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Taryn Naidu is a *%@$! Rightside bans company “ridicule” in its new gTLDs

Kevin Murphy, January 27, 2014, 11:08:13 (UTC), Domain Registries

If you register a domain name in one of Rightside Registry’s new gTLDs, you’ll be banned from using it to mock the company or any of its employees or shareholders.

That’s according to its Acceptable Use (Anti-Abuse) Policy (pdf) published by ICANN today.

As well as prohibiting the usual kinds of malicious hacking and spamming activity, child abuse material and so on, the policy bans:

Holding of [United TLD Holdings] (including its affiliates) or their employees or shareholders up to public scorn, ridicule, or defamation.

I can’t recall seeing that kind of clause in a domain name registration agreement before.

While “defamation” is obviously illegal in most places (as determined by a court), “scorn” seems to be a pretty broad term that could capture a lot of free speech commentary.

Rightside has applied for 26 new gTLDs. Several are the kinds of places you might expect to see some edgy discussion: .republican, .democrat, .army, .actor and .gay to name a few examples.

It seems the simplest route to getting a web site you don’t like shut down in any of these gTLDs would be to buy a single Rightside share and file an abuse complaint.

Also banned by the policy is:

Impersonating any person or entity, including, but not limited to, a UTLDH official, or falsely stating or otherwise misrepresenting your affiliation

Rightside, aka United TLD, is the Demand Media domain name retailer and new gTLD registry currently being spun off into a standalone company under CEO (and thoroughly nice bloke) Tayrn Naidu.

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Comments (1)

  1. James Katzke says:

    That figures. Every.last.one of their clients is a crook but they want to pretend they know nothing about that, so ban any comment that goes something like, “Have any clients that aren’t scam artists, yet?”

    These are the people that enable all those fake movie sites, anonymous kiddie porn sites, Russian hackers- pretty much any criminal on the internet. They want to pretend they have nothing to do with all that, even though they enable it with domain name anonymity “services”. So, ban all speech that tells people what’s up.

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