Back in 2006, I registered my first domain, this one you are reading on. I wanted a website to show off the work I have done and promote myself to future employers. I decided on the name fairly easy based on some advice from my father-in-law. Once I had figured out what domain to register, I chose my registrar. Because of my fairly naive nature at the time, I chose Godaddy. Not because I liked its service over the competition, but because it was the only registrar I really knew of at the time.
Over the years I registered several other domains through them. I was fairly happy with the level of service Godaddy provided. Sure, the UI was clunky and convoluted, but it was usable at least. I never had a real reason to complain. That changed in the last couple of years though.
Over the last few years, I really learned just how anti-consumer Godaddy was. There were rumors that Godaddy was driving the cost of domain auctions up. They also had a propensity to block access to domains under dubious circumstances, such as RateMyCop and PhotoAttorney. Then there was the controversy of Godaddy CEO killing elephants, although the actual events didn’t bother me as much as the downplaying that followed.
But all that was just a prelude to the real problem. Even with all that controversy and all those problems, I never really had a strong resolve to transfer all my domains away. That is I didn’t have that resolve until this year. You see, this year came the horrid tripe of a bill called SOPA. Yes there is also an equally bad version in the Senate called Protect IP (PIPA). Both of these came with it strong support from one major domain registrar, Godaddy. Yes Godaddy supported SOPA/PIPA.
It was this that led me to finally make the move and transfer my domain. As of 12/27/2011, My domains are in the process of transfer. I am just waiting for Godaddy to finalize them. Now I realize that Godaddy, after seeing the outrage from domain owners, has “changed” its mind on the subject. While their lip service is nice and all, it lacks any meat that would help rectify the concerns of the greater internet community. Take the following paragraph as an example:
“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.”
Just looking at that paragraph, it clearly shows that Godaddy still supports the general idea behind SOPA and is willing to try to work to make it more palatable to the internet users. However, there is no way to change SOPA that would appease those that create the useful services online. There is certainly nothing that could be done to appease me. Next we have this little gem:
“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.
You see, if Godaddy really felt this way, why would they even support SOPA in the first place. Even in its current amended form, it still harms the innovation and security of the internet. It was even worse 3 months ago when Godaddy supported it. Why would it just now suddenly see the light? Oh. That’s right, 10s of thousands of domains have been transferred over the last few days. Finally, we have this little number:
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.
While i feel that any company or person can run their blog the way they want, I think deleting the entire blog posts on the topic of SOPA support was a bad move, It would have been far better if they had simply left them be with a simple redaction at the top pointing to the most recent blog posts on why they changed their minds. It would have certainly let people make a more informed decision on whether to continue to support Godaddy.
With all that said, I am still transferring my domains. Godaddy will no longer get any money from me. I recommend that all that currently do use Godaddy to transfer their domains and support a business that truly supports the internet and those that make it valuable.
If you need help in the transfer process, my friend, John Paul Sherman, pointed me to this article on the transfer process. While that article transfers domains from Godaddy to NameCheap, I transferred mine to Dreamhost, which strongly opposes SOPA, because I have my hosting there and have already registered a domain with them.
So when it comes down to it, SOPA is bad and it makes toxic any company that supports it. It doesn’t matter what happens afterward, that company cannot be trusted ever again.