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Schools Buy .xxx Domains In Trademark Panic 231

Posted by samzenpus
from the keep-them-off-the-pole dept.
bs0d3 writes "Schools nationwide, including The University of Missouri and Washington University, are snapping up .xxx domain names to avoid people making porn sites with their names in the url. The new .xxx domain will be launched later this year, and before that, everyone with a trademark will have the opportunity to reserve names during what's called a "sunrise period". Someone is promoting the possible horrors of what could happen as a way to sell these domains, which cost up to $200 dollars per domain per year. Even though these schools may already be protected from defamation and trademark infringement, they still feel compelled to buy these names."
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Schools Buy .xxx Domains In Trademark Panic

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  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @09:15PM (#38044386)

    there goes a business plan have a girls of X school / college web sites.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Keep it up ICANN! You are doing a fine job! You jerks should be killed.

    • by siddesu (698447) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @09:22PM (#38044448)
      It isn't ICANN that is the driver behind this craze, it is the US schizophrenia that is driving this thing. What you see is the happy marriage of "Brand is EVERYTHING" with "Save the Children" and "Sex is dirty".
      • by mug funky (910186) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @09:28PM (#38044488)

        and you have ICANN finding that every time they allow another .* TLD, people scramble to buy them all up.

        so they release .xxx and all hell breaks loose, and a lot of registrars make a lot of easy money for no added benefit.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 13, 2011 @10:14PM (#38044736)

        "Sex is dirty".

        Only if you're doing it right ;)

      • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @11:04PM (#38044936) Homepage

        This is 100% correct.

        The US suffers from a HUGE conflict of idealism and it is precisely the items you speak. I would have said "sex sells" rather than "brand is everything" but the core of marketing is correct. Business and sales rule the U.S. The problem is business and sales interests are often in direct conflict with moral idealism nearly all of us profess to maintain. Personally, I have identified those conflicts and reject all business that conflict with my own moral ideals. As a result, the companies I reject include Sony and Disney. I reject Sony for reasons that should be clear and obvious to all. I reject Disney because they are selling sex to very young children in a way I cannot agree with.

        I suppose that last sentence seems a bit odd. But I will say this: I think it's normal and healthy for kids to be curious about sex and everything else in the world. They experience life in their bodies just as we did when we were children. It is definitely not productive to tell every child he is evil because he is curious about sex, sexuality and his sexual instincts. So I say explain them to children and teach them honestly and do not punish them for being human children. But what Disney does adds so much more confusion to the mix that it is even more difficult for children to be themselves and to be well adjusted as they grow and develop. Worse, they create the same sort of self-hating and self-destructive idealism in children that we have seen in women across the globe. (Of course you know I speak of the modelling and fashion industry creating unhealthy ideals for women to pursue and fail to achieve resulting in self-loathing and even self-destructive behavior.) So when a child doesn't look, dress and act like the Disney kids, they are ugly in their own eyes.

        I'm seriously glad I don't have any girl children as they are the most targeted victims of Disney's behavior and it would be very challenging to mitigate the damage Disney does directly or indirectly to society.

        And you know? People still somehow see whatever Disney does as being "pure and clean" and rated G. It's amazing to me because people were initially up in arms when young girls were being made up to look like little sluts but no one says anything when Disney does it. Just amazing.

        I don't agree with "Save the Children." I think I would rather say "Leave the Children ALONE!" This would include leaving them out of marketing crap.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 13, 2011 @09:17PM (#38044418)

    protecting companies and institutions in the US from having to fork over more than a nominal amount (let's say $10/yr) to reserve a domain based on their own name, provided that they never back it with content.

    What if ICANN doesn't play ball? Well, the legislation should then direct US-based ISP's to block all .xxx traffic.

    • by enoz (1181117) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @09:59PM (#38044652)

      Subsidising .xxx domain names to protect Americans from the foreign porn invasion terrorists. I'd love to see the President announce this with a straight face.

      • by dbIII (701233) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @11:06PM (#38044946)
        The former Australian Prime Minister did something like that. He was talking about doing a draconian "for the kiddies" internet censorship plan (which a later Government continued) while owning the ".cx" domain.
        I may have to explain that in more detail to avoid kneejerk know-it-all reactions that will crap on about ".au". Christmas Island is a very small Australian territory and ultimately some of the ".cx" domain registration money made it back into Australian consolidated revenue.
    • by englishknnigits (1568303) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @10:11PM (#38044726)
      How about we stop caring about this kind of crap? If people want to go to universityofsomeplace.xxx then that is their business and the university shouldn't really care. Our legislators have enough crap to do (or undo...) without focusing on this "think of the children" nonsense.
      • by rolfwind (528248) on Monday November 14, 2011 @12:37AM (#38045306)

        Exactly. Just like the whitehouse.gov vs whitehouse.com from years ago.

        Just let it go. Snapping up every permutation is a fool's game. Search engines made the whole domain thing largely superfluous to the layperson anyway and the technical person knows his way around.

        • Someone hand that guy a few mod points?

          That's pretty much dead on. We could easily forgo DNS altogether and return to using IP Adresses only. Nobody would care. Anyone here who does NOT know at least one person who types URLs into search engines instead of the address line of their browser?

          • So now we wouldn't be able to change hosting or email provider (and therefore, IP address) without breaking every link and bookmark and address book. Yes, fantastic idea.

      • by Maestro4k (707634) on Monday November 14, 2011 @12:53AM (#38045374) Journal
        On top of that, I dare say that if a potential student is stupid enough to think that schoolname.xxx is the school's official website when it's obviously a porn site that the university doesn't need that student. They'd just flunk out in short order.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Ah, but you're forgetting the Dumb Old Person Problem. There are many parents (and, more likely going forward, grandparents) who have approximately zero understanding of the internet and will ardently refuse to believe that schoolname.xxx could exist as a porn site without the school's direct involvement or at least permission -- and these people will try to funnel their (grand)children to other schools.

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        Especially as they are breaking the principles behind domain names ie you get them for you use not to block others from using them. Likely spelling error returning to the actual site are fair anything beyond that is simply money having control and power over individuals ie we are rich you are poor, we get everything so you get nothing. It really is a shitty lesson for universities and schools to reinforce.

        This really does highlight the whole problem with the current domain name system. Reality is domain

    • ...the legislation should then direct US-based ISP's to block...

      ...let the tyranny begin.

    • by Bengie (1121981)

      Domains like "xxx" are privately owned. Anyone can make any domain they want as long as they're willing to fork money over for it. Why should private companies be forced to sell their domain space for $10 because someone purchased a similar domain name from another company?

      • by cfulmer (3166)

        It's not whether the company has another domain name; it's whether the company has a trademark in the name and whether it can prevent somebody else from using the goodwill of that mark to market porn.

        Claiming it's "privately owned" doesn't really answer the question -- what does that mean? You can claim some sort of ownership rights in, say, "hooters.xxx" just because ICANN says "you can sell .xxx domains"?

        The better question is "why should private companies be allowed to sell a domain name that's base

    • by alen (225700) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @11:10PM (#38044970)

      there are laws for this but it costs more to file lawsuits to defend your rights in court than pay to register a few thousand domains

  • don't worry (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 13, 2011 @09:18PM (#38044428)

    Slash dot.xxx is still available for all your nerdish needs.

    • by cgenman (325138)

      Strangely, it seems to see a spike in traffic around Halloween...

    • by grcumb (781340)

      Yeah, I can see it now:

      slashdot.xxx IN CNAME goatse.xxx

    • by rrohbeck (944847)

      A Slashdot with pictures, a la 4chan, I can see it now. Nerd porn at its finest!

      • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday November 14, 2011 @02:57AM (#38045898)

        There's already enough nerd porn around. Just look around the various price watch pages, plenty of motherboards to jack off to. They got it all. The tiny ones (yes, that's still legal, let's hope our law enforcement doesn't catch on), the huge ones for those that like a little more epoxy on their mother-Bs, most of them can do it with LAN now and some will even do a RAID for you.

        It's awesome... ok, excuse me for a moment.

    • Two questions:

      1. Will noscript work with it as well?

      2. Will it be full of pictures of hard disks in action?

  • by jd (1658) <imipak@noSPam.yahoo.com> on Sunday November 13, 2011 @09:21PM (#38044444) Homepage Journal

    ...there's really only one TLD because everyone has to buy the same name from all of them to protect themselves. (Especially as you lose a trademark if you don't protect it.)

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 13, 2011 @09:45PM (#38044592)

      Yes. Since .com, .net and .org started being free-for-all domains rather than being used for their intended purpose, the system of multiple generic top-level domains has been a scam which inconveniences everyone to benefit the registrars.

    • by rdnetto (955205)

      This will be especially interesting where there are existing adult entertainment businesses with the same name [sankakucomplex.com].

    • ...there's really only one TLD because everyone has to buy the same name from all of them to protect themselves. (Especially as you lose a trademark if you don't protect it.)

      Not in this case. .xxx is descriptive. Like the .coop, .museum, etc. TLD's, these are actually going in the right direction.

      There's no reason one can't have a harvard.edu, a harvard.farm and a harvard.xxx, all pointing to different businesses - that's actually desirable. IIRC, USPTO has a few thousand trademark categories.

    • People pretty well understand .edu is for educational institutions, particularly since it is one that not just anyone can get. The university I work for only has the .edu version of its name, .com, .net and .org are all owned by different people and each one goes to a different site.

      The thing is people get all uptight about porn and dumbass administrators go "OMG they might think our school promotes PORN, we'd better buy the name!"

      Just knee jerk crap.

  • by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @09:23PM (#38044460)

    To see all the domain names Penn State is going to have to buy.

    • To see all the domain names Penn State is going to have to buy.

      They won't have to buy a single one, they'll just have to report any pennstate* website to the FBI's child abuse division.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 13, 2011 @09:24PM (#38044468)

    Great idea, but not in practice. People only recognize the AOL keyword kind of URLs. There is no http://slashdot.com or http://slashdot.net , only http://slashdot.org . I like the ideas of namespaces, but for average people using the internet, the TLDs don't matter. Its .com or it does not exist. This is common in other countries as well, where .com should not be in their default namespace.

    • Fine, what do YOU propose? Don't knock a system unless you have an idea for a better one, or a reason you don't need it at all (the system being DNS, not TLD's).
    • by Fluffeh (1273756)

      This is common in other countries as well, where .com should not be in their default namespace.

      You do realize that .com was meant to mean commercial not US, as there is a .us siffix which is meant to be used for US websites? A .com is an OPEN TLD meaning anyone can use it without any specific country affiliation.

    • I like the ideas of namespaces, but for average people using the internet, the TLDs don't matter. Its .com or it does not exist.

      So you're saying September actually does end outside .com? Let's keep it that way.

  • Monopoly (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 13, 2011 @09:28PM (#38044490)

    Best business idea ever. Anyone who doesn't want their name associated with porn is forced to buy a domain name.

    • by Fluffeh (1273756)

      Yes, it is actually. I wonder if any employees over at ICANN were previously employed by Big Music...

  • cocks.xxx (Score:5, Funny)

    by gatzke (2977) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @09:28PM (#38044496) Homepage Journal

    I hope my school buys up some names. We would have a legitimate concern for cocks.xxx

    Go Gamecocks!

  • by kawabago (551139) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @09:29PM (#38044502)
    but www.yalesluts.xxx will still be available. I really don't think money for education should be diverted to porn site registration unless they plan to run the porn site themselves! Are there concealed cameras in the dorm rooms? Gotta get content somewhere!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Well, if they're going to use my name they had better have some top flight content. (I'll pay extra for girl-on-girl if they're wearing Debian thongs...)

  • by John Hasler (414242) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @09:42PM (#38044580) Homepage

    ...than the lawyers later. Even if the schools' names are protected by trademark and/or defamation law it's likely to cost considerably more than $200 to find infringing domains and get them revoked.

    Besides, when the school gets hard up for money they can rent their .xxx domain out for pron.

    Or they could just give it to their cheerleaders...

  • No brainer, if... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shic (309152) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @09:42PM (#38044584)

    I guess it's a "no brainer" if you're paying with someone else's money.

    • Next universe over, I suppose, it's safe to assume someone's bitching about universities gouging for tuition and then not spending a comparative trifle to prevent their names from being porn urls?
  • Let's drop the .com/org/edu if we're not going to regulate their use to actual Companies, non-profit Organizations, and Educational institutions. Just move to:

    harvard
    law.harvard
    students.harvard
    registrar.harvard
    store.ibm
    support.ibm
    etc etc

    • by Fluffeh (1273756)

      Are you crazy? Do you really want anyone to be able to have their own TLD?

      How about this simple example then: Harry Harvard runs his own plumbing company that employs two other plumbers and registers the .harvard. Apart from the obvious Harvard that misses out on its own TLD now, anyone else also loses it. What about Harvard Pizzas in the town of Harvard. What about the town Harvard.

      I think the best thing about a .com is the fact that you generally have the biggest companies where they are easy to find (apa

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        Are you crazy? Do you really want anyone to be able to have their own TLD?

        Give it 50 years and you can be that the net infrastructure will have moved that way.

        • by Fluffeh (1273756)

          Yes, I am sure that over time, the net will have been eroded by lobby groups and the like enough to have it and biggest companies with the deepest wallets will have bollocksed it up to that level - but that isn't to say that I want to see it tomorrow.

          Even given something as simple as how much malware and how sophisticated it is becoming, the last thing I want right now is people being able to completely administer their own TLDs. I mean, we can shut down C&C servers now to a degree because those domains

      • Anyone can register a ".com" domain now, and the biggest companies simply buy them out. So it would be the same situation as before if there were no TLDs.

  • This is brilliant (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Sunday November 13, 2011 @10:19PM (#38044758) Homepage

    I'm going to propose creating a new .xxy TLD for the real celebrity porn now that .xxx is exclusively used to pre-emptively block celebrity porn domain names. .xxy is one whole letter more naughty than .xxx, so domain names cost twice as much to register!
     
    .xxy domains can be pre-reserved within a sunrise period over the next N years, where N is the time until I have enough money from registrations to retire. After that time it will totally launch, honestly. So if want to prevent spammers from offering pornography on a website that has your name in the address (rather than just all over the page), be sure to buy up all variations and misspellings of your name now!

  • Nothing changes.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AftanGustur (7715) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @10:28PM (#38044810) Homepage
    Sorry, the domain psu.xxx is already taken.

    Why don't you consider one of the following:

    [ ] mypsu.xxx
    [ ] sexypsu.xxx
    [ ] girlsofpsu.xxx
    [ ] sexinpsu.xxx
    [ ] gaypsu.xxx
    [ ] psushowers.xxx
    ...
    ...
    ...
    Come on, it is almost 2012, everyone should have understood a long time ago that people don't search for content based on the domain name.

    • Sorry, the domain psu.xxx is already taken.

      whois psu.xxx
      No whois server is known for this kind of object.

      I believe this is all just one big money making scheme. ".xxx" doesn't really exist.

    • Come on, it is almost 2012, everyone should have understood a long time ago that people don't search for content based on the domain name.

      But PageRank scores up links with the search term in the domain name, so, yeah, they do, even if not on purpose.

    • by afabbro (33948)

      Come on, it is almost 2012, everyone should have understood a long time ago that people don't search for content based on the domain name.

      I'm starting to think that this is not the non-profit punctuation discussion site I was l looking for...

  • So, you go to Harvard.xxx expecting to enter the University of Life, and WHAM, it's a plain old traditional educational institution instead?!

    Somebody's going to get sued for false advertising...

  • The only thing they have ever done well is bring in more money to registrars.
  • seriously I can't imagine typing sex.xxx or girls.xxx, just doesn't look right

    now if it was girls.sex....

    • by BlueCoder (223005)

      P.S. I can't wait until everyone abandons the ICANN domain system...

      It's like open source, no reason someone else can't take the ball and run with it if they can gather the clout. Just take a major browser offering an alternative...

      Without net neutrality your ISP could even redirect web sites without you knowing which is a major reason for the push of dnssec I suppose.

      You could even remaster the domain system so that ICANN falls under the icann domain.... select a domain tree as default but provide absolut

  • by devent (1627873) on Monday November 14, 2011 @01:38AM (#38045556) Homepage

    They all act as if that was not the intended purpose of the .xxx domains (or the purpose of any of the TLDs). The purpose of the new .xxx domains is that all your suckers have to buy .xxx just to be save, and not to control the porn industry.

    Since a porn site can still have a regular .com domain, you still have to use all the old filter software to block porn sites, plus you have to block all .xxx domains, and now of course you have to buy .xxx to be save.

    What would have make more sense is a .kids domain. That way you could just block all other domains except .kids and be done with it. And you don't have to worry that someone will get a .kids and put porn on it. (of course if a .kids domain gets some rules attached to it, like the site with a .kids can only have content appropriate for kids).

    Was a .kids TLD even discussed? What was the argument against a .kids domain vs. a .xxx domain?

  • And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why the economy is in decline. Yet more money spent on worthless things. Basically this is what drives inflation. The more money wasted like this, the less there is to spent on actual increase of value.
    .xxx domains were a useless idea anyway and now they've evolved into a bad idea.
  • Someone should buy stashdot.xxx before a porn site ruins our reputa ..... oh wait!

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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