Google To Protest SOPA, PIPA With Homepage Link

    January 17, 2012
    Josh Wolford
    Comments are off for this post.

Wednesday, January 18th is scheduled to be a internet-wide day of protest, as sites big and small are going dark for the day to express their disapproval of the SOPA / PIPA legislation.

SOPA Blackout Day will see sites like Wikipedia, reddit, Mozilla, and Failblog cease normal operations in order to spread the message that SOPA, PIPA and any similar laws can kill the free internet, and must be stopped.

Google is also planning on participating in the protest, although their demonstration is not quite as dramatic as a blackout.

Bloomberg is reporting that Google will place a link on their homepage in order to show their opposition to SOPA and PIPA. Google has been an outspoken opponent of the legislation for months.

“Like many businesses, entrepreneurs and web users, we oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking American companies to censor the Internet,” Samantha Smith, a Google spokeswoman, told Bloomberg. “So tomorrow we will be joining many other tech companies to highlight this issue on our U.S. home page.”

Of course, a link on the homepage is not as bold as shutting down your site for an entire day, but would we really want Google to do that? There is plenty of debate right now surrounding Wikipedia and reddit’s imminent blackouts. While some side with Jimmy Wales in thinking that the drastic action is necessary as a warning message of what could happen when you screw with the internet, others feel that it will be ineffective and even counterproductive.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo called the idea “silly,” saying that “closing a global business in reaction to single-issue national politics is foolish.”

So Google won’t go dark, but they will add something to their usually-spartan homepage. It might be for the best. Can you imagine the freakout if people jumped online tomorrow morning and saw this:

  • david

    Perhaps the image above is what people do need to see. It really is that serious.

  • http://www.academiclifecoaching.com John Andrew Williams (@williamsjohn)

    I can sure see both sides of this issue, but I think it’s valuable to take a historical perspective and realize that these companies are really fighting for “free speech” in an essential way and are a part of history.

    I think Costolo’s comments are what’s silly about the situation.

  • http://www.jacksononthemoon.com Sharon J

    Well at least they are doing something. Way to go, Google. I am waiting to see if GoDaddy will do anything.
    I also agree with John Williams about Costollo’s comments

  • https://twitter.com/millionairemntr MMG

    Happy to hear this got blocked until they can get it right.

  • http://www.LAokay.com Steven G

    This is one of those issues where both sides to the argument for and against SOPA/PIPA have realized that rules of conduct need to be put in place that protect copyright holders while due process is not adverted for those that are accused of committing piracy. I would not be opposed to the blocking of a website that was committing piracy, but only if there is a legitimate claim. In many cases, companies like Google do not fully investigate the merits of the claim, as Google itself has said time and time again that they simply do not have a way to tell who is the legitimate intellectual property holder when it comes to certain content. There are many Adsense publishers that have been sent a DMCA notice from Google that came from a 3rd party in which Google simply waits for a dispute of the claim within 10 days or else Google bans the Adsense publisher. If Google were to investigate all claims first and foremost, I’m sure that more than half of them would be dismissed.

  • http://www.seriouslyspain.com Reeves

    Google should have blacked themselves out completely. Now THAT would have had a HUGE impact. That yet again they’ve chosen to go with money and profits over doing what’s right says a lot about Google – and none of it is ever good.

  • teacher in support of Google

    As a teacher I fully support Google in this decision. I oppose the legislation and I have written to my leaders telling them so. However, many of our school’s functions would be negatively impacted without the communication of gmail ( our district’s email carrier), calendar, document sharing, and messaging. If they shut it down I believe alot more people would be more upset with Google than with the government. Is that what you want?

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