The hosting and domain service Go Daddy is being punished by its customers for its wishy washy position on the SOPA legislation.
According to this report at Venturebeat, Go Daddy has lost 37,000 domains just since Thursday as an organized boycott took hold:
The fleeing domains comes as a result of the intense backlash from customers and Internet critics after Go Daddy appeared on an official list of companies supporting SOPA. The internet responded by staging a wide-spread boycott where people would switch their domains to another registrar, which Go Daddy initially dismissed as having little impact on their business. Now it seems that assessment wasn't entirely accurate.
Although Go Daddy reversed their stance on SOPA, it wasn't before 37,000 domains were transfer off of its service, according to information reported by The Domains. The report indicates that over 15,000 domains were transferred off Thursday and another 21,054 domains on Friday. If you factor in the $6.99 to $10.99 fees associated with each of those domain registrations, Go Daddy is losing a significant amount of money.
Many on community link sharing site Reddit, which is where the boycotts were first organized, are skeptical that Go Daddy is really against SOPA. Citing reports from TechCrunch and Gizmodo, Reddit users point out that Go Daddy CEO Warren Adelman is neither for or against SOPA - a convenient position to take considering his company's customer base is fleeing. While Adelman admits the bill needs work, he said the company isn't beyond throwing support to another SOPA-like piece of legislation in the future.
For anyone who's still in the dark about the proposed legislation, SOPA gives both the U.S. government and copyright holders the authority to seek court orders against websites associated with infringing, pirating and/or counterfeiting intellectual property. The implication of having the act pass is that it could drastically change the way the Internet operates. For more information about the bill, check out this nifty infographic about what SOPA means for business and innovation.
There is little doubt that intellectual property should be protected better than it currently is. Piracy of movies, music, and other creative endeavors is at epidemic levels and threatens several industries.
But this bill is notionally dangerous. It goes too far in preventing the sharing of property. It uses a bazooka where a scalpel would be better. It allows copyright holders to legally go after websites that only link to pirated material - a ridiculous idea that might be used by giant media companies to eliminate competition.
Go Daddy thought it could straddle the issue and failed to gauge correctly the temper of its customer base. For that, they are suffering serious financial consequences.