Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales announced that domain names belonging to Wikipedia and Wikia would be transferred off of GoDaddy, an Internet domain registrar, to protest GoDaddy's support for the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act, a controversial anti-piracy bill under consideration by Congress.
"I am proud to announce that the Wikipedia domain names will move away from GoDaddy. Their position on #sopa is unacceptable to us," Wales wrote in a tweet. He later added, "Wikia is also moving several hundred domains from godaddy. Which registrar has quality and price right?"
GoDaddy has been hemorrhaging domains in a backlash against the company's endorsement of SOPA. Though GoDaddy said in a blog published December 20 that it was withdrawing its support for SOPA, GoDaddy CEO Warren Adelman acknowledged in a subsequent interview with TechCrunch that the company had not yet officially registered with Congress its plans to switch sides.
According to VentureBeat, GoDaddy has lost more than 37,000 domains in total. Other companies that have joined in the exodus include the Cheezburger Network, which runs popular sites such as FAIL Blog, Failbook and I Can Has Cheezburger. Cheezburger Network CEO Ben Huh tweeted, "Not happy with @godaddy. Emailed CEO, asking for clear, unequivocal dropping of SOPA support. Still planning on moving off." Commenters on Reddit have also called for a GoDaddy boycott and one Reddit user suggested December 29 should be "move your domain away from GoDaddy day."
The Next Web writes that GoDaddy has been "calling customers, begging them to stay," noting that one customer shared an anecdote about a conversation with a GoDaddy representative in which the company's rep attempted to clarify GoDaddy's stance on SOPA.
Wales previously contemplated protesting SOPA with a Wikipedia blackout that would have seen many or all English-language Wikipedia pages taken offline.
"A few months ago, the Italian Wikipedia community made a decision to blank all of Italian Wikipedia for a short period in order to protest a law which would infringe on their editorial independence. The Italian Parliament backed down immediately. As Wikipedians may or may not be aware, a much worse law going under the misleading title of 'Stop Online Piracy Act' is working its way through Congress on a bit of a fast track," Wales wrote on Wikipedia. "My own view is that a community strike was very powerful and successful in Italy and could be even more powerful in this case."