Domain registrar and hosting company GoDaddy has dropped its support for the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The change in position follows the protests of thousands of customers who threatened to transfer their domains to competitors. In a statement released today the company now says it “will support it when and if the Internet community supports it.”
A list of SOPA-supporting companies published earlier this week spurred a variety of customer initiatives.
Most prominent was the campaign against domain registrar GoDaddy that started on Reddit yesterday. Within hours hundreds of people voiced their support for the initiative to transfer domain names away from GoDaddy.
The CEO of the famous Cheezeburger network quickly joined and threatened to move 1000+ domains, and many other big names including Wikipedia followed the example. In addition, nearly all of GoDaddy’s top competitors recognized the great marketing initiative and offered coupon codes to those who want to make the switch.
Initially, GoDaddy responded to the uproar by reposting (now deleted) earlier statements which detailed why the company stands behind SOPA. But less than 24 hours after the campaign started the domain registrar caved in and dropped their support for the controversial SOPA bill.
“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,” GoDaddy’s Warren Adelman says in a press release.
“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,” the CEO adds
GoDaddy further states that it’s been actively involved in drafting SOPA. The company tried to improve the legislation to benefit the Internet community, but without explicitly stating it, they now admit that these efforts failed.
Interestingly, this change of position also resulted in self-censorship on GoDaddy’s part. General Counsel Christine Jones decided to delete all blog posts where the company openly supported SOPA, to avoid confusion.
“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,” the company states.
GoDaddy’s change of mind is a breakthrough, and one of the many that we’ve witnessed during recent days. Alongside the domain registrar, companies such as Gibson Guitar and Petzl also dropped their support, although they claim to have never given it in the first place.
Meanwhile, the list of companies that openly opposes SOPA continues to grow.