“.sucks” Sparking Domain Name Controversy

By on March 13, 2014
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March 13, 2014

The worst fears of those who opposed the massive expansion of available generic top level domain (gTLD) names seem to be summed up in the controversy brewing around one domain name, which hasn’t even been awarded yet: .sucks. Though three companies are currently in competition for the .sucks domain – Donuts Inc., Momentous Corporation, and Top Level Spectrum Inc. – Vox Populi Registry, backed by Momentous, has already begun collecting fees from trademark owners who would rather not see their brand name come before the derogatory domain name. If they win the domain, Vox Populi has already stated they plan to charge companies $25,000 annually to keep the .sucks site off-line.

The .sucks domain battle is “little more than a predatory shakedown scheme,” Sen. John Rockefeller (D-West Va.) wrote in a March 12 letter to Stephen Crocker, Chairman of ICANN. “[A]ny potential this gTLD might have to increase choice or competition in the domain name space is overwhelmed by the ways it could be used to unfairly defame individuals, non-profit organizations, and businesses,” Rockefeller wrote. “A gTLD like ‘sucks’ has little or no socially redeeming value and it reinforces many people’s fears that the purpose of gTLD expansion is to enrich the domain name industry rather than benefit the broader community of Internet users.”

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