Google to protest SOPA on its homepage tomorrowWhile adding a link and/or message to a company’s homepage to show opposition of a proposed piece of legislation may seem like a mostly worthless gesture in most cases, it’s quite the opposite for Google.
The search engine giant said it plans to add a link to its usually simple homepage to show its position on the proposed piece of anti-piracy legislation SOPA tomorrow.
“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,” Google said in a statement to Cnet. “So tomorrow we will be joining many other tech companies to highlight this issue on our US home page.”
SOPA gives both the U.S. government and copyright holders the authority to seek court orders against foreign-operated websites associated with infringing, pirating and/or counterfeiting intellectual property. If it becomes law, it could drastically change the way the Internet operates. For example, if a website is accused of containing copyright-infringing content (like a song, picture, video clip etc.), the site could be blocked by ISPs, de-indexed from search engines and even prevented from doing business online with services like PayPal.
Google’s actions will coincide with countless other online communities sites planning a blackout Jan. 18 to protest SOPA and its Senate equivalent PIPA. Some of those sites include Reddit, Wikipedia, the Cheezburger Network of blogs and many others. While not participating in the blackout, Twitter is apparently planning its own form of protest, as VentureBeat reported earlier.
The SOPA protests/blackouts also coincide with a congressional hearing scheduled for tomorrow (Jan. 18) to debate the bill’s potential effects on security, free speech and innovation.
For more information about the proposed SOPA legislation, check out this infographic about the bill’s negative effect on business and innovation as well as VentureBeat’s ongoing SOPA coverage.