Hosting Firms Add Voices to SOPA Protest

January 18th is Blackout Day for Internet and hosting companies protesting against pending legislation that threatens free speech and information online. Here's a round-up of industry stances on the issue.

Colleen Miller

January 18, 2012

3 Min Read
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Today is Blackout Day for Internet companies protesting the Stop Internet Piracy Act or SOPA (H.R. 3261), and its relative, the PROTECT IP Act or PIPA (Senate Bill 968). The bills would have a significant impact on the way hosting providers deal with complaints about content pirating and copyright infringement. A number of hosting companies, domain sellers have voiced their opposition to the bills, citing problems with these changes. Here's a roundup of some of the industry's response to the pending legislation

  • Rackspace: Sink the Pirates, Not the Internet - A blog post on why Rackspace opposes these bills in their current form. "They are well-intentioned, but would do more harm than good,"writes Rackspace CEO Lanham Napier. "Their enforcement provisions could be easily evaded, and they would undermine the security and stability of the Internet.They are well-intentioned, but would do more harm than good."

  • Q&A: ServInt’s Christian Dawson on SOPA, PIPA and the Hosting Industry - Industry organizations like the Save Hosting coalition may have helped to plant the seed of doubt, but the work is not done yet, according to Save Hosting co-founder and ServInt chief operating officer Christian Dawson to talk about progress on SOPA and PIPA. In an email interview with The WHIR, Dawson talks about a web host's role in politics and outlines the next steps in the anti-SOPA/anti-PIPA movement.

  • SOPA: Bad for Hosting - SoftLayer - Softlayer weighed in on SOPA and PIPA on its company blog, The Inner Layer. "Even with these Dudley-Do-Right, Goody-Two-Shoes titles and their ambitious goals, SoftLayer opposes these bills in their current forms because they expose innocent and law-abiding hosting companies to uncertain liabilities."

  • Namecheap Joins in SOPA Blackout - Namecheap, a domain name registrar and web host, is blacking out its front page on Jan. 18 in protest of pending SOPA and PIPA legislation along with many other websites, including Cheezburger, reddit, Wikpedia and other popular online communities.

  • Web Hosting Firm, Denounces SOPA - Web hosting firm, has taken an official stance against the pending legislation.

  • Go Daddy Now Opposes SOPA: After a controversy and boycott, Domain registrar Go Daddy reversed its position on SOPA. "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," said Go Daddy CEO Warren Adelman in a Dec. 23 statement revising its position."Getting it right is worth the wait. Go Daddy will support it when and if the Internet community supports it." That neutral stance has now shifted to opposition to the bill in its current form.

The protest appears to have had an impact. Three co-sponsors of the bill have withdrawn their support.

For those interested in this issue, see the Google statement and petition For a perspective from a supporter of the bills, The Motion Picture Association of America has put out a statement describing the SOPA/PIPA blackouts as a "dangerous gimmick."

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