The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has Internet companies and users divided over how the U.S. bill will change the future of the web. Domain name registrar GoDaddy drew a line in the sand when it publicly stated in its blog that it supported SOPA, and described those who were against a bill holding "which might hold us accountable" as "myopic."
Now, many websites and customers have responded by pulling domain names from the world's largest domain name registrar.
Among the who's who of sites that are disagreeing with GoDaddy's stance on SOPA is CEO Ben Huh of Cheezburger, responsible for websites like I Can Has Cheezburger, FAIL Blog and Know Your Meme. Huh announced on Twitter that they would no longer support GoDaddy:
While Huh's 1000+ domains seem like a lot of lost revenue, GoDaddy's official blog says they manage over 50 million domain names in total. However, Huh's high-profile departure might encourage others to follow suit in taking their domain names elsewhere.
One Reddit user, selfprodigy, proposed on the forum that December 29 should be declared "move your domain day," according to Ars Technica. That post got over 1,500 comments with most of them in favour of the mass exodus.
Despite the widespread negative response, GoDaddy seems to be standing by its original stance. They re-posted the original blog on Dec. 22 in its support forums and disabled the comments. Ars Technica was contacted by GoDaddy, standing by their position and remaining ambivalent to the boycott:
"Go Daddy has received some emails that appear to stem from the boycott prompt, but we have not seen any impact to our business. We understand there are many differing opinions on the SOPA regulations," the statement on Ars Technica reads.
On the list of 142 companies in support of SOPA, GoDaddy appears to be the only Internet company listed.
Other Internet users are demonstrating their anger at SOPA by offering ways to circumvent the blocking of content to Firefox users. Two add-ons have popped up that allow users to access 'restricted' content. "DeSopa" lets users click a button to go through foreign DNS servers, which avoids SOPA's restriction on 'domestic,' i.e. North American, access to content. "The Pirate Bay Dancing" acts similarly to avoid restrictions, routing requests through a random proxy and avoiding ISP blockades.
To learn more about SOPA, read The Right Click's breakdown on what SOPA is and how it will impact Canadians.
(Screengrab from Twitter.com)