News Corp boss gets into public row with Google over US SOPA/PIPA legislation.

Google hits back at Murdoch ‘piracy leader’ claims

Google has hit back against New Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch’s claims that the internet giant was a "piracy leader" with Google calling the comments "nonsense".

"So Obama has thrown in his lot with Silicon Valley paymasters who threaten all software creators with piracy, plain thievery," Mr Murdoch tweeted, having recently joined the social networking platform.

He later tweeted: "Piracy leader is Google who streams movies for free, sells advts around them. No wonder pouring millions into lobbying."

It’s not clear what Mr Murdoch means by streaming movies for free but later he said he had "been to google search for mission impossible," and said that results appeared with "several sites offering free links."

"I rest my case," he said although later appeared to back peddle by saying "Google great company doing many exciting things."

Google remained unimpressed with spokesperson Samantha Smith called the allocations "just nonsense," adding "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."

Murdoch’s comments appear to have been triggered by the US Obama administration saying they had great concerns with sections of the contentious SOPA and PIPA legislation which opponents believe will unfairly enable copyright holders to shut down web sites without due process.

"Like many other tech companies, we believe that there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking U.S. companies to censor the Internet," Google said in relation to the firm’s opposition to the legislation.

Murdoch later admitted "Sure misunderstand many things" but said it was still "plain stealing" and also said "Google blocks many other undesirable things."It’s not clear if Murdoch believes that Google doesn’t block pirate and counterfeit links although more likely he believes, as do the SOPA and PIPA lobby group, that companies should be able to decide what is infringing and remove them from web sites.

Google instead advocates "targeted legislation that would require ad networks and payment processors, like ours, to cut off sites dedicated to piracy or counterfeiting."

Protests against the SOPA and PIPA legislation have been gathering pace, organised by online advocacy groups. Link sharing site Reddit announced a black-out protest day and Wikipedia is in internal discussions with a view to also launching a black-out protest.

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