Just when college administrators thought they were up to speed by joining Google+, they now have to worry about sharing their schools' virtual identities with the porn industry.
In March, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers approved the future use of ".xxx" domains for adult websites. Now companies, organizations and colleges might want to consider whether they should buy up some ".xxx" real estate to avoid an embarrassing identity crisis.
According to Inside Higher Ed, the ICM register (the official registry for ".xxx" domains) will take applications from trademark holders this month, giving them the opportunity to snatch up an ".xxx" site with their names in front of it, before the porn industry does:
The non-profit EDUCAUSE recommends colleges take two steps to avoid their names being used: Make sure that the name is trademarked in precisely the form to be blocked, and then apply to a registrar that has agreed to handle "Sunrise B" applications for .xxx, submitting the required documents and fees.
A "Sunrise B" application is a request to block or reserve a ".xxx" domain. Inside Higher Ed points out that some schools might have it easier than others:
For example, Harvard -- which owns a trademark on its name (as well as several variations, including “Hahvahd”) -- will be able to register Harvard.xxx before anyone else has a chance to do so. However, colleges that do not own trademarks on their names -- including colleges that cannot do so because their names are too generic, such as Smith College or Brown University -- will not be able to block adult entertainers from scooping up Smith.xxx and Brown.xxx when the ICM Registry begins processing registrations from non-trademark holding applicants from the porn industry on Nov. 8. (Brown will have the chance to block BrownUniversity.xxx, however, as it does own that trademark; Smith will not be able to block SmithCollege.xxx, as its trademark on those words expired in 1991.)
Will your school make the move and block an ".xxx" opportunist?