Several big websites and web companies have banded together to protest SOPA and PIPA, the two anti-piracy bills that threaten to do a lot more bad than good. Google has been a strong critic of SOPA, one of the few really big web companies that is doing so, unlike say Microsoft, Yahoo, Amazon and so on.
Google is now censoring the logo on its homepage in protest and is also showing a link directing people to contact their representative in the US Congress and tell them about their stance on the two bills. Outside of the US, only the link is shown, the logo is not censored.
"You might notice many of your favorite websites look different today. Wikipedia is down. Wordpress is dark. We’re censoring our homepage logo and asking you to petition Congress," David Drummond, SVP corporate development and chief legal officer at Google, wrote.
"So what’s the big deal? Right now in Washington D.C., Congress is considering two bills that would censor the web and impose burdensome regulations on American businesses," he said.
Drummond lists a number of concerns surrounding the two bills that will be familiar to those following the subject. PIPA and SOPA enable law enforcement agencies in the US to force US companies to block other websites, stop having any business relations with them at the request of copyright owners with little oversight or repercussions.
At the same time, the two bills will do little to actually stop piracy. The side effects far outweigh any of the benefits of the two pieces of legislation.
There already have been several protest against the bills, SOPA in particular, since it's the one currently being pushed through the legislative process. But it seems not even opposition from the White House is enough to kill it, so websites and companies big and small have chosen today to protest in unison. Hopefully, it won't be for nothing.