.Sucks Top Level Domain Poses Serious Threat

It was recently announced that Vox Populi Registry, an affiliate of Momentous Corp., beat out two other competitors to win the new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) .sucks contention set, paying over $3 million for the string.  This application has been branded as “predatory” and has led many, including the ANA, to believe that its sole purpose is to exploit individuals and businesses by causing them to pay to defensively register.  Initially, Vox Populi planned to charge registrants $25,000 to participate in its Sunrise period, but it has since stepped back from that number.  

The .sucks string joins .gripe and .wtf as gTLDs that could cause serious problems for advertisers.  In March, Senator Rockefeller (D-WV) sent a letter to Dr. Stephen Crocker, the Chairman of the Board of ICANN, expressing his concern that this gTLD is a “predatory shakedown scheme” with “no socially redeeming value.”  He highlighted the fact that the .sucks gTLD will undermine the credibility ICANN has been trying to build with stakeholders.

ANA has been working to protect brand holders from the very beginning of the gTLD rollout process and has repeatedly urged ICANN to carefully consider the implications of the gTLDs it approves.  As we continue to fight to stop predatory gTLDs, we encourage all brand holders to be proactive in protecting themselves during this unprecedented expansion.