As the list of alternatives to “.com” continues to grow under ICANN’s new generic top level domain (gTLD) program, there’s one new gTLD currently causing particular angst amongst brand owners.
The new “.sucks” gTLD has been touted by its Canadian creators, Vox Populi Registry Ltd, as offering a new platform for consumer advocacy via a dedicated domain space that “is designed to help consumers find their voices and allow companies to find the value in criticism”.
Brand owners concerned about third parties registering “yourbrand.sucks” domains can utilise the Sunrise Period ending on 29 May 2015 to secure registration prior to the general public release on 1 June 2015.
Registration isn’t cheap however, with each brand-related domain ending in “.sucks” costing up to US$2,499 per year. Despite the high price tag many brand owners appear to be taking advantage of Sunrise Period and obtaining registrations to prevent them falling into third party hands. Some examples of recently registered domains as advertised on Vox Populi’s website include “emirates.sucks” and “sportingbet.sucks”.
In a further twist, Vox Populi is planning later this year to introduce a subsidised pricing structure that will be offered exclusively to individual consumer advocates. This is expected to see the current US$2,499 price drop to a bargain basement US$9.99 for individuals wanting to register a “yourbrand.sucks” domain. With such a low cost of entry it seems inevitable that many “yourbrand.sucks” domains will be snapped up by disaffected individuals, unless brand owners act first.
Brand owners considering registering “yourbrand.sucks” domains during the Sunrise Period need to act quickly. To be eligible, they will first need to have their registered trade marks entered in the official Trade Mark Clearing House.