Movie Mogul Blasts Obama as a ‘Coward’ Over Google Anti-Piracy Measures

“It’s a major problem and it’s something that I don’t know if anyone can stop,” says “Expendables” producer Avi Lerner

Last Updated: April 17, 2016 @ 5:03 PM

Movie mogul Avi Lerner has branded President Obama a “coward” for what he sees as a White House failure to take on Google over its anti-piracy measures.

Lerner told AFP that Hollywood is losing millions every year because the White House won’t force Google to strengthen its anti-piracy measures.

“It’s a major problem and it’s something that I don’t know if anyone can stop, because the government, the president, Congress are all scared of Google,” said the producer behind blockbusters including the “Expendables” franchise and “London Has Fallen.”

“The government, the president, is such a coward. He’s scared of Google so we are losing millions,” he told AFP. “They should tell Google to stop piracy. They should make a law that anyone helping piracy — and not helping to stop piracy — should go to jail or get penalized or whatever.”

AFP reported that a pristine copy of “The Expendables 3” was leaked onto file-sharing sites in July 2014, three weeks before the film’s theatrical release date. It was downloaded around 100,000 times within hours, and Nu Image said more than 10 million copies were made before its release.

Google modified its algorithms in 2014 to damage the search engine ranking of piracy sites, AFP reported, but many studio executives say Google hasn’t gone far enough.

In 2012, Hollywood pushed hard for laws that would raise penalties for Internet pirates, holding web sites outside the United States to the same standards as those in the U.S.

But Google pushed back, saying it would hamper use and development of the Internet. U.S. congressional leaders put the Protect Intellectual Property Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act in limbo after protests led by Google and Wikipedia denounced the legislation as a threat to online freedom. The bills never became law.

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