Hollywood’s never-ending battle against online piracy has a new victim today — GoDaddy.com, the world’s largest registrar of Internet domains.
Everyone’s heard of GoDaddy, perhaps best known for their sexist (not sexy, as Spinal Tap might say) commercials aired during the Super Bowl featuring women in small shirts.
Thursday, opponents of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) are boycotting GoDaddy, which was one of the few tech firms to support federal legislation that would require Internet Service Providers to block connections to torrent search engines and other sites that assist in the illegal distribution of copyrighted films, music and other content.
The boycott has already cost GoDaddy thousands of customers. One company pulled more than 1,000 domains from GoDaddy already. Still, GoDaddy controls 45 million domain names, four times more than its closest competitor, so it is unlikely elephant hunter and company founder Bob Parsons will be taking a pay cut.
The boycott threat did make GoDaddy swap sides, however.
SOPA is not a done deal. Congress is expected to take up the measure in January. It’s a political hot potato if there ever was one.
One one side of the issue you have what has been called “old media” — the politically powerful but financially faltering movie and music industry.
Opponents of SOPA read like a who’s who of the Internet. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Craigslist, eBay, Mozilla, Yahoo, AOL, and LinkedIn wrote a letter to key members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, saying SOPA poses “a serious risk to our industry’s continued track record of innovation and job creation, as well as to our nation’s cybersecurity.”
Google co-founder Sergey Brin said Dec. 15 that SOPA would “censor search results” and put the U.S. on par with “the most oppressive nations in the world.”
Meanwhile, viral songstress Leah Kauffman has let her feelings be known with the release of “Firewall (Don’t Let Our Government Ruin The Internets).”
What happens next? No telling, but when it comes to stopping copyright violators, perhaps that pirate ship has already sailed.