GoDaddy CEO Warren Adelman got a Christmas card from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. It said simply, “welcome to my world.”
It all began when GoDaddy announced that they were supporting the Stop Online Piracy Act or SOPA. The act calls for a block on any domain that allows the posting of materials protected by copyright. Sounds reasonable, until you realize that Facebook could be blocked if someone posts a celebrity photo that is owned by one of the big licensers like Getty.
GoDaddy initially said they were behind SOPA and instantly, thousands began pulling their domains away from the company. Some went so far as to put up a boycott GoDaddy site and declare December 29, “Leave GoDaddy Day.”
On December 23, GoDaddy backpedaled some, saying they weren’t “for” SOPA (but they didn’t say they were against it) and the exodus continued. The estimate count for today? Over 70,000 domains have been pulled from the registrar.
Now, competitor NameCheap is accusing GoDaddy of intentionally blocking the transfer of domain names. Yeah, it’s getting ugly.
There have even been reports of GoDaddy reps calling domain holders, asking them to reconsider. Doesn’t sound like that tactic is working either.
So what now? Should GoDaddy continue to try and talk its way out of this mess? That didn’t work too well for Netflix. Should they just sit back and wait for it to blow over? Or is it time to bring out the big guns – aka MONEY. How many boycotters would happily rethink their priorities if GoDaddy offered them a big discount on their services?
The odd thing to me, is how many of these cases we’ve seen just this year. It seems like every brand is at the mercy of a single misstep and that’s scary. Companies are run by people, people make mistakes. Thanks to the internet, those mistakes are broadcast all over the world within seconds and an organized opposition can pop up within the hour.
Do these boycotts even help? Did Netflix customers get what they want? Did BestBuy customers get their TVs for Christmas? No.
So how do you suppose this boycott will turn out?