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Mon., March 26, 2012, 1:42 p.m.

LaunchPad innovation session is Wednesday; will GoDaddy speaker address the SOPA issue?

Spokane-based networking team LaunchPad INW is hosting an "innovation show" on Wednesday at Mirabeau Park, running from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (really).

The event is described as a series of tech-connected events, starting with a lunch, followed by topic sessions, followed by a networking party.

The keynote speaker is Dave Koopman, who is the chief scientist for website domain registrar GoDaddy.

It would be interesting if Koopman talks about the unfortunate decision GoDaddy made on the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) issue that erupted into widespread discussion last winter.

In a move that didn't suggest corporate support for web innovation, GoDaddy initially took the wrong side of that SOPA argument. For background: a number of members of Congress supported the SOPA bill that would have given legislators and regulators unusually broad powers to go after website owners who were accused of copyright violations.

Many opponents argued SOPA would have amounted to outright censorship of businesses or website operators who were accused, and not even convicted, of those violations.

At first, GoDaddy was among the companies that fully backed SOPA. Later, after a storm of criticism erupted and thousands of its customers switched their domains from GoDaddy, the company changed its mind, and decided it did not back SOPA. It issued a statement backing "First Amendment rights" and web innovation.

The bill in Congress later died. For a SOPA overview, try out

Koopman will speak starting around noon, according to the LaunchPad releases.

The cost, if you're not a LaunchPad member, is $35. To register and find more information, go to this link.

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Tom Sowa
Tom Sowa covers technology, retail and economic development and writes the Office Hours blog.