Feeds

Porno cyber-squatter landed in Branson pickle

Richardbranson.xxx is Virgin on ridiculous, complains Sir

Boost IT visibility and business value

Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson has filed a cybersquatting complaint over the domain name richardbranson.xxx.

Branson is one of the first people to use ICANN's snappily titled Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) to try to reclaim a potentially embarrassing address in the new porn-friendly .xxx space.

To win control of the domain, Branson's lawyers will have to prove to a US National Arbitration Forum panel that he has legal rights to the name, that the squatter does not, and that the name was registered in bad faith.

He's not guaranteed a win. Celebrities such as Bruce Springsteen and Lady Gaga are among those to have previously lost UDRP cases for domain names exactly matching their famous monikers.

The Branson domain was registered on 10 December by an Australian called Sean Truman, according to Whois records.

It currently resolves to a registrar placeholder page, so beard-porn fetishists are out of luck – the best you're going to get if you visit the site today is a photo of a Go Daddy Girl in a flimsy top.

Five UDRP complaints have been filed over .xxx domain names in the last three weeks. The other allegedly cyber-squatted domains so far are valero.xxx, heb.xxx, markafoni.xxx and foxstudios.xxx.

The adults-only .xxx top-level domain was launch by a Florida company, ICM Registry, last December after a 10-year battle with ICANN and the US government.

While the company reports about 200,000 registrations to date, tens of thousands of domains were registered defensively by trademark owners outside the porn business and tens of thousands more do not currently resolve, according to online records.

ICM also created a second dispute system called the Rapid Evaluation Service, which is designed to let trademark owners and celebrities quickly take down allegedly infringing .xxx domains. It's not clear why Branson chose to use the slower and more expensive UDRP route instead.

Curiously, while virgin.xxx is an arguably generic name, well-suited to the porn industry, which might have fetched a high price at auction, ICM instead permanently reserved it from registration during its trademark protection launch phase last autumn. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE accused of silencing customer gripes on social media pages
Hello. HELLO. Can EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE HEAR ME?!
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.