The Stop Online Piracy Act (aka. S.O.P.A) has been making headlines around the web in recent weeks. The bill introduced by the U.S. House of Representatives aims to cut down illegal file sharing. However its critics say the bill will do more harm than good. Big tech companies such as Google and Facebook have come out in strong opposition, pointing out that if passed, the government would have the power to shut down websites and order search engines to modify search results to combat piracy. Opponents say that this infringes on basic online freedoms and will not actually solve the issue at hand. Proponents of the bill include the usual suspects, big entertainment companies such as Disney and the NFL, who have suffered great losses due to piracy and are desperate for a solution.
Today, many were surprised to read that domain registrar and web hosting company, Go Daddy is in support of the bill. A link to the announcement posted on the popular social sharing site Reddit has sparked outrage around the web and has called for a boycott of the company. But it is not just a small minority transferring personal domains, I Can Has Cheezeburger CEO Ben Huh has threatened to move over 1000 domains off Go Daddy unless they change their stance on S.O.P.A.
Many web host competitors are taking advantage of the situation and offering discounts to Go Daddy customers to switch their hosting provider. Regardless of whether S.O.P.A. is good or not, the announcement by Go Daddy has created a PR nightmare. A quick look at Go Daddy’s twitter feed reveals a stream of public replies reading “We encourage you to visit our blog to view the details of our position on SOPA”. The company does not seem to be backing down from their position or doing anything to retain the customers they are loosing today.
The boycott has even spread past Go Daddy, YCombinator founder Paul Graham announced that he will be banning any companies supporting S.O.P.A. from his Demo Day events.
“If these companies are so clueless about technology that they think SOPA is a good idea, how could they be good investors?” — Paul Graham.
If the trend continues it may not only be unpopular to support S.O.P.A. but also unprofitable. Let us know what you think about the boycott in the comments, did Go Daddy make the right move by taking such a strong stance?