SOPA Update: December 29th is “Dump GoDaddy Day”

by Emma Dunn

The latest casualty of the SOPA debate appears to be GoDaddy, who is expecting to lose thousands of customers tomorrow in what has been claimed to be “Dump GoDaddy Day”.

The whole motion has been started by a single humble Reddit user, who is expected to be joined by thousands more when they move their domains away from GoDaddy’s servers tomorrow.

And the reason? For a brief period of time, it appeared as if GoDaddy supported the controversial ‘Stop Online Piracy Act’ (or SOPA), which is currently doing the rounds in the US congress.

For those who don’t know, SOPA is a bill that is set to change life online forever. It will grant the US government permission to block Americans from visiting websites that are suspected of copyright infringement.

As you may expect, music record labels and Hollywood have come out in favour of the bill. And who can blame them? After all, online torrent libraries of pirated movies are harmful to the entertainment industry.

However, Silicon Valley are up in arms because there is huge potential for damage to perfectly innocent sites.

For example: sites that are based on the sharing of user generated content (e.g. Tumblr, Reddit, Digg, and so on) could be blocked on the basis of something that one of their users posted. As a result, sites become liable for user generated content.

This has a massive impact on many social sites, and fewer start-ups are likely to take the plunge in what could be a volatile political environment.

While it might not affect us directly in the UK yet, the US has a habit of setting future trends for online legislation, so if SOPA goes through, don’t be surprised if something similar is passed here.

GoDaddy have since retracted their support, but it looks like thousands of people are still likely to make the switch tomorrow. Will you be one of them?

What is your stance on SOPA? Are you worried about the impending bill? Or is it a big fuss over nothing? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

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