ICANN releases .sucks

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) started the Dot Sucks programme.

Liana Teo, ICANN Asia-Pacific spokeswoman, said trademark holders had an advance opportunity to register domain names corresponding to their trademarks.

But after that, the domain names became available to anyone.

Earlier this year, Associated Press said an intellectual property advisory body representing major companies and industry groups sent a letter to ICANN asking it to halt the rollout of Dot Sucks calling it a “shakedown scheme” and “predatory”.

The new “.sucks” domain name will be available for the public to buy from June 1.

Overseas, celebrities have bought domains ending in .sucks, to stop critics or enemies seizing the addresses. brands have also been reportedly coerced into paying for the new names too.

New Zealand trademark agent Murray Stott said trademark law protected existing brands from offensive or deceptive attempts to appropriate company names. Mr Stott said .sucks seemed “frivolous” and potentially slanderous.

Despite reports of pop stars buying .sucks to forestall anyone who might want to ridicule them, the law also protected celebrities, he said.

“If, for example, someone wanted ‘katemoss.sucks’, she would have a path open to her to take [legal] action.”

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