GoDaddy has long been king of kings of domain registrars, and even when CEO Bob Parsons shot an elephant and crowed about it on video, most non-PETA-affiliated users didn’t flee.
But when GoDaddy trumpeted its support of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), users took notice. SOPA was proposed by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), who probably has a lot in common with Parsons, given that Smith is a rancher and gun advocate (though to shoot elephants? I don’t know). If you’re unfamiliar with the SOPA debate, CNet has an excellent FAQ that breaks it down very helpfully. It’s basically an issue of what Hollywood and the recording industry are calling creative rights and free speech advocates and Internet companies are calling censorship. It’s broad legislation and here at Tek Lado, we side with those who believe it would be, as a New York Times op-ed claimed in a comparison to China’s impoverished Internet freedom, the Great Firewall of America. (The Times piece was talking also about the Senate version of SOPA, which is Protect-IP.)
After GoDaddy announced its support for SOPA, there was an outcry against the company, and customers began transferring their domain names to other registrars. The company backed down and reversed its position, with new CEO Warren Adelman saying, “GoDaddy is rooted in the idea of First Amendment Rights.” Oh, go shoot an elephant. We know you just got cold feet.
But it was pretty Crush-alicious seeing the power that customers had to move the company to do the right thing. The follow-up boycott, which was a little fruitless at that point, was less successful, as TechDirt now reports that
Looking at the results from DailyChanges shows that GoDaddy actually had a strongly positive day, netting 20,748 more domains at the end of the day than the beginning. On transfers alone, there were nearly double the number of transfers in as out (27,843 in to 14,492 out) as well as more new registrations than deleted domains (43,304 new registrations compared to 35,907 deletions).
But the power of the people had been expressed the week prior, and that’s what made the difference in GoDaddy’s political position. That’s what matters. And that’s what we’re Crushing on.