Go Daddy's SOPA Entanglement

Go Daddy, the prominent Internet domain registry, is still supporting the Stop Online Piracy Act... sort of, kind of
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Go Daddy and Congress got along well in 2005 in one of the company s trademark ads, it's another story in 2011 with SOPA.

Go Daddy and Congress in 2005 in one of the company's trademark ads,

It's one thing for congresscritters who wouldn't known an Internet Protocol (IP) address from a domain name to support the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), it's another thing entirely for a top Internet domain registry company like Go Daddy to support SOPA. I mean Internet companies may not know anything about the First Amendment—something like far too many Congressmen come to think of it--but Go Daddy should certainly know their Internet technologies and what their customers would think of Go Daddy fouling up their Internet.

What's that? Newly appointed Go Daddy CEO Warren Adelman has yanked his company's support for SOPA. Really? Look at what he said again. He started fine, “Go Daddy is no longer supporting SOPA, the 'Stop Online Piracy Act' currently working its way through U.S. Congress.”

But, then Adelman started to waffle, "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."

So, what does he really mean? Adelman certainly isn't repudiating SOPA. He just wants a badly crafted law to somehow be magically crafted into a good law. Yeah, like that's going to happen.

In an interview with TechCrunch, Adelman makes it clear that Go Daddy isn't so much rejecting SOPA as it is trying to duck out of the way of the fight between civil libertarians and the bought and paid for political hacks behind SOPA.

You can't blame him for dodging the issue. On December 23rd, Go Daddy lost 21,000 domains. This is not the news you want when you're new to the top job and you want to impress Go Daddy's new owners.

I think I have a better idea though. Rather than try to dance around SOPA, just say you'll have nothing more to do with it. Go Daddy can always support an intellectual property law in the future that doesn't throw the baby of privacy and due process out with the bathwater of piracy. If they do that, then maybe the people pulling their domains out of Go Daddy won't be so eager to leave the company behind. If Go Daddy doesn't? Well, there are hundreds of domain registrants who would be happy to take Go Daddy's business.

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