Dot-Sucks Is Much Ado About Nothing New

Dot-Sucks Is Much Ado About Nothing New -
The arrival of the dot sucks domain has caused a lot of controversies. In fact, some people see it as the end of the internet.

Why? Because some folks have realized that the dot-sucks domain name has a potentially big market, so they demand a high price. These mischievous fellows are charging the big companies very high amounts to protect their names, but they sell these domains at a very cheap price to internet trolls who want to shame these companies. This is why the whole thing isn’t funny. For instance, if Samsung wants to protect their brand, they have to pay as high as $2500 per year while an individual somewhere can get a dot sucks domain for $250 to $300. Now that’s not fair. How could regulators allow this to happen? Where was ICANN (International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers)?

How It All Started

The emergence of the dot sucks domain started when ICANN, the organisation in charge of assigning domain names decided to expand the generic top-level domain name system to an unlimited number. When this decision was made, it dawned on brand owners that they needed to pay more to protect their trademarks from being victims of cybersquatting. They lobbied against the decision but ICANN did not revoke its decision because many applications were being filed for new top-level domain names, and they were making millions of dollars from those applications. The .sucks domain name is among the thousands of domain names that were born out of this freedom to register a top-level domain.

Moreover, people began to express concerns about the dot sucks name, but ICANN said it had no authority to do anything about the name because nobody protested the name when it was proposed and the required fee of about $180,000 for a new extension was paid.

However, ICANN made attempts to handle the dot-sucks situation after intellectual property lawyers protested against the high fees trademark holders were being charged to protect their domain names while everyone else paid a very little sum for it.

ICANN wrote a letter to the US and Canadian government reporting that the dot-sucks domain was being sold at very exorbitant prices to trademark holders. The aim of the letter was to ask the governments to wade into the matter because ICANN could not do anything about it unless the act was a violation of the law. If the act was a violation of any law, they could use that to shut down the domain extension.

ICANN stated in a statement issued by the chief contract compliance officer on the matter that it is concerned about the situation but it has no authority to determine the legality of Vox Populi’s actions. Hence, ICANN wanted the regulatory authorities of America and Canada to look into the matter. If Vox Populi is found to be in violation of any law, the dot-sucks domain would be shut down as they would have violated the terms of the contract by so doing. That is the only way ICANN can enforce the terms of its contract with registries. Monitoring illegal activity is solely the duty of the country’s regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies.

ICANN wanted to know what the government of Canada in particular would do about the sitaution because the company that owns the registry is based in Canada. The Canadian government, however, did not want to be bothered about the matter.

Vox Populi Registry the owner of the extension said they didn’t do anything wrong. In fact, in the heat of the contention, they sent a letter through a law firm to ICAAN threatening to take legal action against it for defamation if it continues to speak poorly of the company. The company also defended its choice to sell the domain to brands at a higher price and maintained that it did not violate any of its agreement with ICANN in the way they handled the domain name.

The Cybersquatting Issue

In the early days of the internet, geeks often registered many domain names that were likely to be used by companies so that those companies will have to buy the domain names back from them. Some paid the geeks to get back their domain names but others filed lawsuits to force the geeks to turn over the names.

This issue led to the institution of the anti-cyberpiracy laws. In the early 2000s, ICANN came up with the Uniform Domain Resolution Procedure to prevent trademarks from being used as domain names. Existing disputes were resolved using this procedure and companies learned to trademark their domain names before it was hijacked by someone attempting to divert their internet traffic. The explosion of dot-word top-level domains has increased concerns that we might be going back to the days of cybersquatting.

As far back as 19 years ago, some individuals advocated for the existence of a dot-sucks domain as well as dot-complains. They saw them as weapons that internet consumers can use against big companies.

It Is Here To Stay

Is the internet really witnessing its last days with the dot-sucks domain name? It is true that the domain game has been going on for a long time now. It should be known that anyone who owns a domain and puts it up for sale at a price higher than they paid to register it is only bent on denying another person access to success on the cyberspace. Most successful registrars have tried to make people buy the dot net and dot-org for every dot com registered in a bid to sell brand protection. Some companies even created to gain attention. This was even before the dot-sucks came on the scene.

The fact is, people hold different views on this dot-sucks domain. Some are proponents while others are opponents. But dot-sucks domain names are not going away anytime soon because big corporations like Apple are registering them. So with all this, it’s obvious that dot-sucks isn’t something new and it will be the end of the internet. It is here to stay and everyone needs to get used to it.