GoDaddy’s Site Spike
GoDaddy.com became the Web’s leading domain name registrar on the basis of low prices, fair policies, and better than average service. (Having some young, busty woman writhing erotically on the random Super Bowl commercial has not hurt, either.) Unfortunately, GoDaddy’s reputation has taken a hit over its sudden removal of a Web site upon request from MySpace.
The 27 B Stroke 6 blog over over Wired News has the whole story, complete with comments from the aggrieved site owner and GoDaddy’s corporate counsel. (Note to GoDaddy: If you’re making enough money to advertise during the Super Bowl, you’re making enough money to hire a public relations professional who can deftly manage controversy and crisis. In the future, never — never — let your corporate counsel handle correspondence with the media, especially when she shows herself to be as press idiotic as her comments in this matter demonstrate.)
In sum, what we’re talking about is one company approaching a domain name registrar, asking the registrar to remove a Web site, and the registrar doing so, unilaterally, with neither notice to the customer nor any apparent basis rooted in law or policy. In other words, it was a straight jack.
The interesting piece of this story is that a DMCA takedown notice was not involved. Clearly, regular readers of Copycense know that the DMCA takedown procedure regularly is abused by businesses who seek to halt the free flow of non-copyrighted information; it happens every holiday season with day-after-Thanksgiving sale information. Copycense readers also know that we have criticized not only the retailers who engage in this practice (which include Wal-Mart), but also the Internet service providers who feebly acquiesce to even the most spurious DMCA takedown notice.
The instant GoDaddy situation, however, seems considerably different. Without a DMCA notice, without a subpoena, and apparently without any legitimate reason whatsoever, a registrar rendered a Web site dark. This action effectively threatens the entire domain name system, and by extension, the smooth operation of the Web. We know of no legal or administrative action that would penalize GoDaddy for this action, therefore the clearest, most effective illustration of displeasure with GoDaddy is to discontinue doing business with the company. The publisher of Copycense has had a good working relationship with GoDaddy for several years. Over this action, however, that relationship now is in jeopardy.
27B Stroke 6. MySpace Allegedly Kills Computer Security Website. Jan. 25, 2007.
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