opinion

Buyers Beware: FSC Guide to Purchasing .XXX

Diane Duke

Free Speech Coalition has released an “Adult Business Guide to .XXX,” in an effort to spread awareness of important information to any online business owners that may be considering purchase of .XXX domains.

FSC has opposed .XXX domains for nearly a decade. Recent discussions with online business owners indicate a need for clarification of the .XXX registration process. Confusion and mixed messages given by ICM Registry (ICM) and its registrars about pricing and the application process have created a difficult situation for adult online business owners. Buyers Beware! FSC created this guide to help you read the fine print and understand the scope of your purchase.

“It is important for adult businesses to be able to see through all of the smoke and mirrors provided by ICM and some of it registrars. Hopefully, this guide will help business owners get to the truth,” FSC Executive Director Diane Duke said.

This quick guide will:

1. Show registrars’ prices for:

  • The first year for Sunrise AT – for trademark owners attempting to purchase their trademarked name.
  • The first year Sunrise AD – for adult businesses wishing to purchase a .XXX domain name that it owns in another TLD.
  • Sunrise B – for businesses adult and non-adult that wish to block their .XXX trademarked name.
  • Landrush – 18 days starting on November 8, 2011; during this limited period, only those members of the adult “Sponsored Community” can apply for .XXX domain names.

2.   Highlight ICM policies that businesses should read and understand prior to filling out any application.

3.   Educate potential buyers about the contributing factors to likelihood of a rapid decline in the value of any .XXX domain name.

Adult online businesses should be aware that registration fees for .XXX addresses are NON-refundable. If an application is rejected, fees will not be returned and you will not be registered for a .XXX address.

Important points for adult business owners also include defining what ICM and its affiliated registrars may recognize as a “trademarked” name.

For example, if you have trademarked “SexyChicks.com,” under Sunrise AT and Sunrise B, you do not have preferred status for purchasing “SexyChicks.xxx.” You would only be able eligible to buy or block “SexyChickscom.xxx.”

Also, domain names that adult businesses thought they had rights to may have been reserved by ICM for auction to the highest bidder.

In a recent debate between Duke and ICM CEO Stuart Lawley, many detail of .XXX registration for adult online businesses were discussed. While Lawley provided general answers to questions on policy by-laws and contractual clauses for .XXX, he was unable to clarify many points for Duke and those in attendance.

At one point during the debate, the CEO of DomainMonster states that .XXX domains will cost $79 per year if purchased through his company, correcting Duke for misquoting DomainMonster’s price. What he failed to add is that the $79 price is available only under the “General Availability” period, for those willing to sign a 25-year contract.

FSC reminds all adult online business owners – buyers beware.

You can download FSC .XXX Guide here in PDF format , or also obtain a copy by contacting FSC at (818) 348-9373, or joanne@freespeechcoalition.com.

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