Who's dumping Go Daddy to protest SOPA?
Tomorrow is "Dump Go Daddy Day", not that many of you waited, based on your comments. For those considering to show their outrage at the registrar for active SOPA support (since withdrawn), it might be helpful to see what others are doing, where they're taking domains and exact reasoning for kicking Go Daddy down the hill.
But first, I must say that negative response to yesterday's Go Daddy/SOPA post surprised me. My some of you really are outraged. What I don't understand: Why focus all that anger on Go Daddy, or any other SOPA supporter, when legislators in the House and Senate who proposed the Stop Online Piracy Act, and sibling PROTECT IP ACT (PIPA), have the power to pass a bill into law? Wouldn't boycotting them make more sense? Or letting President Obama know how you would feel about him signing rather than vetoing the legislation? We are entering a big election year in just a few days, after all.
BetaNews reader Mark Haus shares similar sentiment: "Moving from GoDaddy won't change whether the legislation passes. It seems to me our energy could be better used fighting sopa itself. Registrar changes can be made anytime. Focus, people". Jeremy Brownstein disagrees: "The all mighty dollar on ether side of the road has more of an impact than any vote or the current democratic system".
I can't speak for BetaNews, but I personally oppose both PROTECT IP and SOPA, based on reading the proposed legislation. (Review the bills for yourself: PROTECT IP. SOPA.) By the way, Go Daddy is not BetaNews's registrar, something I should have checked for yesterday's story.
Recap, before looking at the Go Daddy dumpers: House representatives introduced SOPA in late October, following Senate bill PROTECT IP introduced in May. Either bill would give the government broad powers to take down websites, seize domains and compel search engines from indexing these properties. Little more than a request from copyright holders is necessary. It's essentially guilty-until-proven-innocent legislation that would punish the many for the sins of the few, while disrupting the fundamental attributes that made the Internet so successful and empowered so many individuals or businesses to accomplish so much.
Go Daddy came out supporting SOPA, almost immediately. I pulled the updated statement on December 23, hours before Go Daddy removed it (you can read it here). That same day, the registrar retracted its support for SOPA, which, as many people have observed, isn't the same as opposing it. I've said the same all along, that I don't support SOPA. That's not the same as saying I oppose it, which is why I deliberately affirm so today. To be clear.
One more thing, before looking at the dump Go Daddy SOPA protesters: Kaspersky Lab came out against the legislation relatively early on, by ending its membership with Business Software Alliance, a big SOPA supporter. BSA members include Adobe, Apple and Microsoft. Three weeks ago, in a commentary for BetaNews, Eugene Kaspersky gave his reasons for opposing SOPA and dumping BSA.
Dumping Go Daddy
"I'll move my domains on the 29th unequivocally", Eric Gillette writes. "I never hosted with them in the first place, since their hosting platform is weak in comparison to what's available, but now that I've found out about their actual support of SOPA (that's nuts), I'm done. Whether they re-canted or not, the damage is done". Yeti McMellenstein: "I own about 20 domains, most with Go Daddy. I manage about 300 others for clients. I am in the process of switching them all now".
"GoDaddy is looking out for Hollywood's inerest and is giving its customers the big F U", Ray Lloyd asserts. "There are other other host providers who arte looking out for our interest. I will move my solitary domain to someone else who chooses to fight that which hurt us rather than stay with someone who embraces the enemy".
Susan Jones: "If GD isn't supportive of it's clients I see no reason why we should continue to support them. In the process of transferring a bunch of domain names to namecheap.com. Picked them because of an article that listed the top 5 registrars -- Namecheap was at the top of the list. Fingers crossed the transition goes smoothly!"
Namecheap consistently appears in BetaNews comments as registrar of choice moving from Go Daddy. The company aggressively promotes December 29 as "Move Your Domain Day -- exercise your right and unite against SOPA and their supporters". That reads like shameless commercial exploitation to me.
I am probably not going to move my accounts from GoDaddy on the 29th, but if they continue to support the likes of SOPA and PIPA I will when renewal time comes around. The problems with SOPA and PIPA are not in the controversy of IP rights, but in the complete surrender of the Internet to corporate power and greed. Even if the insane expansion of copyright of recent years were defensible, the arbitrary punishment of the accused and anyone standing around in the vicinity without any sort of due process is unacceptable -- and unconstitutional.
"There are 3 possible positions here: Support, Neutral (neither support nor oppose), Oppose", Alejandro Rodriguez comments. "I am moving my 30+ domains away from GoDaddy precise because Go Daddy does not oppose SOPA.
Ryan Gart Gartrell: "I pulled my websites off of Godaddy because of the stance they took in the beginning. Just because they publicly say they now are neutral on the issue does not mean that is how the executives really feel. If they did really feel neutral they would have been that way the whole time".
"GoDaddy deserves their boycott, but it needs to step up to a new level", symbolset comments. "GoDaddy is one of Google's registrar partners. I'm a big fan of Google, but this is not OK. I would like to hear from Google what they're doing about this". Yes, what about Google, which strongly opposes SOPA, and its registrar for Blogger domains?
Market pressure like this is important. It sends a positive message to the business community. That message is we are not going to buy their services if they are going to use the profits to pass bad legislation. Or go on big game killing sprees in Africa for that matter. Stop wasting your money and move your domains to a registrar that doesn't believe in trashing our rights and killing elephants in Africa. I am web design student and when I choose a registrar I do some searching of news articles and websites for pertinent information. I considered Go Daddy but searches revealed the CEO's penchant for killing elephants and I very wisely did business elsewhere.
"So we have a bunch of dishonorable people who pirate all sorts of intellectual property and are complaining when the rightful owners are asserting their rights. Copyright infringement is a criminal act", Bob Kelly comments. "I can't see anything wrong with SOPA and Godaddy's support. I have no dog in this fight, but I don’t steal and I want people who do steal to be stopped and punished. This is just good for society".
Chris Carmichael: "Controlling piracy is an understandable goal, but the lawmakers need to understand technology better before pushing something through that far surpasses the original intent due to special interest group funding and a lack of techie knowledge".
I co-own a hosting company and domain name registration service -- a small one. Part of the reason Go Daddy supports SOPA is that it reduces the safe harbor we have been operating under related to content. This means companies in my field will have to have employees monitoring our customers content. Big companies like Go Daddy can afford to do this, but us small fish? Less so. Many small companies will go under, or be forced to raise prices. Which will be good for Go Daddy. That's why they support this, in my opinion.
Will you or have you moved your domains? If so, where? For how much? Other readers will want to know.
Photo Credit: Dirk Ercken/Shutterstock