UnNews:Owner of ".sucks" asks for legal advice

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Owner of ".sucks" asks for legal advice

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9 April 2015

Paris Hilton

Ms. Hilton was the only proposed registrant who had a legitimate business reason to select the new domain, and was refused.

OTTAWA, Ontario -- The group that oversees the Internet has asked government agencies about the rollout of the new .sucks web domain.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the group that sets policy for the Internet. They are the same guys who prop up the United States of America as country code 1 on telephones, provided it lets Canada and Bermuda tag along.

ICANN has written to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the Canadian Office of Consumer Affairs (Bureau des Consommeliers) about the new .sucks suffix. ICANN pointed out that it has no guns nor jails, but that the respective agencies have several, and might be interested in putting them to good use. Vox Populi Registry, Ltd., the registrar of the new domain, insists that only trademark holders and celebrities can register a web address, the recommended fee is $2,000, and the actual fee is slightly higher. Thus, Ford Motor Company alone could open the ford.sucks website, and it is not about to.

Oprah Winfrey has established a .sucks domain, even though she claims she does not suck; whereas Paris Hilton, who sought to solicit bona fide oral services, was denied a .sucks website. Kate Bush tried to register bush.sucks, but a bidding war broke out.

Once the early registration period ends, however, anyone will be able to register a URL for ten bucks, and to claim that everything sucks. Vox Populi has filed registration papers for related domains .blows, .stinks, .ThinksBlackLivesDontMatter, and .BlindedMyInfantDaughter, each available for a modest price. In 2011, ICANN opened the domain domain to new entrants and is processing two thousand applications. This means that if a requested dot-com does not come up, there are many other things you can try that might work, just as a 1-800 number that does not answer might, these days, be 1-877 or 1-866 or 1-855 or 1-844. Eventually, 1 might conclude that icann.sucks.

Vox chief executive John Berard said, "Any company that thinks it is too expensive to prevent libel in a given domain will have countless others at which to try to prevent libel."

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