What’s The Point In “Protecting Your Brand” If .XXX Registry ICM Is Just Going To Do It For You?

Dec 20 2011

Maybe I missed something, but after the onslaught of advertising encouraging companies to “protect their brand”  leading up to the .XXX landrush, I’m a little bit perplexed by ICM’s actions as announced last week in their press release. For those that missed it, here is part of the release…

“ICM Registry, the official registry of the new .xxx top-level domain TLD, announced that as part of its investigation of reported cybersquatting by a handful of individuals, it has suspended registrations that appear to involve unmistakable, blatant cyber-squatting in violation of the Registry’s policies and the Registry-Registrant agreement. The suspended registrations include patterns of abusive registrations for names like businessweek.xxx, cnbc.xxx, geocities.xxx, nextag.xxx, snapfish.xxx, verizonwireless.xxx, washingtonpost.xxx, and gayroom.xxx, amongst others.”

So, what was the point in “protecting your brand”? Business Week didn’t, Verizon Wireless didn’t either…but due to ICM’s desire to do the right thing and protect  from “unmistakable, blatant cyber-squatting”, companies that didn’t bother protecting their brands are protected anyways.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for registries taking action like this. However, it’s hard to not find this action just a bit hypocritical. ICM, along with several registrars, spent a lot of money and efforts to scare companies and universities into buying .XXX domains by creating the fear that if they didn’t, anybody could and use the domains in any way they wanted, even to post porn on the .XXX version of their trademarked name.  We now see that’s not the case and that a lot of companies and universities wasted a lot of money by buying into the fear that was marketed to them.

The big question now is how will the actions to openly protect trademarks by ICM affect renewal rates for their .XXX domains? There will certainly be companies that take note and decide not to spend the money to renew knowing that ICM will step in to protect their name if someone is blatantly cyber-squatting on it.

Again, I give props to ICM for doing the right thing and protecting companies from cyber-squatting. However, I can’t say I agree with scaring so many companies into purchasing .XXX domains on the grounds that any Joe-Schmo would be able to cyber-squat on a company’s name if the company didn’t pay the minimum $100 (much more in Sunrise) to register. Since ICM is doing the right thing, it might bite them next year at renewal time, only time will tell. If it does, I certainly won’t feel sorry for them, since I feel they took advantage of unsuspecting companies and used fear to make a quick buck. No matter how you think about it, ICM pulled a quick one on the people they do business with. It’s not good for the industry, and quite simply, it’s just not good business.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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5 comments

  1. Poor Uncle

    A quick buck? I thought it took them a long time to get .xxx.
    I think I want to put some money on .xxx because everyone is against it. People in & out of the porn industry is dead set against it. Yet, it is still here and striving. Just like my all time favorite stock…Phillips Morris – Big MO. =)

  2. Kevin Murphy

    Well, ICM only has an ICANN contract for 10 years, so it couldn’t very well offer them for longer. In practice, if .xxx is still around in a decade, I expect the blocks would continue.

  3. Elliot Ness29

    After read this blog from an actual Adult performer, amanda36c http://amanda36c.wordpress.com/2011/12/17/icm-registry-liars-dot-xxx/ I find it hard to believe that anyone should or would trust anything said by ICM Registry. They have only used underhanded tactics throughout the process and you have to wonder if these cyber-squatting suspensions were just a PR move to make ICM Registry out to be the protectors of the Adult Industry. Funny, it seems that most of the Adult industry just plain doesn’t believe them, especially after this report by Amanda36c, one of their own. The adult performers are not being snowed by ICM Registry co-called “Peformers Program” and their use of “ALTs” to extortion or plain fool the performers into buy DOTXXX. ICM Registry states in October that the Adult Performers are very important to the Adult industry and ICM Registry decided to give a special reservation program but they did not release any details of a program that was so important. What kind of company announces a program with no details and when asked replies, “they’ll be announced shortly”. Two plus months later, still no details. When the adult performers ask questions on twitter, the answers continuely change from week to week.
    At this point in time you have to ask yourselves why hasn’t authorities investigated what is really going on here with ICM Registry because they have no integrity left with the Adult industry?

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