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GoDaddy is one of more than a hundred companies catching flak online for supporting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Many website operators have threatened to move their domains away from GoDaddy, and Y Combinator founder Paul Graham has said SOPA-supporting companies will no longer be invited to the startup incubator’s popular Demo Days showcase for investors.
SOPA is a hotly contested bill that would greatly expand the ability of U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders to deter and punish online copyright violations. The bill would enable companies and the U.S. Justice Department to effectively force American payment processors and ad partners to cease doing business with copyright-infringing websites that target American customers but operate from outside the United States.
Supporters of the bill argue that it is a necessary means of protecting intellectual property, but others say it’s draconian legislation that goes too far and will drastically reshape the Internet’s current architecture. While many agree that Internet piracy is a legitimate problem, the SOPA debate has largely turned into a standoff between Internet-freedom advocates — including sites and services such as Tumblr, Firefox and Reddit — and major consumer-content creators such as the Motion Picture Association of America.