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News Corp chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch has accused internet giant Google of aiding film piracy.

The Australian-born media mogul used his recently activated Twitter account to blast the search engine, branding it a “piracy leader”.

“Piracy leader is Google who streams movies free, sells advts around them,” Murdoch wrote.

A short time later he added to the rant, saying film making was “risky as hell”, with piracy hurting actors and writers.

Murdoch then added: “Google great company doing many exciting things. Only one complaint, and it’s important.

“Just been to google search for mission impossible. Wow, several sites offering free links. I rest my case.”

That was a reference to the latest Tom Cruise movie Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.

The comments were among Murdoch’s most outspoken since launching his Twitter account on January 1.

He’s used the social networking site to pass judgement on a number of subjects, ranging from serious comment on US politics to his own error-prone typing.

“Re complaints about my spelling! Problem is my pathetic typing. Sorry, if anyone really cares,” the media mogul wrote on January 10.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha




India’s government has authorised the prosecution of 21 internet firms, including Facebook, Yahoo! and Google, in a case over obscene content posted online, sources say.

The approval could lead to company directors being called to a trial court in New Delhi to answer serious charges such as fomenting religious hatred and spreading social discord, an official and a lawyer said.

A criminal case against the web titans was first filed in a lower court by local journalist Vinay Rai, who complained that the sites were responsible for obscene and offensive material posted by users.

He also claimed they had broken laws designed to maintain religious harmony and “national integration” in India.

Rai’s lawyer, Sashi Prakash Tripathi, said: “We had applied for the government’s sanction and the ministry of communication and IT has filed it directly in the metropolitan magistrate’s court.”

The companies targeted have filed a petition in the Delhi High Court seeking to have the lower court’s case against them stayed. The hearing of the petition is to resume on Monday.

The lower court yesterday ordered that summons be served on the 10 foreign-based companies, including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and YouTube.

The government’s sanction to prosecute represents an escalation of a recent tussle between social networks and the government.

Communications Minister Kapil Sibal last month pledged a crackdown on “unacceptable” online content and urged social networks to exert more control over their platforms.

He provided examples of religiously-sensitive images and obscene photoshopped pictures of Indian politicians.

Mukul Rohatgi, a lawyer for Google India, told the High Court on Thursday: “No human interference is possible and, moreover, it can’t be feasible to check such incidents.”

The companies will now hope the High Court stays the prosecution, but they received some hostile comments from a presiding judge.

“You must have a stringent check. Otherwise, like in China, we may pass orders banning all such websites,” the Delhi High Court said.

Companies should “develop a mechanism to keep a check and remove offensive and objectionable material from their web pages”, Justice Suresh Kait was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Paul Ceglia, who says that a 2003 contract entitles him to half the Facebook holdings of the company’s co-founder and chief executive officer, Mark Zuckerberg, showed no deception on a polygraph test about his claim last week, his lawyers said in a court filing.

The June 11 test was disclosed in papers filed on Friday by Ceglia’s lawyers opposing Facebook’s request that it be allowed to immediately inspect the original of the alleged contract and the emails Ceglia claims he exchanged with Zuckerberg in 2003 and 2004, before being required to turn over any evidence to Ceglia.

“I respectfully suggest that Mark Zuckerberg undergo the same polygraph examination I have in order to expose who is really telling the truth,” Ceglia, 37, said in a sworn statement submitted on Friday to the federal court in Buffalo, New York, where his suit is pending.

Mark Zuckerberg.Mark Zuckerberg. 

In the filing, Ceglia’s lawyers asked the court to order both sides to turn over evidence to determine whether the contract is genuine, including all of Zuckerberg’s documents, emails and instant messages relating to Facebook before July 30, 2004. Ceglia asked the court to order both sides into mediation.

Ceglia hasn’t shown the original contract publicly or to representatives of Facebook. The two-page document is in a bank safe-deposit box in Hornell, New York, according to Ceglia’s lawyers.

Stake in Facebook

Ceglia claims he is entitled to a multibillion-dollar stake in Facebook. The closely held company may be worth $US69.3 billion, according to Sharespost.com, an online marketplace for investments in companies that aren’t publicly traded. Palo Alto, California-based Facebook runs the world’s biggest social networking site.

In its June 2 request, Facebook called Ceglia “a hustler” who has engaged in various swindles over the past several years. The company said Ceglia’s claimed contract is “an amateurish forgery” and the emails fabricated. Facebook argued it needed to examine the documents immediately to put an end to a fraud on the court.

“Ceglia’s lawsuit is a shell game, shifting and changing with every filing,” Orin Snyder, a lawyer for Facebook and Zuckerberg, said in a statement responding to Ceglia’s filing yesterday. “Ceglia does not dispute that he has a track record of forging documents to rip people off.”

‘Terrible toll’

Snyder said polygraphs are easily manipulated and routinely disregarded by courts.

“This case and the tactics of Mark and Facebook have taken and continue to take a terrible toll on me, my wife, our two sons, and even our parents,” Ceglia said in his sworn statement filed Friday. “I have been repeatedly called a liar in the press and in the papers filed by defendants in this action.”

Ceglia sat for the polygraph test on June 11 in the Erie County, New York, office of Michael Pliszka, who administered the test, according to the court papers.

“The questions asked during the polygraph examination were designed to determine whether Mr. Ceglia had fraudulently forged or doctored the agreement,” Pliszka said. “It is my opinion that the examination results are classified as ‘No Deception Indicated.’”

In his statement, Ceglia said he and Zuckerberg met in the lobby of a hotel in Boston on April 28, 2003, and signed the contract, which Ceglia prepared by cutting and pasting from two different forms.

Document testing

Ceglia’s lawyers proposed subjecting the original contract to testing, which would be conducted by a mutually agreed or court-appointed expert, to determine the age of the ink on the contract. The necessary tests would destroy part of the document, they said.

Included in Friday’s filing are the opinions of two document experts and a computer expert.

John Evans, a computer expert hired by Ceglia, said his firm took from him 169 floppy discs, 1075 compact discs and two computer hard drives. One of the floppy discs has three Microsoft Word documents containing copies of email correspondence between Ceglia and Zuckerberg. Ceglia said he copied the messages from his internet-based msn.com email.

In an amended complaint filed in April, Ceglia quoted from emails he said he exchanged with Zuckerberg, which he said support his claim that the two men formed a partnership that gave Ceglia half-ownership of Facebook when it was started in 2004.

Zuckerberg said in a court filing that Ceglia hired him in 2003 to do web-development services for StreetFax.com, a business Ceglia was trying to start at the time. Zuckerberg, then a student at Harvard University, signed a contract drafted by Ceglia, which referred only to the StreetFax work, he said. The contract made no mention of Facebook, which Zuckerberg started months later, he said.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha