The Fight Against .sucks Domain Names

Recently, the group that manages internet web addresses approved top-level domain names like .car or .pizza. One Senator wants the organization to resist approving the .sucks domain.

NextGov says West Virginia Democrat Jay Rockefeller says the .sucks domain has “little or no socially redeeming value.” Three companies have applied to own .sucks.

“I view it as little more than a predatory shakedown scheme,” Rockefeller wrote in a letter to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the independent group that manages the Web’s address system. “The business model behind this [domain name] seems to be the following: force large corporations, small businesses, nonprofits, and even individuals, to pay ongoing fees to prevent seeing the phrase ‘sucks’ appended to their names on the Internet.”

Three companies—Donuts Inc., Momentous Corp., and Top Level Spectrum—have all applied to own .sucks, and ICANN will have to decide which company (if any) to award the domain to. Momentous has already started soliciting applications so that people can defensively buy .sucks Web addresses to prevent them from falling into the control of others, Rockefeller wrote.

Mason Cole, a spokesman for Donuts, acknowledged that “in certain hands, the domain name could be problematic.” But he said trademark owners can ask Donuts to block certain terms for a “small fraction of the cost” of registering new websites.