updated 02:15 pm EST, Mon December 26, 2011
Namecheap says GoDaddy breaking ICANN rules
Domain registrar Namecheap accused GoDaddy on Monday of blocking attempts to move domains away after protest defections over GoDaddy's initial support for the Stop Online Piracy Act. The company claimed that GoDaddy was sending incomplete domain information, making it difficult to switch. It was allegedly violating ICANN rules, which Namecheap took as a sign that the mass domain switches were having a genuine effect.
"This action speaks volumes about the impact that informed customers are having on GoDaddy’s business," Namecheap said. "It’s a shame that GoDaddy feels they have to block their (former) customers from voting with their dollars. We can only guess that at GoDaddy, desperate times call for desperate measures."
Each switch would be processed by hand, Namecheap promised.
GoDaddy hadn't responded to the accusations.
Whatever its actual intentions, the decision to switch away from GoDaddy over SOPA is known to have had a material impact. The exact figure isn't known, but tens of thousands of domains may have switched away, some of which came in batches of hundreds or thousands from one provider. GoDaddy retracted support of SOPA, but many accused it of being insincere and cited it as the culmination of a series of incidents that led them to leave.
Most objections over SOPA have come from what's seen as an overly broad interpretation of what could lead to a government-ordered takedown. As worded, SOPA could bring down a site if a small piece of pirated content, even user-submitted, was found on an otherwise legitimate page. Concerns exist that it could lead to taking down whole sites and for movie and music studios to deliberately plant illegal content to take down competitors or critics.