrighted audio and video content within uploads.
It is easy to find copyrighted material such as TV shows and films streaming on the internet, but that content is rarely streaming on YouTube. No, the success of YouTube’s anti-piracy tools has meant that pirates have turned to other sites like MegaVideo for hosting the streams. Google is no haven for piracy, and if Murdoch used any of the company’s services he would know that – but I suppose he hasn’t managed to hack Brin or Page’s voicemail recently.
Murdoch may have finally admitted that he screwed up MySpace in every way possible, but he understands the internet no better now than he did back then. Murdoch has had government’s fear him over the past decade or more, and as such managed to wield great power – but he seems to find it unfair when another group lobbies against his wishes, even if those wishes have caused the emergence of utterly bias “news” reporting at Fox, and corruption and complete lack of regard for privacy in the UK.
Watching Murdoch on Twitter is like watching an old man whine all bitter about a world for which he is no longer relevant.