By Rainey Reitman
Electronic Frontier Foundation
UPDATE (12/30): Namecheap finished their campaign after raising over $64,000 for EFF. However, you can still transfer domains and automatically donate to EFF by using Gandi, Centuric, or Suspicious Networks – see below for details.
When the well-known domain name registrar Go Daddy threw its support behind the Stop Online Piracy Act, it led to a PR disaster: Internet users rebelled against the registrar, and called for Go Daddy customers to transfer their domains.
In response to the boycott Go Daddy has switched their position, but some companies are deciding to take a stance against the Internet blacklist legislation [see below]. In a day of action scheduled for December 29th, these companies are publicly protesting the scary legislation that endangers our Internet infrastructure and threatens online free expression in the name of combating so-called rogue websites.
We’re incredibly grateful that these companies have chosen to donate funds to EFF to support our work fighting for free expression online. Please check them out and, if possible, jump on board:
Namecheap – The originator of the #MoveYourDomain Day event has issued a challenge to the Internet community to transfer domain names to Namecheap on December 29, 2011. Namecheap is offering low-cost registration services and donating $1 to EFF for every transferred domain. You can learn about the campaign and transfer your domains and read Namecheap’s official stance on SOPA. For updates on the event, follow Namecheap on Twitter. UPDATE: double donations. Namecheap has announced that they will double the donations to EFF if they get at 25,000 or more domain transfers today. Read the announcement.
Gandi – EFF’s own registrar, Gandi is offering discounted transfer rate for .biz, ,.com, .info, .net, and .org domains if you pay in U.S. dollars. Starting December 29, 2011 and going until January 15, 2012, Gandi will be donating $1 to EFF for every domain name transferred to them. What better way to ring in the New Year than taking a stand for an uncensored Internet? Check out Gandi’s statement opposing SOPA. If you like what you see, you can transfer your domain names and keep up with Gandi on Twitter.
Zopim – the company responsible for the embedded chat windows you see on so many websites, is running a special promotion to protest SOPA. They’re showing support by offering customers a 40% discount code and donating 10% of the proceeds from purchases using that code to EFF. Learn more here. You can also find Zopim on Twitter.
UPDATE (12/29): more companies join the campaign.
Suspicious Networks NS1.net is running an anti-SOPA campaign that includes a discount and $2 donation to EFF per domain transferred in! They describe themselves as “a no frills domain registration & small business IT solutions provider striving to support an open, fully decentralized Internet.” The campaign runs until Valentine’s Day 2012 or the blacklist legislation is defeated, whichever happens first. Check out their transfer page, which includes their opposition to SOPA and PIPA. You can also follow Suspicious Networks on Twitter.
Centuric (offer updated) is offering up to 1,000 reduced $3.99 transfer fees on domain registrations beginning December 29, 2011, of which $1 will be donated to EFF. Use the promotional code: SAYNOTOSOPA. Read their press statement.
UPDATE (12/30): more companies join the campaign.
Uservoice provides hosted feedback forums, which allow customers to create, discuss, and vote for ideas. Uservoice is taking a stand against Internet censorship by offering new customers 40% off the first 6 months of ANY UserVoice Full Service plan and donating 10% of all such proceeds to EFF! Just use the discount code “no2sopa” between now and January 12, 2012. You can also follow Uservoice on Twitter.
ReferralCandy, from Anafore, helps companies reward customers who bring in referral business. They hate SOPA so much that from now until January 24th, if you sign up for a ReferralCandy account using this link, they’ll donate 60% of your first month’s bill to EFF. You’ll also get store credit for the remaining 40% for showing your support. Follow ReferralCandy on Twitter.
DreamHost is donating $1 to EFF for every customer who uses the promo code SOPAROPA. DreamHost launched their promotion on December 22nd after publishing this popular post: “Don’t Drop the Soap, Drop SOPA!“ You can save $50.00 when you pre pay for one year of shared web hosting and get 4 free domain registrations ( .com, .net, .org or .info ) for the life of your hosting plan. DreamHost has long had a philanthropic streak–they offer all non-profit organizations free web hosting.
Is your company running a similar campaign? Email email@example.com
If you’ve been hungry for new ways to promote online freedoms and protest the blacklist bills, then help these companies with their campaigns. And if you don’t have a need for any of these services, you can still become a member of EFF, sign our petition against the blacklist bills, and check out our activism toolkit for other ways you can help fight SOPA and Protect IP.
The Internet blacklist bills are a looming threat to our online rights in the new year. EFF couldn’t fight these nasty proposals all on our own. So we’re thankful to be in a diverse coalition with organizations such as American Censorship/Fight for the Future, Avaaz, the Cato Institute, Center for Democracy and Technology, Demand Progress, Free Press, Free Software Foundation, Public Knowledge, and the Wikimedia Foundation. See a comprehensive list of all the organizations at the Center for Democracy and Technology’s Chorus of Opposition page.
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
Internet blacklist legislation
The “Stop Online Piracy Act”/”E-PARASITE Act” (SOPA) and “The PROTECT IP Act” (PIPA) are the latest in a series of bills which would create a procedure for creating (and censoring) a blacklist of websites. These bills are updated versions of the “Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act” (COICA), which was previously blocked in the Senate. Although the bills are ostensibly aimed at reaching foreign websites dedicated to providing illegal content, their provisions would allow for removal of enormous amounts of non-infringing content including political and other speech from the Web.
The various bills define different techniques for blocking “blacklisted” sites. Each would interfere with the Internet’s domain name system (DNS), which translates names like “www.eff.org” or “www.nytimes.com” into the IP addresses that computers use to communicate. SOPA would also allow rightsholders to force payment processors to cut off payments and advertising networks to cut ties with a site simply by sending a notice.
These bills are targeted at “rogue” websites that allow indiscriminate piracy, but use vague definitions that could include hosting websites such as Dropbox, MediaFire, and Rapidshare; sites that discuss piracy such as pirate-party.us, p2pnet, Torrent Freak, torproject.org, and ZeroPaid; as well as a broad range of sites for user-generated content, such as SoundCloud, Etsy, and Deviant Art.
Had these bills been passed five or ten years ago, even YouTube might not exist today — in other words, the collateral damage from this legislation would be enormous.
There are already laws and procedures in place for taking down sites that violate the law.
These [new] acts would allow the Attorney General, and even individuals, to create a blacklist to censor sites when no court has found that they have infringed copyright or any other law.
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation