BYU and other trademark institutions buying up .xxx suffixes to protect name

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 14 2011 12:24 p.m. MST

BYU and other trademark institutions are giving themselves the Christmas gift of a good name.

The organizations are buying up .xxx suffixes associated with their names, not to use them but to protect them from use by pornographers. The new .xxx replaces the .com suffix for porn web sites. The idea is to segregate all of the pornography on the Internet into one place where every site ends in .xxx.

"They made it well-known in advance that they would open it up to companies with trademarks so they could buy up (domains) associated with those companies," said BYU spokesperson Michael Smart. "It would be a mistake to assume that because of BYU's image, BYU is the only one buying these up. This is nothing unique to BYU."

The University of Kansas, Purdue, Indiana University and countless other schools did the same to protect their trademarks being abused in the industry, according to the Associated Press.

"This is just a modest cost of doing business in the world we live in," Indiana University spokesman Mark Land told AP referring to the $2,200 the school spent to buy 10 names associated with the school with a .xxx replacing the .com.

The ICM registry, as the exclusive manager of naming .xxx sites, opened up the opportunity for universities and trademark companies to buy up the domain with names associated with their products or names a couple months ago for $200 per name, according to USA Today.

With the .xxx name, filtering systems may work better. ICM Registry CEO Stuart Lawley told USA Today, "For those who wish to avoid this kind of content, not only can you see that it has the .xxx as a suffix visibly ... parents can set their browser settings at home and on mobile devices to filter this content out automatically."

Companies like Target, Disney and Marvel are also taking the same precautions as BYU and other universities to keep up with new technologies and forms of communication.

"We always secure addresses and names associated with BYU associated with any new form of communication of technology," Smart said. "Twitter. Google-plus. That's why other organizations are doing it as well. It is really just a routine step we would do with any form of communication so we can make sure we're the ones who control it."

EMAIL: sgambles@desnews.com

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