TLD .XXX Reputation Management Nightmare?

TDL .XXX was announced earlier this year and is now in full swing. Here is the Pre-Registration Schedule

 

  • Sunrise: Available September 7 — October 28, 2011
    • Registration Requires Trademarked Name.
  • Sunrise AD: Available September 7 — October 28, 2011
    • Registration Requires registered like domain name.
  • Sunrise B: Available September 7 — October 28, 2011
    • Blocking registration requires Trademarked Name.
  • Landrush: Available November 8 — November 25, 2011
    • Pre-Registration only requires membership to Sponsored Community. Add ~$100 to registration.
  • General Availability: December 6, 2011
    • Still requires membership but available now for all.

Reputation Management Extortion?

The new TLD raises a lot of concerns for individuals especially when it comes to reputation management. For businesses that want to protect their brand and trademark it’s easy enough to purchase a Sunrise Block, which means you are not registering the name blocking it for a price. Feels a bit like brand reputation extortion. As stated in PCWORLD, most registrations are not even in the adult industry, but are purely doing it for trademark protection. The Free Speech coalition reports that those in the industry are saying they don’t want the .XXX TLD.

But the extortion could get even worse. How many other combinations can still be registered for Levi? It’s not just Levi.xxx it’s LeviJeanLess.xxx or LeviButts.xxx. It also raises a lot of legal trademark concerns, since Levi can be an individual’s name, similar to Macy, Lego, Dixies, Mario, Barbie, and Mercedes. Then there is the myriad of brands with common use words and/or names that could slip into .XXX registrations. I am sure someone is just hoping that Bimbo, as the bakers, doesn’t register their name. And the list can go on; Ben-Gay, Butterball, Ben & Jerry, Blow Pop, Cool Whip, Curves, Egg Beaters, Hooters, In-n-Out, Papa Johns, 5 Guys. The other sticky part of this is the question of human names, are they trademark-able? Who gets the right to register the triple X for Jessica Simpson or Rebecca Black? And since Jessica Simpson doesn’t have a federal trademark, she is forced to pay the annual fee for the domain registration. Further, it’s a catch 22 on the registered trademark. If you haven’t already registered your trademark then you are in trouble. If you have, then you get to block for a one time fee, but you still pay annual fees on your registered trademark. Either way, branding is not cheap.

Should Brands Care about .XXX?

My suspicion is that the .XXX TLD won’t even show in the safe search results, regardless of content. The purpose of these domains are clearly stated. So should brands be concerned with registering or blocking the .XXX TLDs? Should individuals care about .XXX registration? Will links from .XXX be helpful? Will a 301 redirect from a .XXX be harmful? Please add your comments.

 

2 thoughts on “TLD .XXX Reputation Management Nightmare?

  1. Pingback: .XXX Domains are Open for Public Purchase « Pest Control Marketing & such…

  2. Pingback: .XXX Domains are Open for Public Purchase | Thomas Ballantyne

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