#SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, is a proposed bill that would allow owners of intellectual property to block or disable ANY website that they consider infringes on their intellectual property.
Don’t get us wrong, we at Zopim strongly support intellectual property rights. Since day one, we’ve developed our own intellectual property, and innovated upon the current industry norms. Amidst other run-of-the-mill competitors, we were the first to abolish pop up chat windows, replacing it with a chat widget that blends seamlessly within your site. We are flattered when other companies eventually adopted this UI, and made it the industry standard it is today.
#SOPA is the result of corporates and media moguls lobbying for a means to take down what they term ‘rogue sites‘ that are beyond US’s legal jurisdiction. With #SOPA, they can approach these sites’ US-based service providers (e.g. web hosters, payment gateways, etc..) to terminate their services to these sites, and force search engines to stop linking in, thus forcefully erasing the site from the Internet.
There’s nothing wrong with that right? Except..
- Who decides what’s a rogue site? Obviously corporations with a deep pockets who can afford legal wrangling. Who loses out? Small innovative businesses like you, and us, who are at risk of being wrongfully labeled as such.
- A ‘rogue site’ is effectively pronounced guilty without trial. The accused (especially if it’s a foreign entity) has no chance to defend herself before being given the death sentence. That’s the US saying you suck more than the biggest modern bad-ass, Saddam Hussein who was at least given a (some say token) trial.
To show our support for the anti-SOPA movement, we are ditching our domain name registrar GoDaddy, who was an avid proponent of #SOPA, until they recently became an avid proponent of ok-you-win-we-don’t-support-SOPA-now. We agree with the stance of NameCheap CEO, Richard Kirkendall,
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.
We hope you will join us (ok not only us.. just some of the biggest names on the Internet including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Zynga, eBay, Mozilla, Yahoo, AOL, and LinkedIn) in protesting against this proposed bill.
As a marketing gimmick =) To show our support for SOPA, we, and some of our friends / partners are offering new and existing customers a 40% discount code and donating 10% of all such proceeds to the Electronic Frontier Foundation .
You can also protest by:
- Scheduling a call with your house representative (via Tumblr)
- Email your Representatives & Senators via EFF’s anti-blacklist action alert
- Donating directly to Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
- Writing an open letter to opposing SOPA