It seems that the Internet is capable of exacting some form of change. The large number of people who have been outwardly displaying their outrage over domain registrar GoDaddy’s support of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has caused the company to change their mind about supporting the legislation. The CEO of GoDaddy issued a statement on Friday informing the Internet of the company’s updated stance on SOPA.
GoDaddy CEO, Warren Adelman gave a written explanation of the reason the company would be dropping support of SOPA. Part of that statement reads,
“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.”
The company’s flip flop on SOPA took about 24 hours. Last Thursday, a thread on reddit was started to protest GoDaddy’s choice to support the bill and calling for a “Leave GoDaddy Day” on December 29th. The boycott of GoDaddy spread rapidly from reddit to the wider Internet, with large numbers of customer moving their domains or threatening to do so.
One of the users threatening to move domains was Ben Huh, the CEO of the Cheezburger family of sites. Huh threatened to move 1000 domains off of GoDaddy if the company did not change their position on SOPA. On Friday, Wikipedia cofounder Jimmy Wales also tweeted a threat to move from GoDaddy saying, “Their position on SOPA is unacceptable to us.”
It’s nice to see that user protest can force a company to reevaluate their stance on a troublesome bill. Hopefully open protest like this as well as people taking the time to contact their representatives can help send the message that SOPA is a negative piece of legislation which will only hurt the Internet as a whole.
The House of Representatives will be voting on SOPA early next year. You’ve still got time to contact your representatives to tell them how you feel about SOPA.