Latest news of the domain name industry

Recent Posts

YouPorn’s .xxx settlement talks extended

YouPorn owner Manwin, .xxx manager ICM Registry and ICANN have asked a California court for a few more weeks to settle Manwin’s antitrust lawsuit.

According to a court filing yesterday, the three want to extend ICANN and ICM’s window to respond to Manwin’s complaint extended from April 17. The submission reads:

The parties’ settlement discussions have not yet finished. In order to complete those discussions, the parties stipulate to extend, by an additional about three weeks until May 8, 2012, the deadline for Defendants to respond to Plaintiffs’ First Amended Complaint.

By May 8 the world is going to know whether ICM and/or Manwin have applied to ICANN for other adult-oriented gTLDs (.sex, .porn, etc), which could change the picture considerably.

Manwin sued ICANN and ICM in November, alleging that they colluded on .xxx to deliver “monopolistic conduct, price gouging, and anti-competitive and unfair practices”.

ICM and ICANN have denied the allegations.

Sunrise .xxx domains get 1.3 million hits a day

Kevin Murphy, March 21, 2012, Domain Registries

Domain names blocked by trademark holders during the .xxx sunrise period get 1.3 million hits per day, according to ICM Registry president Stuart Lawley.

The number refers to DNS queries arriving at the name servers ICM uses to serve up its standard blocking placeholder page.

I estimate that this works out to about 20 queries, on average, per domain per day.

The placeholder is displayed whenever a web user visits a domain that was registered during the Sunrise B launch phase last October.

A million DNS queries does not necessarily indicate a million page views, of course. Spiders and other automated processes likely account for some of the query traffic.

ICM does not monetize the pages, and because the names resolve to a standard placeholder ISPs don’t get to monetize the error traffic either.

ICM offers free .xxx domains to porn stars

Kevin Murphy, February 22, 2012, Domain Registries

ICM Registry and Name.com have teamed up to give a free one-year .xxx domain name registration to 3,500 selected porn stars.

It’s part of ICM’s Adult Performer Program, which saw these performers’ names initially reserved.

According to ICM, Name.com has pre-paid for the first year’s registration, valid until February 3 next year, but participating individuals will of course be free to move to another registrar if they choose.

That works out to $210,000 in registry fees, if I’m understanding the deal correctly, which seems like a bit of a risk given the general hostility to .xxx from the mainstream porn industry.

Name.com charges $84.99 for .xxx domains.

The Adult Performer Program came in for a bit of criticism last year, when some actresses tried to defensively register their names not realizing they had been reserved.

ICM and YouPorn in antitrust settlement talks

Kevin Murphy, February 14, 2012, Domain Registries

It’s Valentine’s Day, so perhaps it’s appropriate that ICM Registry has just revealed that it’s in talks to settle the .xxx antitrust lawsuit filed by one of the world’s biggest porn networks.

ICM and Manwin Licensing may soon resolve the case, which Manwin filed in November over the “extortion” it saw in the launch of the .xxx top-level domain, according to court documents.

In a joint filing, Manwin and ICM, along with ICANN and Digital Playground – the fellow plaintiff that Manwin has since acquired – said:

in recent days, Plaintiffs and ICM have engaged in discussions aimed at resolving the disputes that are the subject of this litigation.

The parties believe that additional time would potentially allow the parties to resolve all or some portion of their disputes.

The filing stipulates that Manwin has until this Friday to file an amended complaint and that ICANN and ICM should have 60 days after that to file their responses to the complaint.

That’s assuming that the suit isn’t completely settled in the meantime, of course.

The ICANN and ICM motions to dismiss filed in January have been taken off-calendar until Manwin amends its complaint.

I understand that ICANN also has secured a 60-day extension to its deadline to respond to the separate Manwin Independent Review Panel proceeding.

Manwin, which runs Brazzers, YouPorn and the Playboy-branded web sites, claimed in its complaint that the approval of .xxx in the absence of a competitive tender and its subsequent launch policies and pricing violated US antitrust laws.

ICANN and ICM claimed in their responses last month that the company was just scared of a little competition.

First .xxx cybersquatting complaint filed by porn site

Kevin Murphy, February 12, 2012, Domain Policy

The new .xxx top-level domain has seen its first cybersquatting complaint filed by a porn site.

The registrant of the domain femjoy.xxx was hit by a UDRP complaint in with the World Intellectual Property Organization late last week.

FemJoy.com is a well-known “artistic nude” porn site, according to the adult industry trade press.

While there have already been 12 UDRP cases filed against .xxx registrants, the previous cases have all been filed by the owners, such as banks and retailers, of non-porn trademarks.

The femjoy.xxx case appears to be the first instance of a cybersquatting complaint filed by a porn site.

Complainant Georg Streit has owned a US trademark on “FemJoy” – covering “magazines and periodicals featuring photographs and images of landscapes and human bodies” – since 2007.

The registrant of femjoy.xxx is an Australian called Tu Nguyen, according to Whois records. The domain does not currently resolve. In fact, it doesn’t even have name servers.