.XXX and Discrimination

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Just read this at Sean Tompkins site, and he makes a very good point.

According The Domains’ article, “ICM Registry Suspends TM Domains Including BusinessWeek.xxx, cnbc.xxx, VerizonWireless.xxx, WashingtonPost.xxx” as part of their effort to prevent the cybersquatting of trademarked names. The article quotes Stuart Lawley from a press release regarding the decision:

“ICM Registry has raised the bar on responsible registry operations and we intend to maintain the highest standards. We will not tolerate nefarious conduct and will exercise our right to take appropriate action when we detect widespread repeat patterns of cyber-squatting activity. Would-be cyber-squatters are on notice neither ICM Registry nor the .xxx community will be complicit in the theft or abuse of intellectual property. ICM takes a stand to facilitate user choice and parental control, protect the privacy, security, and consumer rights of consenting adults, fight child abuse images, and protect intellectual property,” said Lawley.

The article ends with its author, Michael H. Berkens writing:

I think this is an unprecedented move by a Registry.

Personally I’m not aware of a Registry pre-emptively suspending domain names even those that seem to be clear trademark infringing domain names.

In previous launches some TM domains actually went to Land Rush auctions and sold for big bucks and we questioned why registries should profit from the premium sale of TM domains as in the case of Toyota.me which sold for $90,000

Also interesting is Tompkins’ observation:

Explain this to me like I’m 6 years old. If DOTXXX isnt gonna allow “blatant cybersquatting” like CNBC.XXX then why push the schools and other educational institutions to buy their name? Why not just block it from the start? Is Mr Lawley saying MichiganState.xxx isn’t good enough to block but Verizon is?

Here’s an article from The Michigan Daily on Michigan State protectively buying up their urls.

Could this be more a response to some legal threat than anything conscionable on the part of Lawley and his ICM Registry? We know here what a tough time schools are having. Is Lawley so shrewd a businessman that he is aware of it, too?

And I’d just like to go over this statement by Lawley again:

Would-be cyber-squatters are on notice neither ICM Registry nor the .xxx community will be complicit in the theft or abuse of intellectual property.

What “.XXX community” is he talking about? The domains he sold before the actual adult community was allowed to even engage the Sunrise Period for registration? Before even the vote to allow the sTLD was awarded by ICANN in March 2011? Could he be referring the “.XXX” community that never wanted his sTLD designation in the first place?

From Elliot’s Blog, quoted by Diane Duke during the 2011 inaugural XBIZ EU Summit in London:

I just learned that an additional batch of .XXX domain names recently went online, and they are owned by Frank Schilling’s Name Administration. These include some of the best .XXX domain names, and the back story is interesting. According to Schilling, “they were actually purchased in January (at Domainfest) before the contract was awarded. It was a huge risk buying names that didn’t exist.” (The list of .XXX names Schilling acquired is listed below).

Although the exact purchase price was not disclosed, I understand it was seven figures and it was an all cash deal.

This shrewd business decision made by Schilling is another example of his foresight in the domain space. By taking a risk on .XXX, he could have ended up owning non-existent domain names had the extension not been approved. Now, he owns a chunk of significantly valued domain names, since these are some of the best possible .XXX domain names.


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Author: Julie Meadows

Francophile, oenophile, French Scrabble advocate and future zombie apocalypse survivor.

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