Everything Old Is New Again: Does the '.sucks' gTLD Change the Regulatory Paradigm in North America?
26 Pages Posted: 9 May 2019
Date Written: May 8, 2019
In 2012, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) took the unprecedented step of opening up the generic Top Level Domain (“gTLD”) space for entities who wanted to run registries for any new alphanumeric string “to the right of the dot” in a domain name. After a number of years of vetting applications, the first round of new gTLDs was released in 2013, and those gTLDs began to come online shortly thereafter. One of the more contentious of these gTLDs was “.sucks” which came online in 2015. The original application for the “.sucks” registry was somewhat contentious with a number of countries and others opposing the application. Nevertheless, ICANN granted the rights to a Canadian company, Vox Populi, which has subsequently made a splash in the domain name market offering a variety of pricing levels for different “.sucks” domain names. Complaints have been made to Industry Canada about the activities of Vox Populi in the domain name space, but, so far, the Canadian government has bowed out of involvement in the issue. This Article explores the way that the new gTLDs in general, and the “.sucks” domain name in particular, have affected the landscape for domain name regulation with a particular focus on North America.
Keywords: domain name, trademark, UDRP, ACPA, Industry Canada, intellectual property, ICANN, free speech, cyberspace, Internet, dispute resolution
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