SOPA Blackout: Google Doesn’t Join, But Gives Support

  on January 17 2012 5:16 PM

Don't worry, Google will not join the anti-SOPA blackout of Reddit and Wikipedia (which is already devastating enough for users who rely heavily on these sites). 

The Reddit and English-language Wikipedia blackout (with many smaller Web sites participating as well) will occur Wednesday and last for 12 hours and 24 hours, respectively.

Google, in contrast, is merely lending its support to the blackout.

The search engine will highlight this issue on our U.S. home page, reported POLITICO. That is, Google will post a link on Google.com to explain why it opposes the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act, its Senate version.

SOPA would criminalize linking and the fundamental structure of the Internet itself. ... By criminalizing links, what these bills do is they force you to take content off the Internet. ... If Congress writes a bad law, we all suffer, said Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt last December, according to The Hill.

The aim of SOPA and PIPA is to fight online piracy. Major backers of these bills are content creators. The music and movie industry, for example, are big supporters.

Opponents of the bills, ranging from non-profit organizations like the Wikimedia Foundation to multibillion-dollar companies like Google, however, are concerned about their unintended consequences and the possibility that they will be abused.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), sponsor of SOPA in the House of Representatives, does not agree with these concerns.

He went as far as calling the blackout a publicity stunt.

The bill will not harm Wikipedia, domestic blogs or social networking sites. This publicity stunt does a disservice to its users by promoting fear instead of facts. Perhaps during the blackout, Internet users can look elsewhere for an accurate definition of online piracy, said Smith in a statement, according to The Hill.

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