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GoDaddy no longer on SOPA supporter list. (godaddy.com)
84 points by seltzered_ on Dec 27, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 57 comments

I've seen Bob Parsons lording over an elephant's carcass as if his contrived conquest of nature by a man with superior force and unlimited money was an incredible accomplishment. I don't care if elephants are a pest in Zimbabwe, his glee over killing such a majestic animal seems out of place. If he wants to kill something, he's welcome to come to some wildlife areas here in Maryland and cull the deer population when we have annual bow hunting season.

I've passively suffered through Godaddy's blatantly sexist use of women to sell the company's services. There is no other company that I do business with that runs this kind of advertising. Imagine the kind of hellstorm one of the Y Combinator sites would endure if they decided that a Godaddy-ish marketing plan was right for them as well.

I've fought my way through the Godaddy site each time I've wanted to register or renew a domain, once even confused to the point where I've had to call their support line to make my way to something that should be obvious to find. I'm tired of breathless upsells, scary threats about needing things I don't need, and a ten-step process that attempts to push their lame-ass additional products.

For me, Godaddy's SOPA support was just the last straw, the one that finally made me get up off my ass and do something about paying money to a company whose morals and practices I despise. Think about those other issues before you give Godaddy a pass for its SOPA reposition.

I listened to Parson's podcasts years back and learned a lot. He was a Silicon Valley outsider, who didn't attend an elite school, yet built two major companies from the ground up. I found him to be quite the inspiration and hosted my first sites with GoDaddy and went on to buy many domains through them. I had a lot of respect for Parsons, in spite of his controversial views on certain subjects.

Then, his first Super Bowl ad hit. It was a huge success, not just because of the use of sex, but because it was a clever parody of the "wardrobe malefaction" that happened a year before.

Somehow, though, over the years all of the tough startup work ethic and cleverness was lost in a sea of endless up sells, domain horror stories a dead elephant, and thin cotton shirts wrapped tightly around saline implants.

It was just a matter of time before I left, and GoDaddy's seemingly inexplicable support of SOPA has was the steel I-beam that broke the camel's back.

Politics and style aside, I don't get all the vitriol at their checkout process. Log in, click "ok" (or "next" or whatever it is) a couple times and you have a domain. It's not that bad. Sure, they try to upsell you, but the default click is always "no".

I have had a much, much worse experience with vista print, for example, who signed me up for a subscription to Essence magazine (yes, a paper magazine aimed at black women - for which I am very much not the target), despite the fact that I opted out (yes, I had to) of that silliness.

Think for a moment about how slimy the business practice is there. They aren't just upselling crap, but purposely distorting circulation numbers to rip off advertisers of their magazine partners.

Yeah, but vistaprint is a business card company! What could you possibly expect out of their domain registration services?

Now I'm curious why you were ever their customer to begin with. Even their name and logo are enough for me to run far, far away. Were they much more "barebones" back then?

Not to mention turning your own company into the elephant corpse.

I know why GoDaddy is doing this but looking at that list is pissing me off because many of the entries are really the same company. For example, on the list is:

ABC, ESPN, Disney Publishing Worldwide, and Marvel Entertainment, LLC.

They are all owned by Disney, so really that is just one damn company. Other companies are also on there more than once. I bet this list would be a bit shorter if you get rid of the shell games being played here.

Good observation. It seems that Lamar Smith has been doing every dirty trick he can to beef up that list, like including the names of companies who had only agreed to a generic statement about fighting the sale of counterfeit goods [1][2].

[1] http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111222/16384317175/gibson...

[2] http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111223/09051617180/law-fi...

Seems like a prime opportunity for an enterprising designer to infographic that list up. I'll guarantee you that it'd go nutty viral on the big tech sites.

Let's see a public statement by the CEO that not only says "we've been removed from a list" but also "we will never support SOPA or any other far-reaching legislation designed to undermine the Internet."

Honestly, until they shell out for lobbyists to help push through a bill I like, I don't consider them redeemed.

Not even just a bill you like, a bill that doesn't actively hurt many of their present customers and the community as a whole.

GoDaddy's not just the asshole at the party, GoDaddy's the one who's been calling the cops.

...from inside the party.

I agree. I'd want to see some statement about why they've been removed from this list. As of right now, this "press release" doesn't say anything interesting, and seems to have a "grudging" tone.

Additionally, Before I changed my mind about them I'd need to see some statement that shows they understand their users concerns about SOPA and are not just flopping from an unpopular viewpoint. Sadly, I suspect the honest answer to be that they're stance is costing them money.

Way too little, far too late IMO...

> this "press release" doesn't say anything interesting, and seems to have a "grudging" tone.

Indeed. If GoDaddy want to convince people they're sincere, they might try a large donation to the EFF.

The problem is that GoDaddy CEO can issue a statement like that, but the company will go back on it in a jiffy if need be. The company simply has no ethic backbone.

Indeed, they need to atone.

I don't think godaddy really understands that, at this point, none of this matters.

They supported this bill. Don't they think that that gives us some insight into their corporate culture?

Let's get this straight: you supported a bill which would destroy the internet; something that the tech community is vehemently against and, only when we absolutely dragged you kicking and screaming did you eventually retract your support?

No thanks.

This is like holding a gun to somebody's head and telling them to say that they like your cooking. It's nonsense.

Are you saying that all those times those people did not really like my cooking?

Interesting that they've chosen to publish the list of current supporters directly in their news release. It's almost as if they're saying directly to the internet, "Leave us alone. Here are the people you should be angry at now."

Also some of those companies have already withdrawn support like the Graphic Artists Guild https://www.graphicartistsguild.org/sopa/

They're selfish enough to be fine with merely muddying the waters.

GoDaddy is no longer on the list of SOPA supporters, but does that mean it no longer supports SOPA??

I find it interesting that there is no way for GoDaddy to get out of this one. They withdrew their support and... now what? I didn't think the mob was going to let them off the hook anyways, and it looks like they won't.

Not that I mind, I should have moved my domains a long time ago for dozens of different reasons besides the SOPA charade and won't use them again regardless of their stance on any legislation.

Here's my view of it:

    Supporting SOPA: -10 reputation
    Ceasing support of SOPA (but not opposing it): +5 reputation
    Helping write SOPA: -100 reputation
    Having a special exemption from SOPA: -100 reputation

    Total reputation: -205.
Once they get back "in the black" (by, say, lobbying against SOPA), I would maybe consider using them again, if they had a significant product value-add over whoever I'm using at the time.

Flippant disregard for customers and their intelligence: -100 reputation

GoDaddy has not demonstrated any concrete steps that they're taking to prevent this from happening again, and it could be said to be executive malpractice for the company not to work to prevent this trap from ever occurring to the company again. GoDaddy can't be trusted not to support these things, so they must work to help pass laws that eliminate the risk. Otherwise, the GoDaddy executive team is leaving the company open to further problems due to policy ignorance and/or malice.

The way for them to get out of it was to not help write legislation that their customers would consider completely toxic. In general, this is rarely a wise business move.

From an outside perspective to this (I don't own any GoDaddy domains) I'm finding the corporate response from them quite amusing.

Why don't they just get someone senior to go on camera and say "look we originally supported this motion but after reviewing the bill and a massive outcry from our customers we feel we should put this notice out to describe our position on the matter...." and then go on from there.

These drip-drop press releases are just like a child trying to fit in with the cool kids after some previous altercation

Great. But for many people it's too late. What would help GoDaddy at this point is making large, public donations in opposition of SOPA and anything like it. Even then, it's time for their business to make some big changes (see: http://kottke.org/11/12/the-internets-go-daddy-issues).

Damage has already been done. With the story of Weebly also making a point that they are not with the proliferation of free speech and Internet. Instead they are more about control.

The can still support SOPA, even if they aren't on the list. It would be nice to see a definitive "I was wrong about SOPA." statement from Bob Parsons and a personal commitment from the company stating the reversal of their position.

This move only seems to make it look like they don't support SOPA on the surface, with no underlying commitment to oppose it or even stay neutral. It also serves to throw every other company they've stood with to support SOPA by throwing them all under the bus.

And my name is no longer on the GoDaddy supporter list.

Good to hear. What's the back story here?

Moved most of my domains when they had their elephant thing, but had a few left over that I wasn't sure I'd be renewing. As of today, I've moved everything I plan to retain going forward and have set any that I intend to abandon to not auto-renew.

All in, they've lost about 20 domains from me. Not a lot compared to some organizations, but maybe if they'd been more focused on the customers operating in the industry they serve rather than doing everything else they seem to do to get their name out there they'd have realized why SOPA wasn't in their best interest to support.

To add to the "GoDaddy acting shady" list, in their domain manager they changed the link which should bring you to accept or decline the transfer form to a link that simply refreshes the page. To accept or decline the transfer you now have to find the "Pending Transfers" item in a drop-down menu. Couldn't be happier to be leaving these guys.

This is too little too late. Just because they are "not on a list" doesn't mean they don't support it. They have already done too much to push this through.

Well GoDaddy that doesn't change the fact that I've had my domains unlocked for 4 days now and all my authorization codes still come back as invalid. Is that normal? I've been transferring domains for 10 years, now all of a sudden I don't know what im doing.

I would love to see more companies on the list getting targeted. The reverse-robo call idea is a nice one, but with good organizing a lot more could get achieved.

Does anyone know if it would be illegal to target employees individually instead of "the corporation"? For example scrape the web for email address and phone numbers for these people employed at the SOPA support companies and inform them about the fatal policies their organization is supporting. The issue is still to web-centric and needs to reach beyond that level. Most mainstream news platforms, e.g. drudge, huffpo have still very little issue related news.

Godaddy's internal copyright policy is just as bad as SOPA, no court, only good faith, and remove before notification.

excerpt below and full text here http://goo.gl/cytjm

B. Copyright Claims

1. If the Complaining Party would like to submit a copyright claim for material on which you hold a bona fide copyright, Go Daddy requests that the Complaining Party substantiate such claim by providing Go Daddy with the following information via email to CopyrightClaims@godaddy.com. The words "Copyright Claim" should appear in the subject line. A copyright claim can also be submitted by mail to: Copyright Agent, Go Daddy, 14455 N. Hayden Road, Suite 219, Scottsdale, AZ 85260


A statement that the Complaining Party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law. A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the Complaining Party is the owner, or is authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

2. For Copyright Claims, upon receipt of appropriate notification from the Complaining Party, pursuant to Section 1 of Copyright Claims above, Go Daddy will remove or disable access to the material that is claimed to be infringing.

3. If the Complaining Party provides Go Daddy with appropriate notification, pursuant to Section 1 of Copyright Claims above, including information reasonably sufficient to permit Go Daddy to locate and remove or disable the material in question, or includes information concerning repeat infringement, then Go Daddy will forward the Complaining Party's written notification to such alleged Infringer and shall take reasonable steps promptly to notify the Infringer that it has removed or disabled access to the material.

Too little, too late.

I didn't care about Bob shooting elephants. Didn't care about using semi-attractive B-list celebutants to sell domains.

But this SOPA thing was, is, a massive dealbreaker. This camel's back wasn't hurting, but this was like dropping a railcar on it. We've got over 100 domains and they're all getting moved 12/29.

Not important, but there is a mildly amusing error on judiciary.house.gov: If you go here, you see the list without GoDaddy: http://judiciary.house.gov/issues/Rogue%20Websites/List%20of... If you go to the original misspelled URL that some people are still passing around, you see the list with GoDaddy on it: http://judiciary.house.gov/issues/Rouge%20Websites/List%20of...

What's stopping us from boycotting the rest of the list?

I've been boycotting the Gospel Music Association for years

The Hacker-news laser beam is best used on one balloon at a time for effectiveness.

Time to string up the music labels, right?

I have just asked a question related to yours: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3396823

In all fairness, this press release should be read in context with this other one:


I'm not defending go daddy (my comment elsewhere in this thread still stands), but this release on its own only shows a small part of their current stance.

Godaddy always had a reputation for being a shitty company, I mean, just look at their website! Who would want to do business with that?

I think this is a moral victory for all of us who took a stance and started the domain transfer from godaddy to other providers.

I personally shifted to Gandi.net, simply for the want of moving to a Europe based provider. I think US based providers are eventually going to be forced in if the Act goes through anyway.

How will we know if any company won't flip flop again, or support something like this in the future?

Does anyone have an early version of the official PDF? I want to diff the two, and see how things have changed. A lot of people have pulled support as it's become known that they're on the list.

What's loreal and revlon got to do with SOPA?

most likely fight knockoffs

that ship has sailed go daddy. You can have my internet privacy when you take it from my cold dead hands.

I guess that's a step...

GoDaddy still doesn't oppose SOPA that they helped creating.

Just a PR stunt of a butthurt company.

Fuck them. Keep moving your domains, people.

Exactly. From what I understand, they were key in drafting the legislation and now no distance from it matters.

Action from the company in helping draft an alternative, or bring a discussion to more people would be a huge step forward for them, not more PR or web pages listing people they used to be publicly aligned with (and likely still aligned with in private).

OK, you've convinced me to look into moving my dad's host away from godaddy (don't own any godaddy domains myself).

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