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back to article Smut domain scores big bucks for not handling smut

Thousands of companies, far more than expected, are handing over hundreds of dollars each to block their brands in the new .xxx internet domain. According to ICM Registry, the company behind the adults-only extension, porn-shy firms have applied to defensively block more than 10,000 trademarks in just the first week of its " …

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Anonymous Coward

Surely paying someone NOT to do something is the same as blackmail. Example: Pay me cash and I won't release the photos on the web. It doesn't sound right to me.

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First of many

So this should increase the value of the ".sucks" TLD nicely.

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Anonymous Coward

Many a true word said in jest

You may laugh, but I can't help thinking this is the thin end of the wedge.

What about ".arecrap" or ".employsslavesinchinatomakeourstuff" or ".shagssheep"? Nothing to stop you! As long as you can get it into the root servers.

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I would have thought...

I would have thought that standard trademark law would have been enough to have the lawyers writing letters to ICM if a trademark is abused.

Not that I feel any sympathy for lawyers missing out on a 5 course meal or two of course.

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Anonymous Coward

While It might be enough

I suspect it works out cheaper to block than those lawyers letters

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I suppose the name "Sunrise" has something to do with morning wood? It may seem like a lot of companies are getting stiffed, but its only a one-time fee.

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Unhappy

@only a 1-time fee

until the next negatively-connotated TLD comes along.

And the one after that.

And...

There is a reason you don't bend to extortion.

It is a pity that industry as a whole didn't just get together and completely ignore it - their opinion of their customer base shows as rather poor since they clearly feel said customers can't work out that a reputable company won't be the holder of the xxx tld. But we keep buying from their intelectually insulting marketing people, so possibly they have a point afterall.

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A national disgrace

I have to agree with Penny. When will the government take the bull by the horns and just ban this outright.

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@Clare (web specialist)

I agree, given that extortion and blackmail are illegal, this sort of protection racket should be banned outright.

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Anonymous Coward

They did, more then once. And the international community rightly screamed that the US was trying to control the internet.

What is stupid is that, according to ICAN's plans, we will soon see ANYTHING as an extention. So .slut, .smut, .sex and .profanityinanotherlanguage will soon flood the net anyway.

This is probably a MUCH bigger security issue then anyone as been willing to address too.

Imagine when your .home domain on your home network starts resolving on the net...

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Hmmm

or .local for that matter - I can think of a dozen networks using it for internal-only DNS.

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Anonymous Coward

Protection?

Sounds a bit like a protection racket, but its probably cheaper to pay the one time fee than it is to get your lawyer involved.

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Devil

Protection Racket

Nice domain you've got there. Be a shame if .... you know .... something happened to it.

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Would it really be so bad?

If I were some big name like Ferrari for example, why would I really be so worried about people going to Ferrari.xxx, it's not like you type it by accident. If people want to do a load of porn based in Ferraris, so what?

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Anonymous Coward

@Will 28

Dilution of trademarks. It is why Hoover cannot prevent anyone referring to their vacuum cleaner as a "hoover" and equally why companies such as Rolls-Royce are likely to send you warnings if you describe your product as something like "the Rolls-Royce of ABC", or why J K Rowling's lawyers jump on anything that infringes her Harry Potter IP.

Also, there may be negative connotations in allowing this which could harm their reputation or damage their brand - sure us porn surfers would know the difference but your Mary Whitehouse wannabes, particularly in the States may not, all they would see is people shagging in a Ferrari from a website with ferrari in teh name and likely assume it had something to do with Ferrari.

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Anonymous Coward

or possibly

a well known porn star could happen to have the surname Ferrari and want to use it*

What if a genuine use, happens to coincide with a company name, trademarks don't apply, as you're not likely to confuse a porn film for a sports car

*now deceased, so she probably won't

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@Lee

As far as why they *are* doing it, you're probably correct on both points, but as far as why they *need* to I think the case is less secure.

Trademarks are relative to the line of business, so you could almost certainly wait for someone to infringe and then set the lawyers on them. You don't need to pay protection money. If you are lucky, someone will register "your" xxx domain and start using it for unrelated purposes and effectively cybersquat for you.

Mary Whitehouse wannabes can flame you either way. If you pay for the domain, they'll accuse you of giving money to dodgy characters on the fringes of the porn industry. Indeed, by registering your interest, you are putting yourself on an easy list of "brands to hate". Why have you done that?

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"cost recovery basis"

They're charging £127 to cover their costs? Err, no, I don't think so. Their costs in this case are just adding an entry in a database, which should be practically free.

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Meh

Big business...

...has a whole different world of 'cost' and 'expense' compared to us. Apparently their shareholders are okay with this.

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you obviously don't know how sunrise works.

the registry needs to hire trademark lawyers to check the paperwork and make sure the domain name goes to the true owner of the trademark. this is not always an easy thing to do. does kenwood.xxx go to a porn star called ken wood - nice name for a porn star! - or the company that makes car stereos or the one that makes kitchen appliances? a very expensive lawsuit could follow if you get this wrong.

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Facepalm

So I take it Concerned Women of America won't be paying the one-time fee to protect their domain name (I assume they have one) from .xxx pornstar-dom then?

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Just get the xxx domain instead

... make some extra cash, especially if the name fits well.

If I had dpreview.com, that's def o what I'd do.

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Devil

So there goes my chance.....

Of going to cocacola.xxx to see some nubile porn actress cooing over "your big, sweaty Coke".

Damn them!!!

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Happy

Nope,

you'll just have to track down some non-western-targeted advertising from the company concerned instead.

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For example:

Has theregister.xxx been "protected"? Or are we in danger of seeing butt-naked PlayMobil figures?

Think about your own websites, if you have something people come looking for. See how rank the whole thing is?

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Is this blackmail necessary?

Surely if marksandspencer.xxx was found (containing, perhaps, semi-nudes in business suits...), the real Marks & Spencer (and rightful owner of the regular domain) can go after them for "passing off", not to mention damage to reputation, etc.

By "them" I mean either the porn supplier or ICM, but I'd be inclined to want to see a world of pain at ICM's doorstep. If they want to open and manage this can of worms, it should be their *RESPONSIBILITY* to ensure brands are not registered immorally - and that doesn't mean passing the buck to those companies who don't wish to see their name turn up with an xxx suffix.

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Gold badge

Good point..

"Imagine when your .home domain on your home network starts resolving on the net..."

I was going to comment this isn't a problem, .home may not be reserved but there are reserved domains to use locally. But really, these are it:

.test, .example, .invalid, .localhost (.localhost should always go to loopback interface), example.net, example,org, example.com.

Even .local, although zeroconf uses it, is not actually reserved by RFC. Probably IETF should at least reserve .local so people can pick a fake domain for themselves (myhome.local or whatever) that is better than {".invalid" or ".test" or just grabbing a random domain for themselves that could be used down the road.)

As for calling this .xxx blocking extortion -- really it's not. These companies are free to wait until somebody registers their .xxx domain and sue them. This is just to pre-empt that whole situation.

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Childcatcher

I don't really care...

Domain names are pretty rubbish anyway. The only benefit I can see is to protect the children.

I was thinking about registering ArseAboutFacebook but it may be already taken (Can't be arsed to look, ironically)

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Joke

B

better use a capital B in there so you can claim it is a different trademark... well it works for iPhone?

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