Google Blacks Out Logo in SOPA Protest
Posted on January 18, 2012
CNET reported yesterday that Google planned to use its homepage to protest the horrible Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) bill. Bills like SOPA that give previously unheard of and unthinkable powers and controls to powerful media and entertainment companies seem to be on the rise these days. We already have laws in place to protect copyright. These news bills are unnecessary.
A Google representative told CNET, "Like many businesses, entrepreneurs, and Web users, we oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue Web sites without asking American companies to censor the Internet. So tomorrow we will be joining many other tech companies to highlight this issue on our U.S. home page."
Today Google blacked out its logo and posted a message about how millions of Americans oppose the SOPA and PIPA bills. Google says the bills "would censor the Web and impose harmful regulations on American business." They are encouraging Internet users to sign a petition urging Congress to vote no on PIPA and SOPA.
Google also says in a blog post that PIPA & SOPA will censor the Internet and will not stop piracy. Google writes, "These bills would grant new powers to law enforcement to filter the Internet and block access to tools to get around those filters. We know from experience that these powers are on the wish list of oppressive regimes throughout the world. SOPA and PIPA also eliminate due process. They provide incentives for American companies to shut down, block access to and stop servicing U.S. and foreign websites that copyright and trademark owners allege are illegal without any due process or ability of a wrongfully targeted website to seek restitution."
The White House has spoken out about the bill, which angered News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch. It is unclear if the White House would veto the bill if it gets through Congress. President Obama did recently sign a controversial bill that enables the military detention of American citizens without a trial, even though he opposed the legislation in a signing statement.
Some websites are also going dark to oppose the SOPA and PIPA bills. Websites planning blackouts include Reddit, Wikipedia, Craigslist and Boing Boing.