GoDaddy withdraws support for SOPA

GoDaddy just released a statement withdrawing its support for SOPA.

Go Daddy is no longer supporting SOPA, the "Stop Online Piracy Act" currently working its way through U.S. Congress.

"Fighting online piracy is of the utmost importance, which is why Go Daddy has been working to help craft revisions to this legislation - but we can clearly do better," Warren Adelman, Go Daddy's newly appointed CEO, said. "It's very important that all Internet stakeholders work together on this. Getting it right is worth the wait. Go Daddy will support it when and if the Internet community supports it."

Go Daddy and its General Counsel, Christine Jones, have worked with federal lawmakers for months to help craft revisions to legislation first introduced some three years ago. Jones has fought to express the concerns of the entire Internet community and to improve the bill by proposing changes to key defined terms, limitations on DNS filtering to ensure the integrity of the Internet, more significant consequences for frivolous claims, and specific provisions to protect free speech.

"As a company that is all about innovation, with our own technology and in support of our customers, Go Daddy is rooted in the idea of First Amendment Rights and believes 100 percent that the Internet is a key engine for our new economy," said Adelman.

In changing its position, Go Daddy remains steadfast in its promise to support security and stability of the Internet. In an effort to eliminate any confusion about its reversal on SOPA though, Jones has removed blog postings that had outlined areas of the bill Go Daddy did support.

"Go Daddy has always fought to preserve the intellectual property rights of third parties, and will continue to do so in the future," Jones said.

It was a self-interested publicity stunt all along. But, nonetheless, a useful one for the rest of us.



  1. “Due to the fact that our support of SOPA was affecting our bottom line, we have experienced a profound shift in our philosophical outlook.”

    1. And why would any company (that wants to make money) act differently? You can hardly hold that against them. Not that I support them, but still.

      1. It is their original support for SOPA which is being held against them.

        Their sudden change of heart is amusing in its transparency and doubly satisfying since it highlights the success of the boycott.

        1. No objection there. Just saying that calling them hypocrites now doesn’t help. This is what everybody _wanted_: coax them into changing their mind.

          1. I doubt anyone would shed a tear if they changed their mind but still went out of business. They are hypocrites who have shown they will attempt to destroy any freedom enjoyed by their customers if there is a buck in it.

            Kick em while theyre down and enjoy doing it.

          2. I don’t want GoDaddy to change their mind. I just want them to go bankrupt and have the CEO reincarnated as an elephant tagged for “safari sport.”

          3. As far as I’m concerned they lost as soon as they stepped forward and supported this (and repeated it fervently as recently as yesterday). I’m still taking my business elsewhere.

            No, my goal wasn’t to change their mind. My goal was (along with people who hold *far* more domains than I) to send a message that this won’t be tolerated, and prevent other companies from doing such things in the first place.

    2. absolutely. godaddy is an awful company an I’m astounded that so many people who have the  mental capacity and awareness to understand SOPA were even their customers to begin with! if you don’t renew your domain names they actually sell it immediately to another section of their company in order to make it look like there is competition, then they have that section offer to sell it for thousands of dollars- whether it is worth that or not. they are huge scumbags, just another corporation.

      1. Agreed 100%. I’ve never used GoDaddy for anything, and always have recommended other sources for hosting. Not only are they sexist pigs, but the CEO paid thousands of dollars to kill an elephant and bragged about it.

        Fuck GoDaddy, right in the ear.

    3. GoDaddy’s statement in support of SOPA filed with the House

      Some gold nuggets:

      “The solutions outlined in SOPA clearly present a thoughtful and comprehensive approach.”

      “We work with law enforcement agencies at all levels and routinely assist in a wide variety of criminal and civil investigations.”

      “[…] I’m still struggling with why some Internet companies oppose PROTECT IP and SOPA.”

      “You can still search for “drugs without a prescription” and yield natural search results […].”

      “The people who seek to use alternative DNS to do so may just get what’s coming to them. I don’t wish malware on anyone, but we all know that criminals will always find a way.”

      “I’m finding that most of the concerns on the substance out there are unfounded.”

      I rest my case and have no further questions.

  2. Unfortunately for them I’m going to assume that this change of heart’s the self-interested bit, and I’m not going to trust them going forward (not that I trusted them before, thanks to other things they’ve done).

  3. I doubt anyone believes this is a Damascene  conversion, but it is gratifying at least that the company was pressured into a tactical retreat over this, however motivated they remain to “preserving the intellectual property rights of third-parties”. 

  4. You can’t call it a “publicity stunt” if they only acknowledged it in the first place after they were outed, and they only backed down when they started to lose significant business.

  5. Yeah…too late. Initiated my domain transfer last night. SOPA or no, I was looking for a reason to finally end my business with them. There’s still plenty of great reasons to leave them regardless of their stance on this. 

  6. I would still say you shouldn’t use GoDaddy. Horrible host, keeping domains on parking for a year after expiring, and then selling them to domain trolls.

  7. GoDaddy is a piece of shit company. Their CEO has long spewed hard-lined Right Wing political rhetoric and has a history of this sort of thing. I have a few old domains still hosted with them and will be transferring them off as soon as possible.

    Hopefully this particular stunt provides enough awareness that new costumers will stop going to them.

  8. Ha!  I wrote to them yesterday saying I would transfer all my company domains to another registrar due to their support of SOPA.  It’s nice to see that as a society we’re not totally fucked…well almost not and that business still responds to $

    I still plan to move our domains because…well I don’t trust GoDaddy anymore.  sigh…

  9. Screw that. Too little. Too late. I hope they do realize SOPA is a bad idea. But I still hope their company crashes and burns. Or, an herd of elephant eats the CEO.

    1. If the SOPABoycott does succeed and GoDaddy does suffer financial hardships due to their involvement with SOPA (however fleeting), other SOPA parties may question their involvement with the bill too.

      I’m not buying Music from EMI, SME or WMG.
      I’m not buying Sports ware from Nike, New Balance or Adidas.
      I’m not buying Hardware from Bose, Fender or Ford.

  10. So, question: we took them out of the fight quite easily, but who do we target next?

    Can’t go after all entities on the list at once, because not everyone will hit all companies. Picking one at a time works.

    Who’s another soft target?

    1. Excellent point. I agree.  It is important to look at what the vulnerabilities of the promoters are. GoDaddy is a seller of commercial consumer products. Their revenue stream is impacted with Bad PR. What are the financial or other vulnerabilities of the other players?

  11. OK, can we now extend the boycott to get them to stop their misogynist advertising? Does anyone think it’s not a little hypocritical that it took them supporting SOPA before anyone got some righteous anger worked up about their behaviour?  If they’re that slimy in their advertising, why did anyone think they would be any better behaved elsewhere?  Or were we all too busy ogling the GoDaddy Girls?

    1. I was too busy saving money at the expense of my principles.  This is exactly the reason why I am still going through with my 6  domain transfers today.  Those ads are disgusting.    The lesson of the day is to not support any ol’ company just to save a few bucks.

  12. Several people have noted that the combination of the removal of hosting and domains services had an impact. This kind of economic pressure works on certain players who don’t have a huge war chest and a coalition of “content” providers behind them.  How do you economically hurt MPAA, RIAA?

     I don’t mean boycotts, but I want people to think about actions like this against the people pushing SOPA.

    One of the ways that MPAA and RIAA get to be the heavy is because they are economically supported by the big studios. The Studios want these changes and they feel that MPAA and RIAA insulate them a bit from the actions taken by MPAA.

    Who pays the bills for MPAA and RIAA? What could interrupt that money flow?

    1. Maybe the answer is to target a single Record Label or Movie Studio? Honestly though, for me, I’ve already moved onto supporting truly independent artists like Louis C.K. and Pomplamoose. I guess I’m already boycotting The MPAA and RIAA.

    2. those orgs might be more easily thought of as unions for the big guys, so I suppose the history of union busting can come to bear here.

  13. I was going to change my domains, but since they decided to reverse themselves on this, I like the thought of having my little piece to continue holding over their heads.

  14. I don’t buy it, that was waaaay too easy; It was just yesterday that the push to boycott them because they support SOPA hit the blogosphere. Just last week, their convictions were just as strong (if not stronger) in support of SOPA. It feels to me like they’re just saying what they think we all want to hear. If this is all it took, what little would it take for them to flip-flop back to supporting SOPA? This issue is too big and they’ll have to work a lot harder than that to gain my trust. I’m still moving my domain names on the 29th.

    What would it take to gain my trust? To see them actively fighting against SOPA.

  15. The only way to make them feel pain is to kick them in the wallet. I hope the wound becomes necrotic. Keep kicking, folks.

  16. “Jones has fought to express the concerns of the entire Internet community…”

    Um, when was she elected representative of the entire internet community?

  17. Too little too late. I’ll still be transferring my domains as soon as I get a job and can afford it and rent. It sucks being too broke to vote with my dollars. 

  18. So far this seems to be a tactical withdrawal, not a strategic reversal. Will GoDaddy follow this up by demanding that its name be removed from the Judiciary Committee’s list of SOPA supporters [.pdf]? Will GoDaddy retain the privilege of buying confiscated domains? Will today’s announcment be un-posted as soon the heat is off?

    (And, in this season of giving, if you think the tipping point might have been Jimmy Wales’ announcement that wikipedia is moving away from GoDaddy, leave a little something extra in the foundation’s stocking ;-)

  19. From the “What’s the appeal?” desk – not intending to be hostile, just curious:

    For those of you who bought GoDaddy domains prior to this kerfuffle, why did you use them?  It always seemed like “those who buy domains” and “those who know how much GoDaddy sucks” are usually the same people, and would seek out any number of better alternatives.  
    They’ve been sleazy from the beginning, yeah?  Thought that was obvious from their commercials.

    1. I’d heard about them, which is more than I could have said for any other provider at the time. (Tho I don’t watch much TV, so I’d never seen one of their commercials.) They were relatively cheap. And strictly on the technical side of things, I’ve never had any complaints with them. But yes, I’ll switch my two whole domains off them.

    2. I bought from them  when I first got my domain name a long time ago.  They were cheap, and fairly easy. (If you ignored all the upselling.)  I had a friend who was using them successfully.
      I got out earlier in the year, over the elephanticide. is quite nice.

  20. How about some love for the Redditors who began the boycott and kept it going? We need more intersite support, especially by those whose very existence would be targetted if SOPA passes.

  21. As far as publicity stunts go, I’m thankful they’re so incompetent that the only stunt they can pull off is inspiring their customers to boycott them.

    That’s kind of like Wal-Mart running an “everything costs 500% more” sale.

  22. Has anyone created a firefox/chrome plug-in to help identify companies that support SOPA/PIPA? I’m just thinking of the DNS redirect plugin that someone wrote when ICE confiscated all those domains.

    IE, the plugin should search the context of a webpage and compare that to the list of companies that support SOPA/PIPA. 

    If the url=a supporter, a red light should flash on the browser bar, maybe a contextual popup: “Warning, are doing business with a company that supports censoring the internet.”

    If page content is similar to names of companies (or their products) on the list, an orange light ought to flash “Warning, you may be about to do business with (insert partial matches/matches based on products/context), a company that supports censoring the internet.”

    Do something similar with a list of names of the bill’s supporters in government. I want to know when I’m going around the internet about to buy goods/services so that I can avoid the bill’s business supporters, and if I read/share interviews or have the chance to donate/not donate to a politician who supports the bill. GoDaddy has just proved how effective this would be.

    Does that make any sense?

    1. I like the idea of a plugin like that would take a user-definable list of “concerns”. But also positive issues, so that if “uses renewable energy” is selected in the preferences, that would also be pointed out to the user. It would make voting with your wallet easier in both directions.

  23. I can never thank BoingBoing enough for pointing out the issue with GoDaddy and SOPA.
    I’ve been a customer of theirs for many years, but when this was brought to my attention, I immediately decided to take my business elsewhere, and cease all future trade with GoDaddy.

    I’m OK with copyright holders and governments fighting piracy, as long as they don’t fight dirty.
    What I’ve managed to read up on about SOPA so far, is hair-raising, and no IAP, ISP, or end user should have to accept what in effect is harassment from the above instances, regardless of whether they have the legal power to do so or not.

  24. No way I can stay with a company that will do the dirty work of SOPA against their own customers.  Yet another corporation with no ethics or morals, which will not be getting any more of my money.  

    And Bob Parsons, if you want to prove what a man you are, instead of killing an elephant (with the help of a guide and a rifle), why not join the fight to return our rights to us, end corporate control of our government, re-regulate our financial markets, etc?

  25. I dunno – shouldn’t we all buy something from them now? I thought the concept of ‘boycotting’ (which rarely works), was to persuade a business to change. Now that they have, do you ‘forgive’ or is it still ‘fuck you, you still suck, and you have the 2nd worst logo known to man’ (the first being London’s 2012 Olympics).

    1. No, the idea of boycotting is to raise awareness in order that people are able to make informed choices about what they support – lest they not understand what harm their support-in-ignorance may be doing.

    2. They only changed their possition because it effected their bottom line. From that statement it seems they still do not understand that SOPA is bad for the future of the internet so it is still not a company that deserves your buisiness.

  26. Godaddy’s core business is domain registration, and the best deals have always been for multiple years of registration… I’ve got sites registered for 3 and 10 years on Godaddy.  I don’t see the need to pay another registrar for the service I’ve already paid Godaddy for.   Then Godaddy would keep the payment but not have to provide the service they were paid for, hardly a punishment.

    If I were one of the millions of people who Godaddy had conned into overpriced web hosting plans, billed monthly, then I would definitely be switching.

  27. I don’t care for boingboings slant on the term “support”. We can support anything we what. But that doesn’t mean we have to support it blindly. Go Daddy had every right to “become involved” in SOPA. Go Daddy made attempts to deflate SOPA, not inflate it. It is possible to “support” a bill, yet steer it another way. “Supporting” a bill can simply mean you support it while you show it the back door. 

    If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. There are too many strange bills somehow getting as far as they are, because no one’s “supporting” (involved in) them. 

    You can either support a bill as a reveler, or a pall bearer.

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