Domain registrar Namecheap.com publicly opposed the Stop Online Piracy Act on Friday in the midst of the Go Daddy SOPA customer backlash, and claims that Go Daddy was thwarting efforts to transfer domains by returning incomplete WHOIS information to Namecheap during the transfer process.
In a statement, Go Daddy says the delay was due to the normal rate limiting which is to prevent abuse. Go Daddy removed the rate limit for Namecheap, “as a courtesy”, but was critical of its choice of using a blog post to talk about the problem rather than take the issue up with Go Daddy directly, according to a report by PCMag.
This is not the first time Namecheap has cashed in on Go Daddy’s misfires. In March, after the video of then Go Daddy CEO Bob Parsons shooting an elephant surfaced, the domain registrar offered a domain transfer promotion and donated 20 percent of revenue to the Save The Elephants charity.
Targeting customers of competitors is nothing new, in fact, many web hosts have used this marketing tactic with success in the past. In the July issue of WHIR magazine, Memset CEO and co-founder Katie Craig-Wood talked about Memset’s campaign targeting Rackspace customers after it announced it would migrate Slicehost to Rackspace. Craig-Wood maintains that marketing campaigns like this are ethical as long as they are honest and not slanderous.
“While we at Namecheap firmly believe in intellectual rights, SOPA is like detonating a nuclear bomb on the internet when only a surgical strike is necessary,” Richard Kirkendall, Namecheap CEO said in a statement. “This legislation has the potential to harm the way everyone uses the Internet and to undermine the system itself. At Namecheap, we believe having a free and open Internet is the only option that will continue the legacy of innovation and openess that stands for everything we all value in our modern society.”
In a statement, Namecheap says it believes in Internet freedom and applauds those who oppose SOPA.
“If SOPA passes in its current form, the rights of users (who are the Internet) will be wholly and totally subjugated to the rights of intellectual property holders. This simply cannot stand,” Namecheap said in a statement.
Go Daddy has come under fire for first its support of SOPA, and then its retraction. Various reports claim that about 70,000 domains have transferred from Go Daddy to other domain registrars since last week.