On GoDaddy, Nintendo, and SOPA

O hai. I’ve been paying more attention to FB and Twitter than I have to my poor little old blog here, but I figured I’d keep these comments together:

Yesterday I told my friends they should ditch GoDaddy. This isn’t the first time I’ve joined in on a protest against GoDaddy, but this time because of SOPA, it apparently had some traction. Enough to get GoDaddy to back out on their support. So I tweeted something like this. GoDaddy no longer supports SOPA, but they worked for months to make it what it is? So all of a sudden they’ve had a change of heart? We have to remember here that the heart of any corporation is its profits. Of course they’d back out if their SOPA support began to hurt them where it matters most. But I wouldn’t be surprised if profit isn’t also at the heart of the reason GoDaddy was supporting, and indeed helping to craft SOPA, in the first place.

So when one of my friends posted that Nintendo had also backed SOPA, and asked whether we would boycott them, too, this was my reply:

I can see why Nintendo would support the idea of an anti-piracy act. There is a big difference between a non-US video game manufacturer supporting this and someone like GoDaddy working to tweak this bill to their liking:

– As an ISP, GoDaddy should understand that simply playing around with DNS isn’t going to stop the problem, and could lead to a lot more screwups

– As an ISP, GoDaddy (unlike Nintendo) isn’t having their stuff ripped off. At worst, some of their ads might be spread around the net as some kind of soft porn. Do you think they mind? I realize that very good people don’t have to be personally affected to fight for the right thing, but…

– As a huge ISP, GoDaddy could greatly benefit from shutting down smaller ISPs. I worked at a startup ISP years ago. I know how quickly we had to act to keep our services from getting shut down (by our datacenters, etc) in light of a DMCA violation. There are already laws and rules and standards of conduct in place here for US companies that go far to help this problem. The main “benefit” here would be that it could slightly trip up foreign companies who shouldn’t be affected by those same rules, but at what cost? Do we really want the government (or corporations they appoint) to be in charge of what we can and can’t see on the net? That doesn’t affect Nintendo in Japan. It WOULD affect us. GoDaddy knows this, but like any normal corporation, only “cares” how it affects their bottom line.

By the way, from my perspective, here’s how the DMCA violations typically went: We would get an email reporting a violation on one of our customer’s sites. This could be a video, a picture, a book, or whatever. We’d have only so many hours to fix the problem before they’d go over our heads to our datacenter to have our service shut down, so we would immediately contact the customer AND suspend their site. Of course we’d hear back from them right away, and they’d have X hours from us to remove the infringing material.

If they had a problem with repeat infringements, we’d notice and give them the boot.

How would that process work with SOPA, and how would it be more effective than what we already have?

(quoth the girl in the Mario shirt. So take it with a grain of salt if you’d like. I will hold off on buying Zelda Skyward Sword until this mess is clarified — but that has more to do with my personal finances this Christmas ;-p)

A photobooth shot I happened to take two nights ago... in my mario shirt :-p

Jesse’s argument, by the way, was that we should fight the elected leaders who are pushing this through, particularly Orrin Hatch. I couldn’t agree more that this particular senator’s ride should have been over years ago.

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