Palm Beach Gardens, FL (December 13, 2011) – ICM Registry, the official registry of the new .xxx top-level domain TLD, announced that as part of its investigation of reported cybersquatting by a handful of individuals, it has suspended registrations that appear to involve unmistakable, blatant cybersquatting in violation of the Registry’s policies and the Registry-Registrant Agreement. The suspended registrations include patterns of abusive registrations for names like businessweek.xxx, cnbc.xxx, geocities.xxx, nextag.xxx, snapfish.xxx, verizonwireless.xxx, washingtonpost.xxx, and gayroom.xxx, amongst others.
In announcing this action, ICM’s CEO, Stuart Lawley, reiterated the Registry’s commitment to enforce its policies. “ICM Registry has raised the bar on responsible registry operations and we intend to maintain the highest standards. We will not tolerate nefarious conduct and will exercise our right to take appropriate action when we detect widespread repeat patterns of cyber-squatting activity. Would-be cyber-squatters are on notice – neither ICM Registry nor the .xxx community will be complicit in the theft or abuse of intellectual property. ICM takes a stand to facilitate user choice and parental control, protect the privacy, security, and consumer rights of consenting adults, fight child abuse images, and protect intellectual property,” said Lawley.
While cyber-squatters try to take advantage of legitimate rights owners in every TLD (from .com to .edu), ICM’s CEO, Stuart Lawley noted that the rights protections built into its agreement with registrants gives the Registry a number of innovative tools to combat malicious conduct and protect the .xxx TLD space. In addition to its authentication policy, which makes it harder for cyber-squatters to hide, the Registry also makes a variety of innovative tools available to prevent and address abusive registrations, including a Rapid Evaluation Service (“RES”) to take immediate action on clear abuse of well-known, distinctive registered trademarks or service marks of significant commercial value, or of personal or professional names of individuals, and its Charter Eligibility Dispute Resolution Process (“CEDRP”) to resolve challenges to registered names in the .XXX TLD based on alleged use inconsistent with the qualifications for registration. ICM Registry recently conducted a ground-breaking Sunrise process that enabled rights-holders to permanently remove their brands from availability for a cost-based one time fee.
Working with its sponsoring organization, the International Foundation for Online Responsibility (“IFFOR”), ICM has implemented a comprehensive and rigorous set of policies designed to protect third party rights and combat malicious conduct. The IFFOR Policy Council, which includes representatives from the adult industry as well as experts in the areas of free expression, privacy, and child advocacy ratified the Registry’s baseline policies, including its policy prohibiting the registration of “strings that infringe the intellectual property rights of a third party, including common law trademark rights; strings that are obvious variants of well-known trademarks not belonging to the registrant; first and last names of an individual other than the individual or his/her agent or names that suggest the presence of child abuse images.” All registrants in the .xxx domain must agree to abide by those policies when they register .xxx names.