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Saturday December 24, 2011 1:27 pm

GoDaddy backs down from SOPA support due to backlash

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Corporate News, Internet

Domain name registrar GoDaddy on Friday withdrew its support for the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) amidst a backlash from customers who were vehemently against the legislation.

In a statement, GoDaddy CEO Warren Adelman said the company will support SOPA "when and if the Internet community supports it."

A previously published, lengthy defense of SOPA now points to GoDaddy's updated statement, which the company said is intended to "eliminate any confusion."

The move comes after a Reddit user called on those with GoDaddy domains to move them elsewhere by Dec. 29, prompting godaddyboycott.org.

Cheezburger CEO Ben Huh quickly pledged to make the move. "We will move our 1,000 domains off @godaddy unless you drop support of SOPA. We love you guys, but #SOPA-is-cancer to the Free Web," Huh tweeted yesterday.

Today, Huh tweeted "Congrats Internet. You did it!"

In his statement, GoDaddy's Adelman said "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."

GoDaddy and its general counsel, Christine Jones, worked "for months" to help craft a bill.

"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," GoDaddy said.

SOPA would expand the ability of the Justice Department to go after Web sites overseas that traffic in fake goods like counterfeit purses or prescription drugs. According to the bill's sponsor, Rep. Lamar Smith, the DOJ would have to get a court order against an infringing site, and if granted, could request that the site be blocked. Search engines would then have to remove links to those sites.

Critics, however—like Google, Facebook, and Twitter—are concerned that the bill is too far-reaching and broad, and could potentially harm Web sites that don't actually contain infringing content or were acting in good faith.

The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to take up SOPA when it reconvenes in 2012; a similar Senate bill, dubbed the PROTECT IP Act, will be considered in late January.

This article, written by Chloe Albanesius, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.

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