Here’s what to do if you don’t want your website to .suck or .wtf

Here’s what to do if you don’t
want your website to .suck or .wtf
Bloggers have often gone beyond .com to use .club and .rocks to establish their web presence. But this extension beyond .com or .net is soon becoming a pain for the already established company. With the web hosting sites releasing .xxx, .wtf and .sucks, Apple, Citigroup including many others are rushing to protect their brands from critics and pranksters who might buy the internet address and defame them.

The new domain suffix available at Vox Populi Registry Ltd. only to trademark holders, for about $2,500 a pop, as part of a wider expansion of Web names beyond the familiar ".com" will soon to $249 and let anybody attach the available word of their choice, reads a news report by Bloomberg.

Law firms and trademark associations active in Internet registry policy have called Vox Populi's domainname sale "illicit" and "predatory," and a U.S. congressional hearing will look into the matter Wednesday.

ICANN, the quasi-governmental nonprofit gatekeeper for web addresses, recently began approving new domains that resellers administer.


Vox Populi and similar resellers are part of a growing problem for companies on the Web, Jaffe said.John Berard, Vox Populi's chief executive officer defended his business saying the web already is rife with scathing reviews of companies and the dotsucks domain would allow companies to "curate criticism.""We are not breaking new ground in the terms of ability to criticise," he said in an interview. "We are breaking new ground in the ability to learn from it."

There's not much governments or companies can do about ".sucks" because criticism is considered free speech, Andrew Baum, a partner with the law firm Foley & Lardner who specialises in trademarks told Bloomberg.Trademark law applies only to something that could be confused with the real thing. For example, no one would confuse with the website for the hamburger chain.

"My advice to companies that are criticised on the Internet is that you sort of have to suck it up, no pun intended," said Baum. "First Amendment protection is broad.Trademark law only protects against confusion."