Wednesday March 25, 2015

Are dot-sucks domain names a cash grab?

.sucks

.sucks (Twitter)

This week, Taylor Swift bought the internet domain name "taylorswift.porn", presumably to block anyone else from using the name. On Monday, trademark-holders can begin to pay $2,500 annually to buy internet domain names ending with dot-sucks. "Normally you'd expect to see maybe $200 or $300 a year," says Kevin Murphy of domain name industry blog Domain Incite. "This is quite expensive." Vox Populi, an affiliate of the Canadian company Momentous, is marketing the dot-sucks domain names. "My hope is that companies, institutions, even governments, will see the value of creating and cultivating and managing that website so as to get a handle sooner, better, more meaningfully on criticism that might be coming their way," Vox Populi CEO John Berard told Day 6. Rick Schwartz, a domain name entrepreneur, sees it differently. "Basically it's trying to shake down large comapnies," said Schwartz. "They're claiming free speech but they're basically doing the opposite."