SOPA bill prompts boycott of supporters

By Richi Jennings (@richi ) - December 23, 2011.

The widely-hated Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is causing its supporters to suffer boycotts. Organizations such as GoDaddy and 3M are being targeted by serious activism. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers ponder protectionism and DNS Balkanization.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011...

John Ribeiro reports:

A Boycott GoDaddy website has been set up to collect pledges for a boycott and transfer of domains from ... Several domain registration services...are offering discounts to users wanting to transfer their domains...while expressing their opposition to SOPA.   

Edward Berridge adds:

GoDaddy has officially voiced its support for the...SOPA Bill...which will give copyright holders the sway to effectively shut down websites or online services if...they might so much as think about infringing material.


We think [GoDaddy] will change [its] tune the moment that Big Content demands Big Daddy is shut down for hosting...illegal content. SOPA does not really require anyone to provide any proof.


Since announcing its support for SOPA, GoDaddy will be getting a nice Christmas present as the sane-thinking web turns its back on the company.   

Go Daddy general counsel Christine Jones gives her side of the story:

We have a unique view into the dangers...[of] foreign websites dedicated to infringing US intellectual property. ... Although we believe that the DMCA does not address trademark infringement, nor does it [permit] enforcement actions against illegal foreign-based sites.


[T]his debate is not about Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley. [It's] about...American jobs, and protecting American consumers. ... We won’t get very far by resorting to the denial of responsibility or the pointing of fingers. ... SOPA is not going to “break the Internet.”   

But easyDNS's Mark Jeftovic disagrees:

[The bill] basically puts every single domain registered under generic TLDs under the authority of the United States Attorney General.


[I]t's a short stretch from SOPA to NODA (No Online Dissent Anywhere) and if you think I'm a nutcase...I'd like to remind everybody what happened...when US politicians were tripping over themselves to shut down wikileaks...and to this day, they have not been charged with a crime anywhere.


The internet root will have to be under the stewardship of [a non-US] honest broker who can respect the rights of all sovereign interests. ... Otherwise, it ends with a split internet root...[an] intolerable risk.   

Meanwhile, Mike Masnick explains why:

[I]t's pretty damn difficult to find too many individuals who like SOPA...but there are a fair number of companies who might [want] to cause all sorts of problems for foreign competition.


Neither of [GoDaddy's] statements address the concerns...and appear to be very much a "talk to the hand!" response...this may not have been the keenest strategic move.


Others on the list of supporters are starting to feel the well. discovering that their customers are not pleased. ... Others are starting to feel similar pressure. ... Paul Graham...has announced that he will bar...any of those companies from attending YCombinator's famed Demo Days...[which] can really hurt those companies.


[If] some companies support the law, it's not because it's good for their customers. ... It's because it'll be...a protectionist law to stomp out competition or to protect against having to adapt to innovation.   

   And Finally...
The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011

[hat tip: Jake Widman]

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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