The producer behind The Expendables franchise has lashed out at President Obama for failing to take on Google and forcing the search engine to do more on piracy, and has asked for "jail" or "penalties" for those not helping Hollywood to fight piracy.
Avi Lerner, who is also the executive producer behind the recently released film 'London Has Fallen', was speaking a gala held in his honor and expressed anger towards the White House and Congress for failing to tackle the piracy problem. Specifically, Lerner accuses the government of being too scared of Google to force the search engine to stop piracy.
Lerner is particularly sensitive to the issue of piracy due to the pre-release piracy of his film, The Expendables 3. Up to 10 million downloads occurred before the film's actual release date, something that Lerner says resulted in $250 million in lost revenue. The previous movie in the franchise, The Expendables 2, made $312 million at the box office, while the third film in the series only made $209 million.
"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 Lerner, before adding, "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 penalised or whatever."
"The government, the president, is such a coward. He's scared of Google so we are losing millions," said Lerner.
Google already removes almost 91 million piracy related results from its database every month, and has been using a new algorithm that demotes piracy sites from the search rankings since 2014.