27 September 2011

Protect your Trademark against Registration under the xxx-TLD within the Sunrise Period

A new article titled "Schützen Sie Ihre Marke vor einer Registrierung unter der .xxx TLD innerhalb der Sunrise Periode" (in German, sorry;  automatic Englisch translation by Google) on the ksnh::jur blog reports on the sunrise period for registering the new xxx top level domain, which started on September 7 and ends on October 28, 2011.

The xxx TLD is reserved for "online adult entertainment" and "sexually explicit" content. The sunrise period comprises a Sunrise B period,

“created especially for non-adult Intellectual Property holders who are non-members of the adult Sponsored Community with verifiable trademark rights so they can block their domains in the .XXX sTLD.”
As owner of a trademark that has no connection to "adult entertainment", you may consider to block your trademark for xxx domains until 28 October 2011 to prevent unpleasant effects on your trademark equity by pornographic content websites and legal consequences evolving therefrom.

The xxx-TLD is sponsored and administered by the International Foundation for Online Responisbility, in order to, inter alia, 
  • promote the development of responsible business practices and conduct within the online adult-entertainment community that shall be incorporated into the registrant agreement of all .xxx domain names via a Declaration of Best Business Practices;
  • promote the development of business practices to safeguard children online and combat child abuse and child abuse images. 
Stuart Lawley, CEO of .xxx registrar ICM Registry, thinks that
"for the first time there will be a clearly defined Web address for adult entertainment, out of the reach of minors and as free as possible from fraud or malicious computer viruses"
However, there are serious doubts as to whether or not the new TLD can really meet such high expectations, especially since the pornography industry, as the main addressee of this approach, is rather reluctant. They ostencibly expect censorship and limitations of free speech - as frequently emphasised by the "Free Speech Coaliton" fighting "for freedom of speech respecting the inherent right of adults to be adults" - but effectively only fear financial effects on their sordid multi billion dollar business.