Are New Top-Level Domain Names A Squatter's Dream?

Boring old .com and .net just aren't cool any more. A huge range of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) are available now, but they offer new potential for squatters and scammers to capitalise on the names of big companies. The most popular new gLTD, .xyz, has 80,000 new domains already, and in that list are some big tech trademarks — but they weren't registered by the companies themselves.

According to World Trademark Review, tech companies have been proactive in picking up .xyz domains — Microsoft has jumped on microsoft.xyz, windows.xyz, xbox.xyz and others, while Apple has blocked apple.xyz, ipod.xyz and iphone.xyz from registration. .xyz is the most popular new gLTD, and the CEO of the company overseeing the new registrations wants it to become the new .com — but like .com, it's open to anyone and everyone registering dodgy domains and holding them to ransom.

WTR reports that some big-name .xyz domains are being purchased (at almost no cost) by probable squatters — samsung.xyz, for example, was recently registered to a buyer in Middlesex in the UK, while ipad.xyz is owned by another UK buyer from Lancashire. These owners can now use the domains as they want unless, challenged by someone with a more verifiable claim or trademark — but this is an expensive and time-consuming process.

With so many counterfeit tech products, it's baffling that the world's biggest tech companies haven't been more active in protecting themselves from possible scammers. The trend continues across other big-name brands, including fashion companies like Louis Vutton and Prada. Strangely enough, all these brands had a chance to buy preferred domains from the list of new gTLDs before the wider public were given the option to purchase them.

Of course, there are some tech brands that aren't at as much risk as the big names like Apple and Samsung and Microsoft; WTR says that blackberry.xyz hasn't been bought — even by a squatter — nor has nintendo.xyz. [World Trademark Review]


Comments

    Wait, what? People actually use those new gTLDs?

    This is why ICANN/IANA should not be in charge of the internet anymore. They're clearly just in it for the money. It cost somewhere in the vicinity of $100K to apply for one of those new TLDs, and if you got rejected, you didn't get your $100K back.

    Also, everyone knows that if you see something that ends in .com or .net or whatever, it's a web address. Now with all this crap like .photography and stuff, who the hell is even going to know what a web address is now.

    TL;DR ICANN sucks

      I have to agree here.
      I thought it was a great idea in theory to have .photography etc, but it certainly does not execute well. Especially when you add in the contributing factor of the stupidity of the average user.

      It was a terrible idea from the get go and yet it still happened...

        They all start out as terrible ideas. However, there have been some great resales surpassing six digits that have come from new TLD's in the past.

        That said, I don't think they're all great ideas. I don't believe we needed 200+ new TLD's, with long extensions.

    Made me laugh when no one wanted the BlackBerry.xyz address. Maybe I should buy it as a joke.

    I actually use one in the .email domain (I could explain it here but needless to say pretty easy to guess).

    The biggest issue I have had (which I think is a bigger issue for actual true adoption), is that so many sites use javascript validation and reject things like .email .xyz .ceo and so on... I managed to get Adobe on board (after an email to their CEO... no REALLY!!!). Apple is looking into it for me, a large amount of smaller sites I have contacted have made the change (at least for .email).

    I think the big issue (that I have yet to see anyone in mainstream media tackle or address) is when companies will update their websites/software to accept the new TLDs.

    :D Just my 2c.
    Stu

    I'd say the new TLD's are obviously something worth considering esepcially if Google purchased over 100 of them. They wouldn't throw away that money for nothing if they had plans to use them... we should probably follow, I think anyone scared of change is going to be sorry in the long run.

    Hate to throw cold water on the .xyz article, but...some domain/internet industry sites are reporting that more than 70% of the new .xyz names have been registered at netsol via an "opt out" process/marketing effort..

    Refs:

    http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2014/dailyposts/20140605.htm

    http://www.thedomains.com/2014/06/04/network-solutions-has-no-idea-what-i-am-talking-about/

    http://www.circleid.com/posts/20140612_icann_is_mia_on_xyz/

    Interesting,

    But still... the movement has gathered pace and I doubt it's going to stop no matter how much people complain. The new GTLD are here to stay and more will continue to roll in. With the amount of money invested into them, they have to press hard on the marketing in order to get the registrations.

    I'm pretty certain that the new extensions will be trendy. Anything trendy people follow. I'm pretty sure we'll soon see a .cool or .deal showing up on TV and people will be like! HUH! That's new!

    If .xyz are giving away a 'free domain' with every .com purchased via netsol, it does not really count as true number, however the geo gtlds will do well .berlin .london for example. The acceptance will come further down the road with developed websites such as face.book. I do have the current complete list in my ebook https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/71101
    ~
    expect to see .google .tube and .youtube just to name a few of what will be thousands in the near future

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