Murdoch launches Twitter tirade against Obama, Google over online piracy
Rupert Murdoch, seen at Sunday's Golden Globe Awards, went to bat for his companies on Twitter in the battle against Internet piracy.
January 16th, 2012
11:23 AM ET

Murdoch launches Twitter tirade against Obama, Google over online piracy

Rupert Murdoch didn't waste any time using his newfound popularity on Twitter to make waves and take shots at some other major names.

His targets? President Barack Obama and Google.

The media mogul took aim at the president and the leading Internet search engine after the White House announced over the weekend that it would not support legislation mandating changes to Internet infrastructure to fight online copyright and trademark infringement. The White House statement came in response to two petitions circulating on the Internet as well as widespread comments across the Web about the dangers of the legislation.

A major online backlash has developed regarding the Stop Online Piracy Act, with everyone from lawmakers to Web freedom advocates to some of technology's biggest players calling it a greedy and dangerous overreach that could have a chilling effect on free speech and innovation. Google, Yahoo and Facebook are among the Web heavyweights who have joined the chorus against SOPA, which backers hope to have ready for a vote by the end of the year.

The combination of Google and Obama attacking the bill clearly didn't make Murdoch happy. He began unleashing his frustration on Twitter by attacking Obama's relationship with so-called "Silicon Valley paymasters."

Naturally, Murdoch has a dog in the SOPA fight too - his massive media empire. No doubt he doesn't care for all the websites where users can watch and download episodes of his company's TV shows and movies without ever subscribing or paying.

And clearly he isn't happy that all of this is out there. It means a loss of money for him and his advertisers. And for that, Murdoch squarely blames Google.

For his remarks, Murdoch took a bit of a beating on Twitter, where most people are advocates of an open Web without government control. Some users argued he was outdated in his thinking and were quick to point out that Google has done a lot to help the media.  Some said it was foolish to criticize a search engine for having links available in its search. Users swung back at Murdoch that you can't complain about what a search engine's results turn up.

So Murdoch changed his tactic a bit, trying to humanize the issue.

For many users on Twitter, that didn't go over well either. Now, thousands of people tweeted, all of a sudden Murdoch was coming to the aid of the little guy?

So Rupert, still in his tweeting infancy, wanted to make clear he didn't have only bad things to say about Google.

That was, apparently, until he went back to the search engine and took a look at what was out there for the new "Mission Impossible" film. He saw the results as evidence that his anger toward Google was warranted.

He then admitted that while he may not understand completely all details and nuances of the fight and Google's role, he did know enough to know he didn't like what he saw.

So what did the search engine giant think of the media mogul's Twitter allegations? A representative told CNET it was "nonsense." 

"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 spokeswoman told CNET.

Murdoch never quite clarified whether he'd like the search engine to do more to take those links down, or if he perhaps wished companies like his could play more of a role in asking for something to be taken down if it infringed upon their copyright.

But his fight continued, culminating at perhaps the  perfect time: the day of the Golden Globes. As fans tweeted their thoughts on who was going to win and shared their excitement to see the best of the best in the industry, Murdoch turned back to those very people to show that piracy was a real danger to Hollywood.

He ended with a shot at Obama, asking why he would align himself with the "pirates" who help push illegal content online. (Murdoch later clarified that in this tweet he had an autocorrect issue on his iPad and had clearly meant to reference POTUS, the president of the United States, instead of the name of an Australian company.

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Filed under: Movies • Music • Rupert Murdoch • Showbiz • TV
soundoff (403 Responses)
  1. John

    Average salary is 65 k per year. That includes the billionaires that take most of the money as well as including the extras who make less than minimum wage.

    January 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      Mr.Murdoch is correct Google is a shady Business.

      January 16, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bugdad

      Mr.Murdoch is correct Google is a shady Business."

      Uh, compared to what.......Congress? Murdoch's Hackers? Pharmaceutical, Insurance, and Oil companies?
      Oh, yeah, google is so evil. But they treat their employees like gold. As a matter of fact, Google and the likes just might be your last vestige of the American Democracy.

      January 16, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • lol77

      Murdoch is grumpy old man. Instead of inventing new business model for digital age, he wants to control the universe. Finger!

      January 16, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • lol77

      Medium salary is 5K. Let us take Murdoch paycheck from the average.

      January 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • klamerus

      Spare the BS. Billionaires do NOT take most of the money and if it weren't for at least millionaires most people wouldn't even have jobs.

      Take the tirades inspiring class warefare based on jealousy elsewhere.

      January 16, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • It's meidan numbnuts

      Median not medium.

      January 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dolby

      Rupert Murdoch complaining about morality is like like listening to the pope talk about birth control – neither is on the right side of the moral compass.

      January 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. death

    to Murdoch. can't wait.

    January 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • glennrobert

      Does anyone believe that Murdoch is credible on any issue. He give new meaning to the word corrupt!

      January 16, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dick Schmacker

      Really? And what would that new meaning be?

      January 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Percy's Progress

    And this tirade comes from a leader whose staff breaks the law?

    Breaking News in the USA – Congress has passed the Stop Online Piracy Act – Americans have finally lost their freedom!

    They are now slaves of the corporation and the Government – AND – under their new "terror" law they can lock you up for life WITHOUT TRIALl if they THINK you are one – the clause guaranteeing you a trial "If you are an American Citizen" is just a technicality – you're gonna get locked up.

    January 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • klamerus

      No one's lost their freedom and the major people benefitting from SOPA being stopped are criminals. If people were interested in protecting the rights of others vs. trying to find ways to continue stealing they could have helped create something better than SOPA. But no, they're rather continue trying to find ways to steal.

      January 16, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bugdad

    Once they start controlling the web it will be the end of the last great freedom. The control freaks consider it an enemy. Once the big boys on top take away the free speech of the internet, it's all downhill for Americans: downhill into hell, that is.......welcome to the corporate oligarchy; goodbye free country and democracy.

    January 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dick Schmacker

      Just use a proxy... not that damn difficult.

      January 16, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. nick

    Murdoch wants a cut of everything and anything, he won't be happy till every breath taken makes him a buck

    January 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rob M

    This is TOO funny! Of course Mission Impossible has many episodes online! You can get the TV episodes for free on hulu even – quite legally! I am betting when he Googles MI, this is the media he found for free! Funny thing is the stories – with a TEAM rather than one star makes for a better story than any of the movies. Leverage is as close as we get today to MI quality on television in this millennium.

    January 16, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. TV Sux

    This old fart and many like him are trying to make the interwebs like tv. I dont own a tv, I dont enjoy watching tv when it is on at friends houses. Tv is good for nothing but advertisements any more. The show lengths have shrunk on tv because adverts have taken over the time. I do not want the internet to be like tv, SOPA has to be stopped. The internets are free and open and must be left this way.

    January 16, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • klamerus

      Yeah, why pay for someone else's property when you can steal it.

      Why not just head over to your neighbor's when they're not home and take some of their stuff to. After all, the motto of the internet seems to be if you can steal it it's "okay".

      January 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. citizen

    murdoch is a global outlaw, has his companies monitoring phone calls and spying on politicians and celeberties private affaires to then use against them to get at more information or favor. I wonder if that is how his Fox News stations get their information for thier lies and misinformation.

    January 16, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. RayJacksonMS

    I hope this old b astard lives just long enough to face a jury for all his crimes plus one day in prison.

    January 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. yahmez the mad

    To hell with you Rupert. You make millions (billions?) from your employees violating privacy rights of others, yet complain if someone downloads a crappy Fox movie like "Phat Girls"? It didn't end up on the IMDb Bottom 100 because you work so hard creating a quality product. Your movies, your newspapers, and ESPECIALLY your fact challenged Fox News Channel are poisons to our culture.

    January 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. deh83

    Murdoch is a disgrace. How can you own Fox News and be taken seriously?

    January 16, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • klamerus

      Could be worse. He could own MSNBC too.

      January 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Damien

    I thought he hated google because you can use it to find out his news stories are usually factually deficient.

    January 16, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. fred

    Obama says the industry should "voluntarily" enforce the proposed legislation's rules, no new laws. The republican sponsors counter by saying that letting the industry "voluntarily" regulate itself is pretty much useless.

    I agree with the republicans here, believing private enterprise can self-regulate itself is pretty damn stupid. I guess the GOP now agrees with the liberals, huh?

    January 16, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Awwwww

    Aw.... I think little, tiny Murdoch is butt-hurt. 😥

    January 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JOregon

    Anyone ever see Little Big Man?
    Gun-slinging days when he made "snake eyes"?
    Rupert is getting ready to draw.

    January 16, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
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