Posted on
September 29th, 2014

Google v Murdoch

Last week, Robert Thompson sent a letter of complaint to the European Commission, stating that Google is a ‘platform for piracy and the spread of malicious networks.’ The Chief Executive and his boss, Rupert Murdoch, have previously publicised their dislike of the company with regular social media posts over the past few years.

In his letter, Thompson told the European Commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, ‘your decision to reconsider Google’s settlement offer comes at a crucial moment in the history of the free flow of information and of healthy media in Europe and beyond.’ Here he is referring to the negotiations which took place between Google and the European Commission, which requires the company to include other specialist web services on their results, rather than solely self-promotion. This will help to give other small businesses a chance of competing, rather than the limelight being overruled by Google.

He then went on to say that unless Google’s strategies to tackle piracy are challenged, it ‘will lead to a less informed, more vexatious level of dialogue in our society.’ Much to Murdoch’s opinion, piracy is clearly something of concern to the company, with a section of the site dedicated to getting user support to ‘End Piracy’, each supported by reports, interaction and statistics.

Google’s Reply

Despite not being signed from Murdoch, Google have directed their retaliation towards Murdoch, in a letter named ‘Dear Rupert.’ The company states that they are working hard to reduce piracy on their site, having removed over 200 million web pages from Google search last year due to copyright information. They have also invested millions of pounds in software called Content ID, which is used to tackle piracy on Youtube.

The company also responded to the criticism with a strange statement, “Phew! What a scorcher! Murdoch accuses Google of eating his hamster!” This famous headline from The Sun Newspaper, which was discredited on its accuracy, is again being turned onto the creator itself, in favour of Google.

As a company which serves millions of people across the world, Google will need to continue to develop and monitor its users, especially in terms of piracy. Although the company has regulations in place, it is becoming increasingly common for download hosts to find ways around them. There is also an apparent increase in users, which means that the site is going to require a higher rate of monitoring. These are issues which Google are going to have to address in order to keep Murdoch, Thompson and other critics, at bay.

It is clear that the long-running feud between Google and News Corporation is not going to be resolved any time soon. Instead, it seems the public will be faced with continuous retaliation between the two companies, both determined to have the final say.

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