Is GoDaddy Blocking Domain Transfers After the SOPA Boycott?

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godaddyA few days ago thousands of customers turned against domain registrar GoDaddy for their support of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

Transfer requests for thousands of domains were started, and even big players such as Wikipedia threatened to move.

In a response, GoDaddy was quick to drop their support for SOPA (but not really), and the company kindly asked customers to come back.

Many customers were nevertheless determined to move to other registrar, but that presented a new problem.

It turns out that GoDaddy is delaying a significant number of the domain transfers for reasons unknown. GoDaddy competitor Namecheap suggests that the transfers are blocked on purpose.

“As many customers have recently complained of transfer issues, we suspect that this competitor is thwarting efforts to transfer domains away from them. Specifically, GoDaddy appears to be returning incomplete WHOIS information to Namecheap, delaying the transfer process. This practice is against ICANN rules,” they write.

“We at Namecheap believe that this action speaks volumes about the impact that informed customers are having on GoDaddy’s business. It’s a shame that GoDaddy feels they have to block their (former) customers from voting with their dollars. We can only guess that at GoDaddy, desperate times call for desperate measures.”

Other GoDaddy competitors such as DNSimple are more reserved in their response, but also state stat the delay is unusual.

“We’ve definitely seen a lot more of these messages since the SOPA announcement just before Christmas. Prior to that I almost never saw domains stalled because of problems getting at whois data. Whether GoDaddy is doing it on purpose or if they are just overwhelmed with the number of domains that are being transferred out is pure speculation at this point,” writes on Hacker News.

GoDaddy has yet to response to the unusual transfer delays, but their image has yet again suffered a blow.

Update: GoDaddy responds.

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