ICANN seeks opinion on legality of '.sucks' registration process

The Internet naming body has written to U.S. and Canadian regulators

The body that manages the Internet domain name system has asked regulators in the U.S. and Canada to comment on the legality of the high prices and procedures used by Vox Populi Registry for registrations of '.sucks' domain names by trademark owners.

The move Thursday by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) follows a recent letter from its Intellectual Property Constituency, which asked that the rollout of the new .sucks gTLD (generic top-level domain) should be halted.

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. It said Vox Populi had announced it would charge trademark owners US$2,499 and above to register domain names during the early 'sunrise' period.

The high fees will prevent many trademark owners from being able to take advantage of the preliminary sunrise registration period, intended to protect the rights of trademark owners, making it more likely that marks will be registered by cybersquatters for much lower, and potentially subsidized, fees at the launch of the general availability of the domain names, IPC President Gregory S. Shatan wrote in a letter to Akram Atallah, president of ICANN's global domains division.

Under the new gTLD program, ICANN had added 583 new TLDs at the end of last week, with plans to add hundreds more. The proliferation of domains like .porn and .adult have led celebrities and trademark owners to buy websites with their names in some of these new domains to prevent future misuse.

In letters to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Canada's Office of Consumer Affairs, ICANN's General Counsel John O. Jeffrey has referred to the letter from the IPC, and asked the agencies to probe whether Vox Populi is violating any laws or regulations that are enforced by the two offices.

Vox Populi in Canada could not be immediately reached for comment.

ICANN said it can enforce contracts with registries but not police illegal activity.

But if Vox Populi is not complying with all applicable laws, it may also be in breach of its registry agreement, wrote Allen Grogan, ICANN's chief contract compliance officer in a blog post. "ICANN could then act consistently with its public interest goals and consumer and business protections to change these practices through our contractual relationship with the registry," he added. Registrations in the sunrise period have already begun and will end on May 29.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Vox Populi RegistryInternet Corporation for Assigned Names and NumbersU.S. Federal Trade CommissionCanada's Office of Consumer Affairsinternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?