The great evil of the modern day Internet: SOPA. The Stop Online Piracy Act, or as it’s formally known H.R. 3261, which threatens Freedom of Speech and Expression on the Internet. The Bill titles itself with the very false objective – “To promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and for other purposes.” – and it’s the “Other purposes” as usual we’re all worried about. Blocking a site at the DNS level is one of the primary concerns. The other concerns that we’ve heard and see online are the linking of one site to a site that is infringing against Copyright laws. With SOPA marked as it is now, the whole site would be taken down rather than the offending content. What ever happened to the DMCA? Wasn’t that good enough? Apparently not.
This Act, when read in further detail, not only pressures Internet Service Providers like TurkReno to make rather extraneous measures to filter content and national providers of ICANN services to block a domain that they blacklist from search engine results and beyond. If they passes it to the US Senate then you can expect more than one derivative of its kind following SOPA. You see, it’s failed before. And, like a bad cold, this is another variant. Here’s the best summary from Wikipedia that shows what it was and how it’s moving:
The PROTECT IP Act is a re-write of the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), which failed to pass in 2010. A similar House version of the bill, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was introduced on October 26, 2011.
What’s disgusting about this is that GoDaddy, one of the largest ICANN domain registrars was, and under speculation still is, supporting the writing of this Act. They crafted it themselves. And then they release a press release today stating they would not further support SOPA, but we don’t trust it and neither should you. If they knew what they were getting themselves into, then it’s clear that their Executives are bluffing their way into keeping business. What really matters here is that they see the big picture. GoDaddy isn’t the only registrar.
And, with as much content as GoDaddy hosts, and over-sells (see Caption 1), they’d shut down 5,000 to 6,000, yes – THOUSAND, customers at a time per ONE (1) SOPA takedown order.
And here’s what they had to say:
GoDaddy No Longer Supports SOPA
Looks to Internet Community & Fellow Tech Leaders to Develop Legislation We All Support
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Dec. 23, 2011) – 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.
Here’s the great crux in this Press Release: SOPA has not been introduced to the US Senate. And it’s a reaction, not something they’ve done after hearing the SOPA proceedings. As celebrities threatened to leave GoDaddy, they pushed this out to stop the bail out. It’s a House of Representatives Bill. As stated on the US House of Representatives Website under “How Are Laws Made?” this answer can be found (We’re at the In Committee phase):
Laws begin as ideas. First, a representative sponsors a bill. The bill is then assigned to a committee for study. If released by the committee, the bill is put on a calendar to be voted on, debated or amended. If the bill passes by simple majority (218 of 435), the bill moves to the Senate. In the Senate, the bill is assigned to another committee and, if released, debated and voted on. Again, a simple majority (51 of 100) passes the bill. Finally, a conference committee made of House and Senate members works out any differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. The resulting bill returns to the House and Senate for final approval. The Government Printing Office prints the revised bill in a process called enrolling. The President has 10 days to sign or veto the enrolled bill.
Anyone with half a brain can see this is just a PR stunt on GoDaddy’s behalf. Maybe even the protection of the recent additional DNSSEC properties which don’t totally jive with their product offerings. And admittedly DNSSEC doesn’t really jive with SOPA either, but it’s their main point of pressure to go after when attempting to take down a domain aside from seizing the name registration itself.
And the kicker to both Go Daddy and the rest of the world? DNSSEC is all controlled by IANA, Verisign, the gTLD (Generic Top-Level Domain) registrar for ALL .com and .net domains, acknowledging these Zone directives. ICANN and the U. S. Department of Commerce. Don’t believe me? http://www.root-dnssec.org.
Either way, this is part one of a few more that will outline why GoDaddy is failing as a company and why we believe that it’s not in your best interests to continue to do business with them.
Update 1/5/2012: GoDaddy, in all of it’s uncanny glory, has released a statement from CEO Warren Adleman. They don’t support SOPA because the representatives could not reach a consensus. I like one of the comments that state that “transparency should be a two-way street and not a one-way mirror”. Here’s the statement:
Go Daddy opposes SOPA because the legislation has not fulfilled its basic requirement to build a consensus among stake-holders in the technology and Internet communities. 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.
Still don’t trust them. Part two coming soon.