As Pay Walls Go Up, James Murdoch Shares A Few Thoughts On Digital Piracy

james_murdoch_3.10.10.jpgJames Murdoch, News Corporation Europe and Asia’s chairman and chief executive (and possible Sotheby’s board member), is not going to think highly of you if you’re inclined to download illegally. In fact, he’ll think you’re no better than a common Pringles thief.

Speaking at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit today, Murdoch told colleagues:

We need enforcement mechanisms and we need governments to play ball… There is no difference with going into a store and stealing Pringles or a handbag and taking this stuff. It’s a basic condition for investment and economic growth and there should be the same level of property rights whether it’s a house or a movie.

The idea that there’s a new consumer class and you have to be consumer-friendly when they’re stealing stuff. No. There should be the same level of sanctity as there is around property. Content is no different. They’re not crazy kids. No. Punish them.

Murdoch’s comments were met with applause and massive hard-ons. The young Murdoch’s views were in keeping with those expressed by his father, Rupert Murdoch, yesterday at the same event. He also echoed his father’s sentiments regarding content aggregators like Yahoo or Google, with which News Corp has not exactly had a friendly working relationship:

We’re being very careful legally to protect our rights. If there’s money getting stuck it’s getting stuck in an inefficient distribution layer… where Google and Yahoo are suddenly indexing copyright material and then selling bits of it and making money from it. You may have to withdraw access to those things. You may not.

Murdoch’s comments come as News Corp prepares to enact a pay wall for its UK publications such as the Times, the Sunday Times and the Sun within the next few “weeks or months.”