You may have already noticed Google's homepage features a large black rectangle "censoring" its colorful logo Wednesday.
Google is not shutting down their website like Reddit, Wordpress and Wikipedia for 24 hours, but the image is a visual statement in solidarity with other Web sites protesting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) or Protect IP Act -- two pieces of legislation that aim to crack down on piracy by giving lawmakers the power to shut down sites.
The Google doodle links to a anti-SOPA and anti-PIPA petition that invites Internet-goers to sign.
"PIPA & SOPA will censor the web," wrote David Drummond, SVP Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer of Google in a blog post.
"We know from experience that these powers are on the wish list of oppressive regimes throughout the world," Drummond wrote. "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."
Drummond adds he thinks that PIPA & SOPA would not be effective in stopping piracy because pirate cites "would just change their address" and find ways to side step what he says is a poorly written law.
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said last December that the two bills would "criminalize linking and the fundamental structure of the Internet itself."
For more information about other sites participating in the blackout, click here.