When News Corp. mogul Rupert Murdoch attacked Google on Twitter for its opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act, he had no idea what he was letting himself in for.
“Piracy leader is Google who streams movies free, sells advts around them. No wonder pouring millions into lobbying,” Murdoch tweeted to his followers.
As Business Insider quickly noted, however, the reaction from the tech community was swift and snarky — and by Sunday even included a Google policy manager.
Journalism professor and author of What Would Google Do? Jeff Jarvis was one of the first — and nastiest — writing, “Google doesn’t pirate and it doesn’t hack dead girls, @rupertmurdoch. I am so happy I pulled my book from you.”
Ben Huh, CEO of the Cheezburger Network, which is a leading opponent of SOPA, more straightforwardly told Murdoch, “Accusing Google of piracy is like accusing the library of copyright infringement. Access to knowledge is a human right.
And comedian Rob Delaney urged Murdoch, “Sup bro you’re doing great on Twitter nobody thinks you’re a weird asshole or anything keep it up.”
Google’s Derek Slater, however, was at pains to point out that Murdoch seemed to be comfortable using Twitter, which is protected against copyright infringement claims under the “safe harbor” defense that SOPA would do away with.
Slater wrote, “so cool to see @rupertmurdoch crowdsourcing how he can enforce his copyrights better using Twitter, a DMCA safe harbor dependent platform.” He added in a second tweet, “@rupertmurdoch we’ve also innovated in tools that make it easier for rightsholders to submit DMCA takedown.”
A Twitter search late on Sunday afternoon showed users still happily engaged in Murdoch-bashing. “I think the problem is not Google’s links but your understanding of them (and the web)” one wrote.
“I love the suggestion that opposing sopa is where all that sweet lobby money is, @rupertmurdoch. never change!” another offered.
And an editor with the Newcastle Evening Chronicleremarked, “Interesting to see @rupertmurdoch rallying at Google’s copyright infringement. Will remember that next time his newspapers lift our stories.”
Muriel Kane is an associate editor at Raw Story. She joined Raw Story as a researcher in 2005, with a particular focus on the Jack Abramoff affair and other Bush administration scandals. She worked extensively with former investigative news managing editor Larisa Alexandrovna, with whom she has co-written numerous articles in addition to her own work. Prior to her association with Raw Story, she spent many years as an independent researcher and writer with a particular focus on history, literature, and contemporary social and political attitudes. Follow her on Twitter at @Muriel_Kane
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