Never one to shy away from the limelight (but for a few notable exceptions), Rupert Murdoch has taken to his newly minted Twitter account to take Google to task over online film piracy.
In a series of tweets posted over the course of the weekend, Murdoch criticised Obama for backing Google, Google for not blocking piracy sites and cinemas for over-charging for drinks and food.
"So Obama has thrown in his lot with Silicon Valley paymasters who threaten all software creators with piracy, plain thievery," he began, referring to the US government's opposition to some heavy-handed areas of the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act.
Of course, Rupert Murdoch isn't short of a few bob but he's not worried about his own coffers and those of News International, which owns 20th Century Fox. No, its the lowly writers and traditionally underpaid actors who he says are suffering.
"Piracy leader is Google who streams movies free, sells advts around them. No wonder pouring millions into lobbying. Film making risky as hell. This has to lead to less, hurting writers, actors, all concerned," he said.
But don't get him wrong, he doesn't hate Google:
"Understand more than all allege! Google great company doing many exciting things. Only one complaint, and it's important."
He then went to check out just how many piracy links he could find for Tom Cruise hit Mission Impossible – and seemed surprised to find "several" sites promising free downloads:
"Just been to google search for Mission Impossible. Wow, several sites offering free links. I rest my case."
Still, Google's not having any of it, issuing a statement describing Murdoch's rant as "nonsense".
Google spokesperson Samantha Smith said, "Last year we took down 5 million infringing web pages… Like many other tech companies, we believe that there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking US companies to censor the Internet."
But we think you'll all agree that the real issue here is the price of popcorn and Coke at the cinema – people, Murdoch's with you.
"Just for the record, cinemas average well over half ticket money," Murdoch added. "Agree about cinema prices which out of our control - but even more offensive are prices for popcorn and sodas."
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