We Left GoDaddy. So Should You! or Why Every Nonprofit Should Care About SOPA

This month the Senate is scheduled to vote on a bill that could end the internet as we know it. If the so-called “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA), currently making its way through the House, or the “Protect Intellectual Property Act” (PIPA), awaiting a vote in the Senate, become law, corporations will have the ability to “disappear” your website without any due process. Internet innovators like Google, Twitter, Wikipedia, Al Gore and YouTube have come out against the bill because it will be disastrous to free speech, business and yes, to nonprofits.

Web innovators are taking the threat of SOPA and PIPA very seriously. One of the most popular sites on the internet, Reddit, is going to go dark for 12 hours on January 18th to protest against the bill. That will be a small sample of what the world would be like if these bills became law. No more satirical content that uses pop-culture to make a point. No more Fair Use. Nonprofits could be held accountable for what their members post. And nonprofits won’t have the financial ability to protect themselves.

Send Congress a message explaining the dangers of SOPA and PIPA via one of our best clients and friends, the ACLU.

The ACLU site has good detailed information on the legislation. You can also send a message to TV news directors at all the networks asking them to stop the media blackout on SOPA/PIPA via SaveTheInternet.org.

So if the people who built the internet and the most important sites on the internet are telling Congress not to pass this bill, who is telling them to support it? Here’s the list. And until a few days back, the regressive domain name registration and web hosting company GoDaddy was championing SOPA as well.

Hard to say why GoDaddy was supporting it. Maybe it’s because there were amendments in the works that would exempt operators of commercial sub-domains such as GoDaddy from the law. But maybe it’s just because GoDaddy is an ideologically bad company. Their ads are sexist and their president shoots elephants. (Seriously who does that? Montgomery Burns?) When activists at Reddit learned about GoDaddy’s support of SOPA they named December 29th Dump GoDaddy Day and started organizing.

What happened next is a great case of consumer activism and online organizing making a difference. TheDomains.com reports that GoDaddy lost 37,000 domains between Dec 22 and 24 alone! GoDaddy changed their stance VERY publicly as a result of the public outcry. Advomatic was moving one last domain away from GoDaddy and as we clicked the button on their site to receive the final authorization key we needed to leave, GoDaddy displayed a message saying that they no longer support SOPA-- a final pathetic plea as if to say, “We stopped being evil! We promise!”

Guess what? Even though GoDaddy relented, their President still killed an elephant and their ads are still sexist. They don’t deserve our support.

Thankfully, there are many domain name registration companies you can move to for better service AND that have policies that match our progressive values. Advomatic transferred all of the domains we manage away from GoDaddy to the domain registrar Gandi.net. They are against SOPA and even donate money to the Electronic Frontier Foundation! Other good options include DreamHost, which provide free hosting for 501c3s and NameCheap (which had an anti-SOPA discount).

To help you out LifeHacker posted a handy guide on how to switch web domain companies. If you’re a client and need a hand moving your domain names let us know! And don’t forget that we offer web hosting with free migration help through our hosting service line, Cadre.

So join Advomatic and all of the other business and nonprofits that care about the future of the internet and don’t like sexist jerks and change your domain company and keep those emails going to Congress.

Maybe we should start a petition asking Google and Facebook to post anti SOPA messages on their sites so they can educate their users....

Anna Richter wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Thanks Elana for sharing the information about SOPA in such a clear, straightforward way. It's pretty unthinkable that legislation like this is on the table. It's going to be a continued fight to maintain a free and open web. Thanks for doing your part! Now to get the rest of nonprofits off GoDaddy!

Elana Levin wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Thanks Anna, really appreciate it. I want to give a shout-out to my friend Brett who runs http://www.dearmarvel.com/ for helping me get up to speed. He's organizing the comicbook community around the issue.

Shaun Dakin wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Great post. My company, ReverseRobocall.com allows you to robocall ALL supporters of SOPA with one call. We are giving a % of our Rev to EFF because we believe so strongly in this issue.

More > http://www.reverserobocall.com/blog/reverserobocall-com-wants-to-stop-so...

Shaun Dakin

jack_tux wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Thanks for the clear explanation.

At our office we have already stopped using GoDaddy food this reason.

Ted Fickes wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Thanks for putting this together. GoDaddy has been unworthy of anyone's business for a long long time but, well, moving domains is only slightly more fun than eating broken glass. With a "hot to move domains" guide it moves from painful to simply tedious but worth it in the long run.

But let's not understate the threat that SOPA/PIPA pose to nonprofits in general and advocacy organizations/causes in particular. We take a free and open Internet for granted in the West/America. Without it, community, political and social change organizing would be greatly curtailed. Access to uncensored communications networks (even if underground) had something to do with Arab Spring and other uprisings and are certainly part of the power behind the Occupy movement. SOPA/PIPA are unnecessary and misguided attacks on creativity and innovation, to be sure, but also only slightly veiled attempts to block progressive organizing.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

I hate GoDaddy. It's ridiculous.

But I don't think those ads are sexists, I think you, who say that are Sexists.
You people from USA think everything is Sexist, this is not new.

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