GoDaddy Retracts SOPA Support in Face of Customer Outrage

By Fahmida Y. Rashid  |  Posted 2011-12-23 Print this article Print

SOPA opponents win a skirmish as domain registrar GoDaddy publicly backed down from supporting the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act on Dec. 23.

A small business owner on social news-sharing site Reddit on Dec. 22 posted his disgust regarding GoDaddy's stated support for the online anti-piracy bill currently circulating in a House committee and said he'd transferred his 51 domains to a competing registrar. He encouraged others who opposed SOPA to do the same. The discussion exploded as other competitors rushed to provide discount codes to entice domain owners and resellers to move.

Ben Huh, CEO of Cheezeburger Network, home of popular memes such as "I Can Has Cheeseburger?" and the "FAIL Blog," said on Twitter that he would take his 1,000 domains and go elsewhere unless GoDaddy withdrew its support for the bill. Huh also publicly encouraged Google to reconsider its reseller relationship with GoDaddy.

GoDaddy capitulated by posting on Twitter early in the afternoon on Dec. 23 a response to Huh. "@BenHuh GoDaddy no longer supports SOPA legislation," the company wrote.

In a statement, Warren Adelman, GoDaddy's new CEO, said, "It's very important that all Internet stakeholders work together on this. Getting it right is worth the wait. GoDaddy will support it when and if the Internet community supports it."

"Fighting online piracy is of the utmost importance, which is why GoDaddy has been working to help craft revisions to this legislation, but we can clearly do better," Adelman admitted.

Huh quickly replied on Twitter, "Congrats Internet. You did it! @GoDaddy's new CEO drops support for SOPA!"

Huh wasn't the only major name outraged by GoDaddy's stance. Y Combinator founder Paul Graham announced that pro-SOPA companies would no longer be welcome at the incubator's Demo Days and other events. Automattic founder and Wordpress creator Matt Mullenweg posted a link on Twitter to containing an online petition against GoDaddy. |

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