Go Daddy really and truly opposes SOPA now

Go Daddy really and truly opposes SOPA now

Summary: This time Go Daddy really does get off the Stop Online Piracy Act bandwagon. No! Really!

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TOPICS: Networking, Browser
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Go Daddy has decided to stop flirting with Congress' SOPA bill.

Go Daddy has decided to stop flirting with Congress' SOPA bill.

There's nothing like getting kicked in the teeth by your customers to make a company see reason. When Internet registry and Web site hosting company Go Daddy first realized that supporting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a misguided Internet copyright and censorship bill, wasn't a smart idea, Go Daddy CEO Warren Adelman did a half-assed job of backing away from SOPA. A few days later, and quite a few lost customers later, Go Daddy has decided to really and truly oppose SOPA.

The first time around, when Adelman announced Go Daddy's opposition to SOPA, he waffled saying, "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. 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."

Now, after the Reddit Go Daddy protest gathered steam; Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales announced that he would be moving Wikipedia's domain names from Go Daddy; and, last but not least, aggressive ads from competiting Internet domain registry and hosting companies such as Namecheap, Adelman has had a real change of heart.

In a statement, Adelman now declares: "We have observed a spike in domain name transfers, which are running above normal rates and which we attribute to Go Daddy's prior support for SOPA, which was reversed. GoDaddy opposes SOPA because the legislation has not fulfilled its basic requirement to build a consensus among stake-holders in the technology and Internet communities. Our company regrets the loss of any of our customers, who remain our highest priority, and we hope to repair those relationships and win back their business over time."

In addition to Adelman's comment, Go Daddy has announced that it's no longer on the U.S. Congressional list of SOPA supporters (PDF Link).

We don't know how many customers left Go Daddy. Namecheap reported that they'd seen "over 27,000 domain transfers from SOPA-Supporting domain registrars." That doesn't sound like that many to me, so I suspect that many other Web site owners were moving their domain names to other registries. In any case, the customer backlash was enough to make Go Daddy change its course.

It was nice to see such honesty from a CEO. By putting its customer loss first, we now know that what really mattered in Go Daddy's shift in policy wasn't the legal or ethical issues; it was the old bottom line. The protesters were speaking with their wallets by taking their domains away from Go Daddy. Money talked and Go Daddy listened.

Related Stories:

Go Daddy's SOPA Entanglement

Go Daddy spanks SOPA, yanks support

Dear Congressman Posey, SOPA is both dangerous and un-American

SOPA: So how much does it cost to buy off America's Internet freedom?

How SOPA would affect you: FAQ

Topics: Networking, Browser

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  • Disgusting

    The problem here is not that GoDaddy's execs gave an unpopular (and I think wrong) opinion supporting SOPA (people are allowed to be wrong), but that they subsequently waffled and then repudiated it under pressure, proving that they don't really care much about the public interest and should have kept their mouths shut in the first place.

    If you're going to say what you think, then you should stick by it until/unless your opinion changes, and then you should be prepared to state why you changed your mind (adverse economic consequences are not a valid reason, nor is party discipline).
    John L. Ries
    • RE: Go Daddy really and truly opposes SOPA now

      @John L. Ries You know, that would be true if corporations were actually individual people. The truth is, corporations are run by many people. Corporate policy is dictated by where a corporation's money comes from. If a company doesn't listen to what its customers want, then they might as well go out of business. The fact that Godaddy took a heel-face-turn on the issue of SOPA is not necessarily a bad thing -- it means their management are willing to listen to what their customers want. Sure -- they're going to have to do a lot of work to earn the trust of people like Jimmy Wales back (and rightly so), but this is a step in the right direction.
      nickswift498
      • Corporations are composed of individuals

        @nickswift498 <br>The management made a public statement on behalf of the company and then retracted it in the face of a boycott. That makes them cowards (or worse, hypocrites) and they should be disrespected as such, but nevertheless, I have severe misgivings about boycotting corporations solely or even primarily because of the political positions taken by their managers (see another of my postings below). I think we actually want to encourage people (including corporate executives) to speak their minds so we know what they really think and can discuss it (maybe even arrive at a better understanding of the issues), which makes efforts to punish people for giving an opinion (even an abhorrent one) counterproductive in the extreme.<br><br>The old fashioned approach is for corporations to be politically neutral and let their managers and employees engage in politics or not as they see fit, with the understanding that they don't necessarily speak for the company. I commend that approach highly.
        John L. Ries
  • RE: Go Daddy really and truly opposes SOPA now

    So let me get this straight...

    Go Daddy came out with a public stance that it's customers didn't like. It's customers responded by going elsewhere, and Go Daddy just... changed it's stance? Just like that? And that soon? That is a complete jip! Go Daddy needs to wait until it's customers camp out in a random park somewhere for months on end before it changes its stance. Heck, nobody even got pepper sprayed or arrested! Didn't anybody learn anything from the Occupy Wall Street protests that have been going on since August with no clear resolution in sight?

    Oh, wait, I guess maybe someone did learn. Maybe the OWS protestors can take a lesson from this.
    Corfy
  • RE: Go Daddy really and truly opposes SOPA now

    Yeah, sure.
    Bill4
  • RE: Go Daddy really and truly opposes SOPA now

    I just transferred my domain from GoDaddy last night - I lost all respect for them as a company and will never do business with them again.
    athynz
  • RE: Go Daddy really and truly opposes SOPA now

    This line "Fighting online piracy is of the utmost importance", tells us all that we need to know. Internet freedom is of the utmost importance to many of us, and must not be curtailed for the cause of safety and the protection of giant corporations. As always happens when the fight is over protecting the interests of a few, everyone loses and tyranny is imposed. GoDaddy hasn't changed its priorities, it has just changed it's support for this one bill. Get some new people who care about freedom and support the EFF over Congressional meddling and then I'll go back to GoDaddy.
    Ken Head
    • RE: Go Daddy really and truly opposes SOPA now

      @Ken Head And, when the bill changes a few words and becomes something almost different, how hard will it be to jump back on the SOPA bandwagon. Now that they have shown that money drives their opinion, it is just a matter of time before the other side pays them to change back. And, I don't remember seeing anything about whether they would continue to lobby, or pay to support lobbying, for SOPA, only that they removed their name from a list.
      normcf
    • Do you really want people...

      @Ken Head <br>...to choose their vendors on the basis of the stated political opinions of their owners or managers? Maybe have Republicans boycott businesses owned by Democrats and vice versa? How about allowing business owners to require their employees to publicly support their the owner's chosen political party and its policies as a condition of employment (this was sometimes done in the US in the 19th century), or allowing unions to enjoin their members from publicly contradicting the policy statements and political endorsements of the leadership? Such practices probably make the boycotters feel morally superior, but they also become a curb on the freedom we enjoy to say what we think without fear of punishment, which is not something I care to sacrifice.<br><br>It's the lobbying that's done behind closed doors and backed up with campaign contributions that we need to worry about, not the public statements of corporate managers.<br><br>Reply to DannyO_0x98:<br><br>I said nothing about constitutional guarantees and I'm not making a legal argument. I'm talking about the basic freedom (moral right, not legal privilege) to state one's opinion without being punished for it. But constitutional guarantees of free speech are pretty much a dead letter if the job of punishing supposed heretics simply passes from the state to the private sector. I don't want my boss, my landlord, or any self-appointed vigilance committees to tell me what I'm allowed to think, so I'm obliged to oppose similar coercive efforts against others, even when they turn out to be hypocrites.
      John L. Ries
      • RE: Go Daddy really and truly opposes SOPA now

        @John L. Ries <br>Your freedom is to say stuff. There's nothing about words not having consequences, including boycotts and shunning. That's why it takes courage to speak out.<br><br>Go Daddy is still acting as though they believe there is a legislative solution to the digital disruption woes the entertainment industry is experiencing. I believe that people should pay for their entertainment. But there's no denying from the standpoint of distribution and supply ( monotonically increasing now that titles have zero inventory costs and will not go out of catalog and unlimited with regards to a copy of a specific file) and demand, everything should point to a decrease in costs for entertainment.<br><br>But, I suspect that Go Daddy gets a lot of business from the entertainment folks, and they have to straddle the fence and find merits with the legislation conceptually, if not textually.<br><br>Well, they make their choices as their customers do. Timidity, vacillation, dog-whistle phrasings, flailing about for the right word formulation to mollify, should those upset shrug their shoulders and say "Free speech, what you gonna do?" or should they say "Glad you've cleared this up definitively, until tomorrow when a different press release is issued, but, it still looks like, unlike other vendors, you disagree with this site runner on what the internet should look like, either because you don't get it, or you have other customers you value more, which puts this squarely into the realm of a business relationship that we'd like to sever."
        DannyO_0x98
  • RE: Go Daddy really and truly opposes SOPA now

    Still weasely:<br><br>"...the legislation has not fulfilled its basic requirement to build a consensus among stake-holders in the technology and Internet communities"<br><br>There is no basic requirement for legislation to build consensuses. Legislation is required to get a majority vote.<br><br>Their statement says to me they think the problem with SOPA is that content owners and ISPs haven't figured out how to agree to disagree, when the legislation is a way to criminalize a civil dispute and to initiate a digital banishment to Siberia without court review. It's asymmetrical, in that the content owners gain benefit while transferring costs to ISPs, their customers, and the government and its taxpayers.<br><br>Dang thing is, SOPA won't put people into the theatre seats, won't make them buy DVDs, won't help break new musical acts, and won't make people spend less of their entertainment dollars on mobile devices, console devices, and games.<br><br>So, Go Daddy, put down the elephant gun, stop looking at the women in your ads, and repeat after me, "We oppose SOPA because it is technically inept, will not work, it unduly burdens third parties with the task of protecting others' copyrights, and the penalties for misuse of copyright enforcement are not commensurate with the penalties for infringement."
    DannyO_0x98
  • RE: Go Daddy really and truly opposes SOPA now

    I was going to post that we can all agree that protecting copyright is important, but then I realized that there are those who [i]don't[/i] agree, especially when holders of those copyrights are "rich corporations". I suppose that the next best thing I can do is to say that [i]some[/i] of us look beyond our own wallets when we consider copyrights and the need to protect them, regardless of how "rich" (or "poor") those copyright holders are.
    I don't blindly support mega-record-companies and the like, even though there will be those who are certain to accuse me of doing so, or worse, being a shill for them. I rarely buy albums and only slightly more often buy DVDs or BlueRays. However, as I said, looking beyond my own wallet, it is obvious to me that there is a societal benefit to protecting copyright. Each person needs to know that the law will protect their intellectual property, the very fruits of their mental effort, so that no one can steal their creations. In the modern era, this must include digital entertainment.
    Having said that, SOPA was the wrong way to do it, and Go Daddy got what they deserved. I applaud their honesty in their admission that their decisions were profit-driven (there is precious little such honesty today); however, their logic was terribly, terribly flawed. SOPA gives the government too much authority in an era when it is already trampling our rights at a frightening rate. If a simple accusation that "my stuff is being improperly used" can get a website shut down in a mere few days, there is no end to the online havoc that can be wrought...not to mention the flooding of the courts with cease-and-desist orders and the trials that would follow...or, worse, the "out-of-court settlements" that companies will pay to "atone" for their "error" - talk about a cash cow! We all know that the law would be abused for the sake of people making a few quick bucks, and to me, that sort of lying is worse than anything the mega-record-labels do.
    Finally, a word about freedom. A society of laws, which we purport to be, must allow people the freedom to follow their own path, even though we know some will choose to do bad things. We cannot, at all, [b]ever[/b] prevent law-breaking by passing more stringent laws. There is a balance between lawlessness & chaos and a totalitarian state. SOPA takes us a step closer to the latter. Though the "labels" complain that the current laws aren't effective (and they may even be partially right), the current set of laws is as strong as I want to see them. Prosecute them with more real [i]evidence[/i] that an accused person actually broke copyright law - that's fine - but don't create more massive laws that can be abused and which will reduce freedom for everyone as an unavoidable result.
    NO on SOPA.
    m-r@...
  • RE: Go Daddy really and truly opposes SOPA now

    No - They're only pretending to now that everyone is umping ship.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Go Daddy really and truly opposes SOPA now

      @Cylon Centurion Rational self interest makes the world go round. Thus, this is a small success story.
      nickswift498
  • RE: Go Daddy really and truly opposes SOPA now

    Well, I don't particularly care what the management of Godaddy thinks about SOPA. All I know is that if I were Jimmy Wales, I would be wary of a company that supports a bill that would threaten the existence of my site -- in fact, that's why many owners of domains switched over. If your domain registrar basically told you that they support a situation in which the MPAA and the DOJ could summarily remove your website from the internet without even informing you of the reason, what else could that registrar be doing with your property? To be honest, I think Godaddy has been showing off more of its crass business attitude, but in a way that spooked a lot of their big-name customers. Godaddy's board is eating humble pie at the moment.
    nickswift498
  • RE: Go Daddy really and truly opposes SOPA now

    At least GoDaddy have seen the light and changed their stance and it shows how much they value their customers. There are some companies that won't do this. So for this, well don GoDaddy! http://www.spiralyne.co.uk/health-benefits.html
    daviddaly
  • RE: Go Daddy really and truly opposes SOPA now

    Consumers of products / services should choose carefully and yes, I think it's fair to make your choice based on the politics / policies / beliefs of the service provider. <br><br>I wouldn't buy my running shoes from a store that supported child labor and I won't buy my domains from a company that has clearly shown its true colors, despite its back-tracking - it's quite apparent where they stand and simply changing their stance because they are losing money, makes them look even more gutless and less respectable. <br><br>In a ever-shrinking global democracy, businesses need to be careful what they stand for, what their principals are - and rightly so. <br><br>Consumer power has never been so strong.... Long live internet freedom and down with SOPA, PIPA and corporations that have no morals, decent values or ethics.
    woodyb_97@...
  • It's not SOPA so much....

    GoDaddy has one of the most cluttered control panels and unintuitive interfaces in the industry. I've been weaning myself away from them for some time; SOPA is as good an excuse as any to finally finish moving out.
    Skibum
  • It's not really SOPA so much

    GoDaddy has one of the most cluttered control panels and unintuitive interfaces in the industry. I've been weaning myself away from them for some time; SOPA is as good an excuse as any to finally finish moving out.
    Skibum
  • Time for more punishment

    I say punish the studios as well. SOPA might be over but it will be back in another form. Customers need to organize and blacklist the studios. Make a pledge to not see movies released by major studios for a year, in theaters. Wait for DVD/cable/netflix etc. Let them know such shenanigans will always hurt them.
    maneesh77