from the as-the-godaddy-turns dept
Yes, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), better known as the folks behind the Academy Awards (the Oscars), launched a lawsuit against GoDaddy back in May of 2010 over this very issue. And, just last week, as GoDaddy was coming to terms with the complaints from the public, AMPAS was in court trying to force GoDaddy founder and ex-CEO Bob Parsons to give a deposition about the company's practices.
The article linked above, by Eriq Gardner at THResq, notes that many people believe that the completely mixed messages come from Parsons'... unique style of managing the company:
... in advance of a February cut-off date for discovery, AMPAS wishes to depose Parsons, whose “fingerprints are all over GoDaddy’s domain name monetization programs,” according to the brief.Now, as I stated when AMPAS filed the lawsuit, this case seems pretty ridiculous, and it seems pointless to blame GoDaddy for the actions of its users registering these domains -- even if (as the lawsuit contends), GoDaddy makes money from people parking these domains. We called it "absurd" at the time... and we stand by it.
And in the process, perhaps get some answers about why Parsons has seemingly been two-faced on the piracy front.
One example given is a post that Parsons wrote for his personal blog. In it, Parsons takes issue with the practice known as “kiting,” where registrars take advantage of a 5-day grace period to put up mini-Web sites loaded with search engine bait. Later, on his blog, Parsons discussed a trademark lawsuit against Dotster – “a registrar who hasn’t exactly been a stranger to domain kiting,” he said – for registering many misspellings of trademarked names, and associating them with search engine pages.
“This is exactly AMPAS’s complaint in this case,” says the plaintiff. “That its marks are famous and well-known; that GoDaddy monetizes domain names incorporating AMPAS’s trademarks – having received 60 cease/desist letters from AMPAS – yet continues to park domain names incorporating AMPAS’s marks.”
But it's even more absurd in the context of SOPA/PIPA. You would think that, being subject to such absurd lawsuits over enabling infringement (oh, and don't forget the other similar lawsuit against GoDaddy from the Michael Jackson estate...), the company would be extra sensitive to laws that would put it at greater risk. It really calls into question what people are thinking over there, even if they have "backed down" from their support of the bills.