While it's being presented as an anti-SOPA stance, which, no doubt represents the bow that's being put on it, but if MoveYourDomain Day isn't occurring to capitalize on GoDaddy's recent public relations nightmare, then maybe I need to go back to marketing class.
What we have here is a domain registrar -- Namecheap -- taking a stand against SOPA, but at the same time, they are trying to attract sites and companies that have abandoned GoDaddy in the wake of their pro-SOPA stance, something GoDaddy has backed off from. Because some (many?) view GoDaddy's recently-discovered anti-SOPA position as backtracking for the sake of saving their business, the fallout has presented Namecheap with an opportunity to increase their business.
In order to do so, Namecheap is telling anyone who will listen about their anti-SOPA position. In fact, one of the current coupon codes for the service is "SOPASucks," which demonstrates the company's outspoken stance on the infamous protection act making its way through the houses of government. To further entice those wanting to leave SOPA-friendly domain registrars, Namecheap has created the "MoveYourDomain Day" movement, and for every domain transferred, Namecheap will donate one dollar to Electronic Frontier Foundation, one of the watchdog groups opposing SOPA.
Namecheap has even created a page to promote MoveYourDomain Day, which takes place on Thursday, December 29th. Here, the Namecheap CEO polishes the anti-SOPA bow with the following call to arms:
While we at Namecheap firmly believe in intellectual property rights, SOPA is like detonating a nuclear bomb on the internet when only a surgical strike is necessary. This legislation has the potential to harm the way everyone uses the Internet and to undermine the system itself. At Namecheap, we believe having a free and open Internet is the only option that will continue the legacy of innovation and openess that stands for everything we all value in our modern society.
As you can see, Namecheap's stance on SOPA is like that of most opponents: we respect intellectual property, but we don't want it protected by a law like SOPA. It should be noted that Namecheap takes the high road and does not mention their competitor by name, but one wonders that, without GoDaddy's mishandling of their SOPA mess, would Namecheap be so aggressive with their MoveYourDomain approach?
Naturally, the EFF supports Namecheap's position and welcome their support with open arms:
Shari Steele, Executive Director of EFF stated
EFF is pleased to support Namecheap's efforts to bring attention to the proposed SOPA legislation and its consequences for Internet users worldwide. With the funds donated from the MoveYourDomainDay effort, EFF will continue to defend your right to free expression in the digital world.
With that in mind, is this an example of a timely marketing response, especially when your chief competitor is one suffering? One company's failure, at least in the mind of their ship-abandoning customers, is another company's potential windfall.