ICANN wonders if ‘.sucks’ registration process is legal

Further to our blog story on 27th March 2015 around the governing body ICANN, which approved the domain ‘.sucks’ to be licenced – ICANN has just announced they are trying to halt the rollout of the new domain by Vox Populi (reported as Momentum in March’s story). ICANN is seeking advice from US and Canadian regulators as to the legality of charging extortionate fees (US$2,499) and questionable procedures which is putting unnecessary pressure on businesses to protect their trademark name from abuse.

Under the new gTLD program, ICANN had added 583 new domains by the beginning of April, with plans to add hundreds more. The proliferation of domains like ‘.porn’ and ‘.adult’ have led to celebrities and trademark owners making preventative protective purchases to buy websites with their names in these new domains.

The IPC, which represents the holders of trademarks and related intellectual property, described the registration scheme for the domain as predatory and designed to exploit trademark owners.   There is a normal sunrise period for registration under new domains to give trademark owners a protected window to register their brand before general use, with lower fees and domain addresses getting snapped up by cybersquatters.

It all sounds rather po-faced.  ICANN is standing self-righteously querying the commercial greed of its contracted licencee without it seems any thought to the lack of morality or potential for abuse by permitting the creation of such salacious new domain names in the first place.   This internet registration organisation would do itself a favour by carrying out a bit of navel gazing and think about the international business community it seeks to serve – maybe it could start with a rapid review of the other 582 new gTLDs.



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