The internet, angered by web hosting titan Go Daddy’s initial support for a disastrous online piracy bill voiced their grievances with their “domains”, moving tens of thousands of website names to other Internet domain registrars in a coordinated day of online protest.
Go Daddy said it felt the shift, but did not provide specific numbers, and has announced that it is opposed to the Stop Online Piracy Act.
“We have observed a spike in domain name transfers, which are running above normal rates and which we attribute to Go Daddy’s prior support for SOPA, which was reversed,” newly appointed Go Daddy CEO Warren Adelman said in a statement.
“Our company regrets the loss of any of our customers, who remain our highest priority, and we hope to repair those relationships and win back their business over time.”
On “Move Your Domain” day (#moveyourdomain) Go Daddy clients on Twitter reported if they’d made a move or if they’d been contacted by the firm to stay with them.
“Just Left @GoDaddy due to their promoting #SOPA and their new CEO’s half-hearted reversal. We don’t live in China or Iran yet … #ByeDaddy,” @DaveScott9
“Bye @Godaddy — just transferred 58 domains away because of your SOPA and PIPA support. #sopa #sopasucks Stay in servers, not politics,” @1HChandler
Through multiple statements Go Daddy said it no longer supported the House version of the legislation, known as SOPA, nor had it ever backed the Senate version , or (Protect IP Act, or PIPA) and noted that it has been removed from the U.S. Congressional list of SOPA supporters.
SOPA would make the streaming of unauthorized content a felony and websites that violate it could be blocked by Internet Service providers and payment processors as well as de-indexed by search engines.
“Go Daddy opposes SOPA because the legislation has not fulfilled its basic requirement to build a consensus among stake-holders in the technology and Internet communities,” Adelman said in the statement.
The boycott and transfer day were organized by users of social news site Reddit, which also set up a boycott site.
Go Daddy’s competition seized the opportunity to lure those making transfers. One of which was Namecheap. They decided to donate $2 for each transfer made on the day of protest to Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit that fights for digital rights. By typing “SOPAsucks” in at check-out those who transferred would pay $6.99 rather than the normal fee of a little more than $10.
Though Namecheap doesn’t know where the transfers originated , they ended the day with 27,200 transfers, giving them more than 77,000 inbound transfers since they announced their anti-SOPA stance on Dec. 22, a company spokeswoman Tamar Weinberg said in an email.
“We’ve seen more than 20 times our normal transfer activity and are delighted that we were able to take a stand against SOPA and help EFF in their fight,” she said.
Domain.com reported a majority of their transfers in the last week came from Go Daddy users. They also experienced a nearly 450 percent increase in the number of transfers.
Gandi.net also noted a peak in domain transfers, all from Go Daddy. They don’t have exact numbers, but expect it could reach between 5,000 and 10,000, the firm’s Stephan Ramoin wrote in an email.
“All of the sudden there really is a lot of mainstream attention … we’re seeing a lot of people waking up to these issues and taking a firm stance,” said Parker Higgins, an EFF activist. “It is an important issue and it’s one that really affects the future of the Internet.”
The House Judiciary Committee has said it would debate the bill early next year.
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