We are all familiar with .Com, .Edu, .Mil and .Org; however, you may have noticed that these so-called “Top Level Domain” (or TLD) name extensions have been expanding.  Soon the .Sucks, .Porn and .XXX suffixes will be available for  the general public.  At first glance this is giggle-interesting but likely deemed irrelevant by most of us; however, this may be a mistake.

The .Sucks domain name is being billed as the consumer advocate’s extension and if you go to the Vox Populi Registry, Ltd. website—the purveyor of .Sucks—you will be treated to a video of Ralph Nader.   Certain uses of .Sucks of course are laudable, e.g. Cancer.Sucks.  Moreover, genuine use of the .Sucks extension for consumer relationship purposes is also conceivably appropriate. 

Some hypothetical uses may, however, be harassing even though perfectly “legal” in the United States.  As such, it is probably a good idea for your organization to consider whether it should defensively register certain of these new TLD’s in order proactively to prevent harassment.

The TLD’s generally have a so-called “sunrise” period during which time entities with prior intellectual property rights in certain names/words may obtain the possibly problematic domain name with the new extension prior to the general public.  For instance, the sunrise period for . Sucks opens on March 30th.  For timing of the sunrise period and general availability of all of the new TLD’s, you may go to the website for the entity that regulates top level domains (ICANN):  http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/program-status/sunrise-claims-periods.