The biggest Internet presence in the world will have something to add to the growing online protests against anti-piracy legislation, though they won’t go as far as shutting down their operations. Google plans to highlight the issue with an action item on their famously spare homepage.
“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,” said a Google spokeswoman in a written statement provided to HuffPost. “So tomorrow we will be joining many other tech companies to highlight this issue on our U.S. home page.” [...]
In addition to the Web protests, thousands of New York City tech activists and entrepreneurs are preparing for a Wednesday protest outside the Manhattan offices of Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Kristin Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). Both Schumer and Gillibrand formally support Protect IP. Increasingly in recent years the Big Apple has become an active hub for tech firms, with many new companies and their venture capital supporters locating there rather than Silicon Valley.
The anti-SOPA event is being organized NY Tech Meetup, a trade group representing all aspects of the New York technology community. The group is expecting more than 1,500 members and speakers from leading tech companies to show up at the Wednesday protest, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m, at the senators’ Manhattan offices, at 780 Third Ave.
Add Google to the list of confirmed participants in the SOPA Strike, which has reached over 7,000 US websites. And more participants should be named in the hours leading up to the strike. For instance, what will Google subsidiary YouTube do, given that they have much to fear from this legislation?
Meanwhile, Chris Dodd, who cashed out of the Senate to become the head of the entertainment industry trade group, the Motion Picture Association of America, continues to make a mockery of his post-legislative career, with this petulant statement.
“Only days after the White House and chief sponsors of the legislation responded to the major concern expressed by opponents and then called for all parties to work cooperatively together, some technology business interests are resorting to stunts that punish their users or turn them into their corporate pawns, rather than coming to the table to find solutions to a problem that all now seem to agree is very real and damaging.
It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and use their services. It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today. It’s a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests.
A so-called “blackout” is yet another gimmick, albeit a dangerous one, designed to punish elected and administration officials who are working diligently to protect American jobs from foreign criminals. It is our hope that the White House and the Congress will call on those who intend to stage this “blackout” to stop the hyperbole and PR stunts and engage in meaningful efforts to combat piracy.”
Yes, it would be horrible if these Internet companies punished people who are simply working diligently at their jobs. Such as, say, people who see their websites shut down because of an external link or user-created item with copyrighted content.
How long before #dangerousgimmick starts trending on Twitter?