.sucks and other threatening Internet domains

Stars such as Taylor Swift and Kevin Spacey have registered .sucks domains with their names to defend their image on the Internet.

The world of domain
02 July 2015

What do Taylor Swift, Kevin Spacey and Oprah Winfrey have in common? All three are media personalities and all three have recently registered a .sucks domain as a means of protection.

In the same way that .porn and .adult, for example, the new .sucks domain has become a threat to large companies and personalities due to its derogatory nature. This is so much so that, in order to beat “virtual squatters” and protect their own image, many companies and personalities have chosen to register their websites with these domain extensions even if they don’t actually use them.

On Wednesday 24th June, the paper edition of the newspaper ARA printed an article by Núria Juanico on the risks of .sucks *; a threatening domain because any user can register it with the name of a brand or media personality in order to discredit it or profit from it.

It is worth noting, however, that, during the "Sunrise" phase (the initial or release period that all domains go through, a restrictive phase that lasts a few months and during which domain registration is restricted), everyone with a trademark has priority for purchasing a domain extension with their name. Many large companies and personalities therefore use this preliminary stage to register their domain.

The appearance of hundreds of new domains in recent years (which now include language ones such as .eus or .gal) is the result of ICANN’s (the organisation in charge of allocating Internet domains) wish to encourage greater segmentation and diversity online.

The case of .sucks is just one example of the importance, now more than ever, of registering several domain extensions as an essential strategic decision to protect a brand. In addition, domain extensions have also become a SEO positioning tool for websites, as they guarantee greater segmentation and increase the target audience in Internet search engines.

* The title of the article is ‘.sucks’: the domain that threatens companies and celebrities.

* The photograph of Taylor Swift attached to this article has been taken from Wikipedia.