Go Daddy, the well-known Internet registry, made a business blunder. The company supported the controversal Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Many people noticed, including Jimmy Wales, founder and head of Wikipedia, and were not happy. Wales publicly said he was going to pull Wikipedia's domains, some of the most popular sites on the Web away from GoDaddy. Whoops.
Go Daddy's executives, who aren't fools, immediately started to back away from SOPA. But, even as Go Daddy CEO Warren Adelman put his company in full reverse, he kept the door open to SOPA-like laws. Adelman wrote, "Go Daddy opposes SOPA because the legislation has not fulfilled its basic requirement to build a consensus among stake-holders in the technology and Internet communities."
That loop hole of future potential laws appears to have been enough for Wales to go ahead and pull the trigger on Wikipedia's Go Daddy registration. Wikipedia's parent company, Wikimedia, announced on March 9th that they had completed their transfer of Wikipedia sites from GoDaddy.
In this blog posting, Wikimedia legal counsel Michelle Paulson explained, "After months of deliberation and a complicated transfer, the Wikimedia Foundation domain portfolio has been successfully transferred from GoDaddy to MarkMonitor [a U.S.-based domain registry and trademark ]. The portfolio transfer was formally completed on Friday, March 9th, 2012. The transfers were done seamlessly and our sites did not experience any interruption of service or other issues during the procedure."
She went on, "As the provider of the 5th most visited web properties in the world, the Foundation cares deeply about who handles our domain names. We had been deliberating a move from GoDaddy for some time - our legal department felt the company was not the best fit for our domain needs - and we began actively seeking other domain management providers in December 2011. Go Daddy's initial support of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the controversial anti-piracy legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, reaffirmed our decision to end the relationship."
In short, when Go Daddy finally pulled away from SOPA it was already too little, too late. Go Daddy, which has been no stranger to controversy may want to think twice before it takes a controversial stand again. Its customers are watching.