Last month, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was proposed in an attempt to curb and stop online piracy – in theory. In reality, it is a highly controversial law that if passed, would allow anyone to sue and shut down a website just because some content deemed illegal by the plaintiff was uploaded by users.
While the intention behind the law seems to go in the right direction, it could easily be misused, if not completely abused, to potentially harm useful websites that contain user-generated content, like YouTube, or others like it. Worse, one could imagine that competitors could hire users to upload copyrighted content to create trouble.
On one side we have a number of large companies like the Business Software Alliance (BSA) in favor of the proposal, and other, we have web-based companies like Google, Mozilla, AOL, and Twitter who are trying to fight it off. Well it looks like another company has decided to stop supporting the SOPA and join the opposition – the largest worldwide mass-market hosting company: Go Daddy.
Go Daddy was previously in support of the act, but after receiving threats to boycott its services from numerous websites, the company rethought its decision and decided to go against SOPA instead. According to Go Daddy’s CEO, Warren Adelman, they want to get rid of online piracy but SOPA isn’t the way to do it, and the company is willing to wait until a solution arrives before backing it.
“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. 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… 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.”
It looks like the opposition now has another heavy hitter on its side; I wonder how much it will affect the outcome of the court’s decision – however that will have to wait until 2012.