1&1 Takes a Stand Against SOPA & PIPA & Asks Customers To Join The Fight

1 and 1, one of the largest hosting companies in the world, and a domain name registrar,  this morning sent an email to it current customers telling them why they oppose both the  Protect-IP (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and why customers should join the fight against the current bills.

Its a much different tactic taken than other registrars that have taken Godaddy former support of the bills to encourage Godaddy customers to transfer domains out with discount codes.

This email was sent to current customers of 1 and 1 and its call to action message isn’t about getting any new business but to get customers to support organizations like fightforthefuture.org that has  “emerged to protect user interests in the current legislative debate”

Here is the letter that was sent out in full and unedited.

Thanks to Danny for the tip.


Dear Sir/Miss,

You may have heard about Protect-IP (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act
(SOPA) currently under consideration in Congress. If passed, among other
things, SOPA requires Web hosting companies like 1&1 to police websites in
order to prevent them from communicating copyrighted information on the
internet. We would like to make sure you are aware of 1&1’s official
position on SOPA.

As a global provider of domains and hosting services, we oppose the Stop
Online Piracy Act (SOPA) or Protect-IP (PIPA) Acts currently under
consideration. While we observe the concerns of those who are troubled by
the potential impact on protecting intellectual property online, 1&1 feels
there is an urgent need to strike a balance between dissemination of and
access to information and protection against its illegal use within the
public domain.

The US government is currently reviewing SOPA and PIPA as possible ways to
prevent unlawful distribution of copyrighted materials available on the
internet. These current proposals, if passed, would allow for significant
interventions into the technological and economical basis of the internet.
This could put the vast benefits and economic opportunities of entirely
legal and legitimate e-business models at risk. Generally, companies
offering technological services should not be forced to be the executor of
authority in such matters. If they were to act upon every implication of
content infringement without any judicial research into the actual usage of
its customers, the integrity behind their customer’s freedom of
information and speech would be enormously harmed.

1&1 Internet, Inc. has worked through associations and with related
companies to ensure that these aspects are taken into account. Thus, we
welcome the serious consideration by the US Congress of the potential
harmful effects on Internet freedom should SOPA and / or PIPA be passed as
law, and hope the stability of the Internet’s domain name system (DNS)
remains intact.

We encourage every Internet user concerned about these plans to contribute
to the debate and to raise their voice with their local representatives in
the House or Senate. One way to express your concerns could be to use one
of the websites that emerged to protect user interests in the current
legislative debate, such as http://fightforthefuture.org/.

At 1&1 we support you, our customer, and an open internet. If you find that
you are supporting a company that encourages SOPA and wish to drop them as
a provider, please follow the simple instructions contained on the website
linked below.

Thank you for being one of our extremely valued customers, and for taking
the time to read this.

Best regards,

Frederick Iwans
General Manager 1&1 Internet Inc.


  1. SL says

    “If you find that you are supporting a company that encourages SOPA and wish to drop them as a provider, please follow the simple instructions contained on the website linked below.”

    C’mon 1&1, don’t tease us like that. Which domain provider that encourages SOPA are you referring to? I gotsta know!

  2. says

    Hello Michael,

    If both SOPA and Pipa get legs of support and start running the World Wide Web as we know it, is in trouble. To counter this threat and cut the legs out from under it, someone who is savvy to Facebook and knows how to start a Viral campaign needs to step up.

    Also we should find out Facebooks real position on these bills and what it is. Mark Zuckerburg show your position to us please. You are God to a lot of techies, and your sphere of influence is needed in our fight.

    Google ? Whats your position ? We love your recent investments in green technology, and your sphere of influence is also needed.

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

  3. The answer is says


    GoDaddy is whom they are referring to. GoDaddy helped author the bill, wrote themselves exclusions, got pressured for supporting it, and then PRETENDED to stop supporting it.

  4. says

    Transferring a domain out of 1&1 is like pulling teeth. Maybe pulling teeth is easier, come to think of it.

    Till they get that sorted they’re not getting any of my business.

    The only thing all these registrars actually care about is trying to get into GoDaddy’s market share, not SOPA, most of them wouldn’t even be able to tell you the full form.

  5. Mike says

    I wouldnt register my domains at 1 & 1 if it were the last registrar left on the planet and someone held a loaded gun to my head. No way. My experiences with them are THAT horrendous. Their domain management system is about as Afternic’s domain listing system.

  6. Mike says

    @Jeff: Who cares what facebook or what marc thinks. Do you really think he gives a darn about any of this? He SHOULD but does anyone really think he does? I dont. Not for a moment.

    If a proud veteran like Bob Parsons can throw support behind such a dispicible piece of legislation that rids people of freedoms and further squashes their rights, do you think anyone up at that level really cares?

    The only way people at that level thing is one or both of two ways: $ and votes.

    How about we do this: We 1) stop patronizing businesses that stomp all over consumers and 2) STOP VOTING IDIOTS INTO OFFICE.

    It IS that simple.

  7. Ray says

    There is way better place than 1&1 for moving its domain from GoDaddy. Iwantmyname, Joker or the no bs company gandi.net are far better

  8. says


    Better late than never I guess…like most all domain name registrars and parking companies, deafly silent on this for months on end.

    Why was this letter not sent out 3-6 months ago?

    When is a domain parking service going to come out of the closet and voice their opinions on these issues? They do not think that SOPA & Protect IP will have any effect at all on them or their clients if passed into law?

    Any domain registrars or domain parking companies send congress letters like Godaddy did, ‘before’ the hearings, voicing their opposition to the bills?

    Did any of them have someone attend the hearings on their behalf?

    At least 1 and 1 is a bit better than ‘NameCheap’ which came up with their ‘position’ only as a ‘pure business strategy’ & Go Daddy who can not even ‘flip-flop’ all the way, as they still support passage of the bills…just not in their ‘current form’…very wishy washy at best.

    1 and1 references Fight For The Future in their email, which they do not appear to support the ‘Bills” in any shape or form…which IMO is the right position to have.


    And while I am at it 😉

    Where is the conversation about the current IP Czar and her use of “HLS &ICE” using the ‘Pro IP Act of 2008’ to seize domains & websites in the U.S. and outside the U.S under the program “Operation In Our Sites” for over a year now.


    They have been taking down sites even for just having a one ‘link’ to a outside site, they consider in violation of this law…even if all the actual content on the site is not in violation. ( they take down both)

    And then your looking at ‘no due process’ and face a max of 250K fine and five years in fed prison.

    No doubt some are guilty, but a lot have been very questionable at best.

    Another example…they have taken down and seized domains/websites of music fan sites linking to sites of music companies and/or downloads of music that the music companies had given their approval and permission to link to.

    What is clear, is that they have gone way beyond what the mandate and priorities of ‘operation in our sites’ was supposedly design for.

    Which is one of the specific clear dangers of both the SOPA & Protect IP Acts.

    So, not only should these current bills not be passed into law…the way they are currently using this law from 2008 really needs to be looked into and talked about a lot more.

    I am pretty sure, out of these three: GoDadday,NameCheap & 1 and 1…that at least one of them and probably all three, have been hit with ‘subpoena’s’ for records and information from an action done under ‘operation in our sites’…if they have not, they are all quite aware of it or at least should be.


  9. Von & Von says

    Yep — 1&1 Registrar is like a roach motel,, easy to get into but extremely difficult to get out (transfer out)…. account user interface is lacking big time… customer support is a dice roll. ….polite version here.

  10. John says

    German companies like 1&1 should stay out of the US. They do not support us in the war on terror, why should we? America first!

  11. Leo says

    Well if you really support “the war on terror”, then you should campaign for prosecuting your lovers Bush and Cheney. It’s them who failed you in “war on terror”, increased the amount of terrorism all over the world, killed thousands of your fellow Americans with no reason whatsoever (let alone hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in other country), and brought your country to the brink of economic disaster. Oh, and add the lying scoundrel Condoleezza Rice to the equation and get a clue.

    And BTW I happen to have only good experience with 1&1 and their tech support so far.

  12. Austin Hoffman says

    This is just terrible….SOPA is the equivalent of curing a headache with a guillotine. It may stop piracy, but it would shut down our economy and unconstitutionally erode our most basic freedoms in the process.

    I just hope that everyone realizes how important this is and does their part to save the internet & our economy! …here is another good video that explains the consequences of SOPA pretty well:

    1,000s of more websites have joined the force and went dark today, we need EVERYONES help!!!!

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