It feels like it's been forever since the SOPA debate dominated headlines. That particular discussion largely subsided after an unprecedented show of Web-fueled outrage forced members of Congress to rethink their support for the controversial anti-piracy legislation.
Before the anti-SOPA blackout, there was the backlash against GoDaddy, which stuck out like a sore thumb as the only prominent Internet company on the list of SOPA supporters. Boycott threats were quickly followed by a flood of domain transfers, which succeeded in causing GoDaddy to reverse their position.
One of the organizations that promised to ditch GoDaddy was the Wikimedia Foundation, who later led the blackout. The nonprofit runs one of the biggest, most visited sites on the Web so it's no trivial matter. Despite GoDaddy's sudden change of heart, the Wikimedia Foundation stuck to their guns.
Today, they announced the transfer of their sites domains from GoDaddy to MarkMonitor is officially complete.
"GoDaddy's initial support of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the controversial anti-piracy legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, reaffirmed our decision to end the relationship," read a statement put out by the Wikimedia Foundation.
Transferring domain names is a notoriously cumbersome process, and it's an even bigger for sites with millions upon millions of visitors. A slight mishap in the process can bring the entire site down, or at least hide it from public view. Thankfully for Wikipedia and its users, there were no such issues.
The move is symbolic of how the balance of power has shifted toward everyday people and online communities thanks to the architecture of the Web. It's that very architecture that many perceived to be threatened by bills like SOPA and PIPA and led to such an overwhelming outcry over the proposals.
The GoDaddy boycotts, which were initially organized on Reddit, were the first real expression of mass outrage in the SOPA debate, and they were the first to produce tangible results. The backlash against GoDaddy would prove to be a mere precursor of what was to come when much larger protests against the bills themselves effectively killed the legislation.