Internet domain registrar GoDaddy just announced it will no longer support the controversial SOPA legislation after being threatened with a massive boycott from users who oppose the bill. GoDaddy had been an outspoken supporter of SOPA until just now, even saying that it had worked with lawmakers to draft its provisions, but that support ultimately made the company an easy target for SOPA's furious opposition. A boycott movement started with Reddit users planning a December 29th "Leave GoDaddy Day," and Cheezburger CEO Ben Huh threatened to move his company's 1,000 domains away from GoDaddy unless the company reversed course. Faced with concrete impact to its business, it appears GoDaddy did the only sensible thing — fold.
Although the pressure was enough to cause GoDaddy to withdraw its support for now, the company still believes similar reform is ultimately necessary — in its statement, company CEO Warren Adelman said that legislation to fight piracy is important, but that "we can clearly do better... Getting it right is worth the wait." We'll see how the company decides to act on that thinking in the future, and if it decides to stay involved — the fight over SOPA is just beginning, and ultimately the GoDaddy saga is but a sideshow.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Dec. 23, 2011) - Go Daddy is no longer supporting SOPA, the "Stop Online Piracy Act" currently working its way through U.S. Congress.
"Fighting online piracy is of the utmost importance, which is why Go Daddy has been working to help craft revisions to this legislation - but we can clearly do better," Warren Adelman, Go Daddy's newly appointed CEO, said. "It's very important that all Internet stakeholders work together on this. Getting it right is worth the wait. Go Daddy will support it when and if the Internet community supports it."
Go Daddy and its General Counsel, Christine Jones, have worked with federal lawmakers for months to help craft revisions to legislation first introduced some three years ago. Jones has fought to express the concerns of the entire Internet community and to improve the bill by proposing changes to key defined terms, limitations on DNS filtering to ensure the integrity of the Internet, more significant consequences for frivolous claims, and specific provisions to protect free speech.
"As a company that is all about innovation, with our own technology and in support of our customers, Go Daddy is rooted in the idea of First Amendment Rights and believes 100 percent that the Internet is a key engine for our new economy," said Adelman.
In changing its position, Go Daddy remains steadfast in its promise to support security and stability of the Internet. In an effort to eliminate any confusion about its reversal on SOPA though, Jones has removed blog postings that had outlined areas of the bill Go Daddy did support.
"Go Daddy has always fought to preserve the intellectual property rights of third parties, and will continue to do so in the future," Jones said.