Google To Join Anti-SOPA “Blackout Day” With Home Page Protest

us-congressGoogle has confirmed to several media outlets (initially CNET) that it will join other prominent websites tomorrow, including Wikipedia, in protesting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) bills. While Wikipedia has said it will go dark, Google will link to anti-SOPA information on its homepage. Still, that information will be seen by millions who otherwise might not know about the legislation.

SOPA and PIPA are supported by a range of corporate entities and media companies that elicited these draconian bills from Congress to address global IP piracy, copyright violations and the “rogue” sites allegedly responsible. (See Chris Sherman’s comprehensive run-down of SOPA.)

Somewhat ironically, CNET parent CBS Corp. is among the companies supporting SOPA. Indeed, many of the news outlets reporting on SOPA have corporate owners that support the measure. The full list is a veritable “who’s who” of American corporations.

Google has been a vocal opponent of SOPA/PIPA since the beginning. As the tide has turned against SOPA/PIPA  in recent weeks, support for the bills in Congress has waned. In addition, the White House just came out against SOPA and PIPA in their current form.

Google’s homepage link will be another nail in the coffin of these dreadful bills. But while they may now seem dead, rest assured that like a zombie this legislation will probably rise from the grave again in some modified form. There are too many powerful entities that want to see this legislation pass.

A couple of years ago, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster calculated the value of a hypothetical ad placement on Google’s homepage to be worth between $4 and $5 million (at a $15 or $20 CPM) if it actually had to be bought.

Postscript: See our follow-up stories:

(Photo of U.S. Capitol licensed under Creative Commons from Flickr user natalie419)

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Legal: Censorship | Legal: Copyright | Legal: General | Legal: Regulation

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • chaucd

    unti Sopa …….. I love Google.

  • Melinda

    If Google joined in, with YouTube be down?? That’s just about the most important protest ground available. Do it, Google! Blackout YOUTUBE!

  • http://asimpledropofwater.blogspot.com/ Karthik Sivasubramaniam

    @Melinda I don’t think so.. Wikipedia’s approach is best for itself, because it’s the most reliable information site. If SOPA is to become a reality tomorrow, Wikipedia is now showing a glimpse of what people will experience then. But Google’s way should be different. I don’t think people will feel lost just because they can’t see a video on Youtube for a day. On the other hand, almost every US citizen who has internet connection looks at the Google’s home page. Imagine the click throughs and conversions. This is best for Google.

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