Taylor Swift buys 'TaylorSwift.porn' before trolls get the chance

Taylor Swift is now the legal owner of TaylorSwift.porn — but don't get the wrong idea, Swifties. The pop star's URL purchase is not part of an attempt to shake off her wholesome image. In fact, it's quite the opposite.

Companies are buying their namesake .porn and .sucks websites before new domains go on sale to public

Taylor Swift has been an outspoken critic of what she sees as various streaming services' failure to adequately compensate artists. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

American sweetheart Taylor Swift is now the legal owner of TaylorSwift.porn. 

But don't worry, Swifties — the pop star's URL purchase is not part of an attempt to shake off her wholesome image. In fact, it's quite the opposite. 

CNN reports that Swift's team is part of "a select group of people and companies" that have been given access to some of ICANN's more controversial new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) before they're released to the public.

Snapping up TaylorSwift.porn and TaylorSwift.adult before anyone else can simply minimizes the chance of trolls doing something unsavoury with a domain name bearing the singer's name. 

The non-profit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers famously won the right to expand the web's offering of gTLDs in 2011, and hundreds of new suffixes have been added to the original crop of .coms, .orgs and .nets since. 

According to ICANN's most recent statistics, the number of domain endings online has grown from 22 to nearly 550 since January 2014.

That number is eventually expected to rise to more than 1,000 as private companies continue to shell out big bucks (approximately $185,000 a pop) on applications for gTLDS like .pizza, .android., .dad and .mormon. 

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While many of the domain endings approved to date have been relatively innocuous, a handful of new gTLDs scheduled to be released soon are attracting more attention than usual (like almost everything else on the internet with the word "porn" in it.)

As of June 1, anyone with the cash and the desire to buy a website ending in .porn, .sucks or .adult can do so — if the domain name they desire is still available after trademark holders go shopping. 

    ICANN has opened up the sale of domains on the above gTLDS to those who it determines may need to protect their brands against cybersquatting or trademark infringement. Called a "Sunrise period," this month-long pre-sale will end April 1. 

    Stuart Lawley of ICM Registry, which owns and operates the .porn and .adult top-level domains, told CNN that Swift and Microsoft were among the parties who'd already registered domains on both gTLDs. 

    It has not been revealed how much Swift's team or Microsoft paid for the .porn and .adult domains, but trademark holders will pay approximately $2,500 for a .sucks address when sales begin on March 30, according to Vox Populi Registry, which owns the gTLD. 

    Looking to get into the domain game yourself? You can find a public list of all pending and delegated new gTLDs on ICANN's website.

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