Just when you thought it was safe to go into the interwebs, along comes the newest ridiculous top level domain (TLD): .sucks (dotSucks).
Now, to be sure, not everybody agrees that the .sucks top level domain is ridiculous. As domain registrar enom explains, “Why .SUCKS? “Sucks” is one of the most popular words to search in conjunction with a product, service, business, restaurant, or person when looking for a review, making .SUCKS a highly relevant TLD option. Because .SUCKS embraces a colloquial term, it’s more accessible to the Internet public, and hones in on a need users have to discuss bad experiences with other people. .SUCKS creates a community for sharing stories, commiserating, and warning other users of scams, phishing, and fraud.”
We’re not really sure what registrar enom is trying to say here
And in theory, perhaps, this makes sense. However, that’s hard to square with the starting fee for registering a trademarked .sucks domain: $2499. That’s $2499, not $24.99.
During the so-called “sunrise period”, which is March 30, 2015 through June 1, 2015, that is how much brands will have to pay in order to grab their trademark as a .sucks domain, to make sure that someone else doesn’t get it.
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So, for example, for Starbucks to register “starbucks.sucks”, so that some disgruntled customer or employee doesn’t get it, will cost them a cool $2499. Every single year, as the renewal fee is also $2499.
If the .sucks domain name that you want to register isn’t a registered trademark, then it will cost “only” $299.
After the sunrise period ends, each business .sucks domain will cost $249.
Or, if you are an individual, and willing to take your chances and wait until the sunrise period is over, you can wait until September, when you can register a .sucks domain for the more typical price of $9.99 – but – in that case you are not allowed to use it for a website. Rather, you are required to redirect it to a discussion at the site everything.sucks (Note: that link will not work until at least 3/30/15).
Of course, .sucks is but one in a long – a very long – list of top level domains that have been approved. In fact that list is so long that the average reader will be shocked when we tell you that as of the writing of this article, there are in fact 861 TLDs currently approved by ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), of which IANA (the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) is a department.
These 861 current top level domains include .rocks, .club, .guru, .yoga, .yachts, .tattoo, .tennis, and many, many more.
But few, other than perhaps .xxx and .porn, have generated as much controversy, and indeed outrage, as has .sucks.
Rights to administer the .sucks domain were awarded to Vox Populi Registry, Ltd., which is headquartered, no big surprise, in the Cayman Islands, despite being a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canadian registrar Momentous, based out of Ottawa, Canada.
In Latin ‘vox populi’ means, literally, the voice of the people, and this is the face that Vox Populi is attempting to present to the public, although we’re pretty sure that they are more fornicatio populi.
Of course, John Berard, CEO of Vox Populi, disagrees.
“If some people think this is just a way to get registration money out of corporations, then those people are either unaware or are being short-sighted about their marketing effectiveness,” Berard told Domain Incite back in 2012, when Momentous was vying for the .sucks rights. Momentous won the rights, by auction, to administer the .sucks domain last year.
And, despite the hefty pricetag, some celebrities (including Taylor Swift) and corporations will pony up the $2499 to register their trademark .sucks domain, just to make sure that nobody else does.
As one commenter put it in response to an arstechnica article on the .sucks domains, “Can’t wait for the bass-ackwards trademark court challenges that will inevitably follow.”
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