Google must prevent illegal access to our content, says News Corp

By Peter Gothard
09 Jun 2014 View Comments
News of the World final edition

News Corporation has demanded that Google remove all algorithms from its search functions that enable users to access pirated material.

Just a couple of years after the UK's Leveson Enquiry castigated News Corp for hacking phones and using other illegal surveillance techniques, Rupert Murdoch's media company has apparently developed an abhorrence of technological foul play.

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News Corp has a heavy stake in Australian pay TV network Foxtel, which broadcasts the Game of Thrones television series, which in itself is one of the most pirated television shows that has ever existed.

News Corp CEO Robert Thomson told The Australian: "For a company to have a sophisticated algorithm that knows exactly where you are and what you're doing and maintains ignorance on piracy is an untenable contradiction."

Foxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein complained that Game of Thrones was made available "at a good price" on Foxtel, but was still illegally downloaded, as people "don't seem to think of it as theft, which is what it is".

Foxtel was reportedly charging $50 USD (£29.70) per episode to watch the show.

Google has previously advised the Australian government not to implement anti-piracy legislation, suggesting technological innovation or more suitable pricing structures would be better solutions.

"We would encourage the government to promote new business models and a free marketplace for legal purchasing of content," said Google.

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