After changing its official position on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), web hosting giant GoDaddy was hoping to stem the tide of negativity launched at them in mid-December (2011). Angry customers, upset that their web host was an active supporter of SOPA, began organizing efforts to convince as many fellow customers as possible to transfer their domains to other Web hosters. Last Thursday, December 29 2011, was even dubbed the official “Dump GoDaddy Day.”
In the days leading up to December 29 GoDaddy had already lost nearly 30,000 domains. In an attempt to stop the bleeding the company’s CEO issued a statement withdrawing GoDaddy’s previous support for the legislation. It’s not clear whether or not the announcement had any effect, but the domain transfers continued well into the day Thursday.
Web hosting company Namecheap.com was one of the beneficiaries with as many as 27,000 transfers coming directly from GoDaddy. They promised to donate two dollars for every transfer to a prominent digital rights organization fighting against SOPA. GoDaddy is now in damage control mode as evidenced by remarks from CEO Warren Adelman.
“GoDaddy opposes SOPA because the legislation has not fulfilled its basic requirement to build a consensus among stake-holders in the technology and Internet communities,” he said. “Our company regrets the loss of any of our customers, who remain our highest priority, and we hope to repair those relationships and win back their business over time.”
In all likelihood the domain name defections will not have a long-lasting effect on a company with more than 51 million domains to their credit. On another hand, if the U.S. Congress passes SOPA when they return in January GoDaddy could be in some serious trouble. We’ll have to wait and see.