Cybersquatters Force Celebs to Buy .Porn Web Addresses

Celebrities, heeding Benjamin Franklin’s advice that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” are buying up new “top-level” domain names like .porn to prevent cybersquatters or extortionists from besmirching their reputations and selling them later for a much higher price.

The Los Angeles Times predicts that new websites of ParisHilton.porn, Beyonce.porn, GameOfThrones.porn, JustinBieber.porn and others will be launched in May. However, because the  celebrities have purchased the .porn domain in self defense you will most likely find a blank screen.

The “defense is your best offense” strategy comes on the heels of a major increase in Internet addresses other than the well-known .com, .org, .net and .edu endings.

Other new “top-level” domain names becoming available include .pet, .joy, .lol, .hotel, and .bank. Overall, 600 new suffixes have come into existence over the last couple of years. Moreover, according to the Times, hundreds more are coming down the pike.

Intellectual property attorney at law firm Gibson Dunn, Howard Hogan, explained that although intellectual property law safeguards trademarks, trying to oust a cybersquatter once he has control of the domain can be expensive. “Essentially, you have to pay hundreds of dollars to make sure other people don’t infringe on your trademark,” he said.

ICM Registry in Florida received the rights to .porn and .adult. The company’s chief executive Stuart Lawley contends that the new suffixes will help keep the internet safe. He considers it an issue of truth in labeling. “With the greatest respect, no one is going to go to a .sex or .porn site by accident,” he argues.

ICM contracts give them the right to scan the domains for child pornography. They will notify authorities and remove the sites if they find improprieties. “We want people to go there with a relaxed mode,” the chief executive said. “And make it so people who want to see the images can find them easily and safely and those who don’t can stay away from it.”


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