GoDaddy pulls its support from SOPA

Feedback from customers prompts GoDaddy to backtrack on the copyright legislation

Giant domain name registrar GoDaddy.com has pulled its support from the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act after owners of several websites announced they would take their business elsewhere.

Negative feedback about SOPA from a number of customers forced GoDaddy to take a second look at the legislation, said Warren Adelman, Go Daddy's newly appointed CEO. Go Daddy has concerns about the free speech and Internet security implications of the legislation, but until now, has worked with lawmakers to address those issues, he said.

"It's clear to us the bill's not ready in its current form," Adelman said Friday. "Looking at this over the last 20 hours, we're not seeing consensus in the Internet community, we're hearing the feedback from our customers."

On Thursday, Reddit user selfprodigy said he was pulling 51 domain names from GoDaddy because of the registrar's support of SOPA. The same day, Ben Huh, CEO of the Cheezburger family of humor websites said said his company would move its 1,000-plus domains off Go Daddy unless it dropped its support for the bill, known as SOPA.

On Friday, Wikipedia cofounder Jimmy Wales also threatened to move from Go Daddy. "Their position on SOPA is unacceptable to us," Wales said in a tweet.

Feedback from customers was a huge reason GoDaddy switched its position, said Adelman, formerly president and COO at the registrar. "As a company, one of our core values is listening and taking care of our customers," he said.

The Wikimedia Foundation was "really glad" to hear of GoDaddy's reversal on SOPA, said Jay Walsh, communications director there. "SOPA is an attack on the free and open Web," he said. Projects like Wikipedia need an open and free Web to thrive and function."

Still, the foundation will be reviewing its hosting service providers in 2012, Walsh said. "Jimmy's statement is still correct -- we are looking at new providers," he added.

In April, GoDaddy General Counsel Christine Jones told lawmakers that the company would support efforts that required DNS blocking as a way to strike at foreign websites that infringe U.S. copyrights. As of Friday, Jones has removed posts at GoDaddy.com describing the company's support of provisions in SOPA.

Also this week, conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, normally a strong supporter of copyright enforcement, voiced opposition to SOPA. The think tank has "serious and legitimate concerns" about SOPA's impact on Web security and freedom of speech, wrote James Gattuso, senior research follow in regulatory policy at Heritage.

SOPA, in allowing court orders to block the resolution of IP addresses by servers in the U.S., could entice Web users to "use less secure servers elsewhere to continue accessing blocked sites," he added.

SOPA still has strong support in Congress and among companies in several U.S. industries. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the driving forces behind the bill, has said that more than 400 organizations have voiced support.

The bill would allow the U.S. Department of Justice and copyright holders to seek court orders blocking payment processors and online advertising networks from doing business with foreign sites accused of infringing copyright.

DOJ-requested court orders could also bar search engines from linking to the allegedly infringing sites. The court orders could require domain name registrars to stop resolving queries that direct traffic to those sites, and require Internet service providers to block subscriber access to sites accused of infringing.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags U.S. Department of JusticBen HuhlegislationWikimedia FoundationinternetwikipediaGoDaddy.comHeritage FoundationCheezburgerJimmy Walesintellectual propertycopyrightU.S. Chamber of CommercelegalChristine JonesgovernmentWarren AdelmanJay Walsh

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?