Category Archives: Presidents Corner

SOPA/PIPA and our New Domain Registrar

As you may know due to news events in the past few months, there have been efforts by the Big Content lobby (MPAA/RIAA/etc) to introduce laws into the United States that allow for domain takedowns and payment account freezes without due process or court order.  If you haven’t heard, this article is a good primer, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation has a list of further reading on the topic.

Every major Internet Service Provider and large Internet companies joined forces to fight the new law – all except one.  GoDaddy, Inc. is a large Internet company that provides domain name services and hosting services.  At the beginning of the fight, they were the only one to stand up for the new law.  In addition, they were swift to point out that their terms of service contained provisions that were quite similar to the proposed legislation in many ways.  After a large backlash (including a “Dump GoDaddy” Day), they decided to change their mind and no longer support the measure.  However, their terms of service didn’t change.

More recently, GoDaddy was involved in the takedown of JotForm.com, without any kind of court appearance or even notice.  The site simply disappeared from the Internet for a few days at the behest of an unknown party within the Secret Service.  The site was back after a couple days, but no information was given to the company by either GoDaddy nor the Secret Service.

DWBrand has been using GoDaddy as a domain provider for many years without incident.  However, based on their recent track record, and a full review of their Terms of Service, we have decided to change providers.

We have chosen to use gandi.net out of Paris, France for all new and renewing domain names.  If you have any other suggestions, or wish us to use a specific name provider for your site, please let us know and we’ll be happy to accommodate you.

In addition, we have been hosting our Unlimited Bandwidth Hosting Option on servers  owned by Godaddy.  As of today, we have a complete backup of all your files at a second provider that we can switch to on a moment’s notice, and are investigating international hosting options as well.

Because of these changes, we will be looking heavily at our pricing over the coming months.  Anyone who has prepaid for a service will not be affected by any increases until it comes time to renew.  If you would like to pre-pay at our current rates, please contact us and we will be happy to help.

In short, we are taking steps to protect your rights as domain name holders while maintaining our commitment to your site’s integrity and quality.  Thanks for sticking with us in these interesting times.

Manage your Message

The world is quickly getting less and less private all the time. In some cases this is good – things that are done in hidden smoky rooms now come to light a lot quicker, illegal deals show themselves faster, and impropriety is exposed more than ever before. But the flipside is that everything you do is visible, stored, and catalogged forever. There is no chance for the “indiscretions of youth” to disappear into the past. Every post you make cannot be removed no matter how incriminating or how ill-advised. You can delete the original, but copies are out there forever thanks to search engines like Google and Bing.

So what are we to do? For businesses, the biggest step is to control the message. Make sure that everything you put out into the wild west of the Internet is thought through and is not a spur of the moment passing thought. Write it out, save it, and come back to it the next day. If it still seems like a positive message that expands your business and good will, then go ahead and post. If not, either rethink the intent of the message or hit the delete button.

The next biggest thing is to monitor for negative news. An event that negatively impacts your business must be caught and managed well in advance. A decade ago, you had some time to react to bad news to try to spin things in your favor, and deniability worked fairly well. In the Internet age, you need to respond within minutes, and deniability is not an option. You have to make your case swiftly, and with evidence. It’s no longer enough to make a quick denial and expect things to blow over. Having a negative news plan is a must for any business that expects to survive in this age.

Remember, one bad message can follow you forever, or can cause an instant firestorm in the land of Twitter and Facebook, so don’t gamble with your business. Be sure of your message and be ahead of the news.

= dw =