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Go Daddy eats humble pie after SOPA boycott

Kevin Murphy, December 30, 2011, 13:26:27 (UTC), Domain Registrars

Go Daddy lost tens of thousands of domain name registrations totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost recurring revenue due to yesterday’s SOPA-related boycott.
NameCheap, the eNom reseller that spearheaded the campaign against Go Daddy, said on Twitter that it had raised over $25,000 for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, suggesting that it saw over 25,000 inbound transfers using its SOPASUCKS discount code.
Twitter noise also suggests that several other registrars, such as and Gandi, gained from the protest.
The boycott went ahead due to Go Daddy’s former support of the Stop Online Piracy Act, which many Americans believe will infringe civil liberties by erecting a great big DNS firewall around the country.
The company withdrew its support for the bill before Christmas, but many customers either chose to ignore its new stance or to point out that “not supporting” did not necessarily mean “opposing”.
Frankly, I think many people just wanted to lash out, and withdrawing business from a company with an established reputation for being a bit downmarket is a lot easier than, say, turning off SOPA-supporting ESPN or cutting up your SOPA-supporting Visa card.
Warren Adelman, Go Daddy’s new CEO, issued this statement last night, clarifying the company’s position:

We have observed a spike in domain name transfers, which are running above normal rates and which we attribute to Go Daddy’s prior support for SOPA, which was reversed.
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.

The company has over 50 million domains under management. Even if 50,000 were transferred to other registrars, that’s still only 0.1% of Go Daddy’s installed base.
Name server records compiled by DailyChanges also heavily suggest that the company sold over 43,000 new domain registrations yesterday.
The fact that Adelman chose to eat humble pie rather than pointing this out was probably a wise PR decision.
Also, NameCheap deserves some kudos for running a very effective social media campaign.

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Comments (3)

  1. Mike says:

    Personally, I dont think they’re eating anything except “keep quiet pie”…..
    Godaddy didnt lose squat in terms of domains. The same period last year — they lost MORE domains. What he is doing is using this as an opportunity to get MORE registrations, if anything.
    They will fall forward, not backward from this. Trust me.

  2. Dan says:

    According to a ‘PR’ report today…
    NC raised the donation to $2 per domain and went past 25K mark in domain transfers, so they donated $50k.
    It makes me wonder why ‘Visa’ would support ‘sopa’ at all? It just going to cost them money, time and business in the long run. PayPal, sure does not support the bill.

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