Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Don’t censor the web

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. 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. They’re known as the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House. Here’s what they’d do:
  • PIPA & SOPA will censor the web. 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.
  • PIPA & SOPA will risk our industry’s track record of innovation and job creation. These bills would make it easier to sue law-abiding U.S. companies. Law-abiding payment processors and Internet advertising services can be subject to these private rights of action. SOPA and PIPA would also create harmful (and uncertain) technology mandates on U.S. Internet companies, as federal judges second-guess technological measures used by these companies to stop bad actors, and potentially impose inconsistent injunctions on them.
  • PIPA & SOPA will not stop piracy. These bills wouldn’t get rid of pirate sites. Pirate sites would just change their addresses in order to continue their criminal activities. There are better ways to address piracy than to ask U.S. companies to censor the Internet. The foreign rogue sites are in it for the money, and we believe the best way to shut them down is to cut off their sources of funding. As a result, Google supports alternative approaches like the OPEN Act.
Fighting online piracy is extremely important. We are investing a lot of time and money in that fight. Last year alone we acted on copyright takedown notices for more than 5 million webpages and invested more than $60 million in the fight against ads appearing on bad sites. And we think there is more that can be done here—like targeted and focused steps to cut off the money supply to foreign pirate sites. If you cut off the money flow, you cut the incentive to steal.

Because we think there’s a good way forward that doesn’t cause collateral damage to the web, we’re joining Wikipedia, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, Mozilla and other Internet companies in speaking out against SOPA and PIPA. And we’re asking you to sign a petition and join the millions who have already reached out to Congress through phone calls, letters and petitions asking them to rethink SOPA and PIPA.


John Conley said...

Yay spam posts. anyways, i didn't see anything from twitter, and i thought they said they were not participating? and tumblr isn't doing anything either.

Jon Garfunkel said...

Ironic that you have 7 spam comments from overnight on this blog post...

As a Google shareholder and user, I've been looking for your position on this:
When Google users search for, say, *glee stream*, what links should come up? Should they be what Amazon, Hulu, and the content providers want? Or what the "Internet" wants -- sites providing links to unlicensed versions?

ojwolanyk said...

I am in agreement that government has to not interfere with our freedom to communicate. However, given Google's actions in supporting the suppression of free speech in Communist China over the internet it seems that Google itself is in a poor position to be a credible voice for freedom of expression.

Gensia said...

If the bill passes does it mean people can post copyrighted material and/or links to copyrighted material on government websites and politicians websites and get them shut down? I reckon small companies could moniter their users post better than bigger companies with millions of users.

sushilkin said...

Both SOPA and PIPA should be stopped.
I signed the petition and you can also found it here.

Amit Louis said...

Yeah spam posts. anyways, i didn't see anything from twitter, and i thought they said they were not participating? and tumblr isn't doing anything either.

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