[LINK] .xxx

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Thu Sep 8 03:44:48 AEST 2011

So, now you can pay not to have a domain name ..

Sun rises over .xxx smut domain

By Kevin Murphy, 7th September 2011 16:37 GMT

Businesses in the adult entertainment industry – and outside of it – from 
today have the opportunity to register or block .xxx domain names that 
match their trademarks.

ICM Registry, which has operated .xxx since it signed a contract with 
ICANN earlier this year, has launched a three-pronged "sunrise period" 
that will run for the next 52 days.

The pre-launch phase is designed to allow trademark owners to either snag 
a .xxx domain if they're in the porn business, or to pay to have their 
brands blocked forever if they're not.

While the sunrise has been characterised by many critics as 
a "shakedown", ICM is doing things a little differently to domain 
registries that have launched in the past.

As we have previously reported, a big chunk of the 15,000 names ICM has 
reserved match the names of celebrities – actors, politicians, sportsmen, 
singers – to prevent embarrassment.

It did not extend the same courtesy to big corporate brands.

However, uniquely to .xxx, any non-porn company wishing to take 
their .xxx name out of circulation permanently needs only pay a one-time 
fee, rather than paying up-front and renewing annually.

These domains will not resolve, and the name of the company requesting 
the block will not be disclosed in the Whois database.

Unfortunately for brand owners, the price of this service, which ranges 
from $200 to $300 at most registrars, is about the same as registering 
a .com domain for ten years. Any savings will only realistically be seen 
over the long term.

ICM's cut is about $160, but the company says it has priced the service 
on a cost-recovery basis assuming 10,000 defensive applications. Any 
fewer, and it will lose money.

For comparison, when Colombia's re-purposed .co extension launched last 
year, the registry saw 11,000 sunrise period registrations from companies 
worried about the potential for .com typos.

ICM is also giving porn webmasters the opportunity to get a .xxx to match 
their existing domains in other extensions. If you own a .com or .co.uk 
porn site, you may be able to get the equivalent .xxx.

When two or more applications are made for resolving .xxx domains, the 
applicants will have to fight it out at auction.

However, if a non-porn company wants to block its trademark and a porn 
webmaster applies because he owns the same string in another extension, 
the pornographer automatically wins the domain and the non-porn firm will 
have to seek redress elsewhere.

All .xxx domains will be subject to ICANN's Uniform Dispute Resolution 
Policy, which is designed to allow trademark owners to reclaim their 
brands from cybersquatters. This usually takes several weeks and costs 
$1,000 and up in arbitration fees.

ICM has also created a faster, more Draconian system called Rapid 
Evaluation Service, which will be administered by the National 
Arbitration Forum in the US.

Brand owners will be able to use RES, for a cost of $1,300, to have an 
obviously infringing domain taken down in just a few days. If they win 
the complaint, the domain will be set to a non-resolving status forever. 
That's in contrast to UDRP, which transfers domains and their renewal 
fees to successful complainants.

Some commentators, such as Andrew Allemann of Domain Name Wire expect 
that the high price of .xxx domains – around $80 to $100 – will deter 
many cybersquatters.

The sunrise period will be followed by a shorter "land rush" phase, 
during which anybody can pay a premium to apply for the domain they want 
before the .xxx extension opens up to general registration in December.


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