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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Universities rush to keep institutional trademarks from being used in .xxx domains

The UA and other universities have been paying to keep their names out of the porn industry since the Internet’s version of the red light district opened in December.

Web domains designed for the adult entertainment industry, “.xxx,” became available for public purchase about two months ago. The new .xxx domain has been widely interpreted as the launching of a new wave of Internet pornography. Now, users who are combing the web for porn, and those who aren’t, can identify which websites contain adult content.

While some are buying the .xxx domain to create adult-only sites, universities are scrambling to reserve the URLs to keep their trademarks from falling into the hands of those with pornographic intentions.

The UA has spent $500 on .xxx URLs “in order to prevent any inappropriate use of the university’s name and trademarks,” according to Johnny Cruz, UA assistant vice president of communications.

University of California, Berkeley has spent $1,300 to protect its good name, according Bob Sanders, the manager of science communications at UC Berkeley. The school has blocked seven .xxx domains so far.

For the past year, Arizona State University has been researching which URLs containing the ASU trademark are most likely to be used to create pornographic sites, said ASU Trademark and Licensing Director Fernando Morales. ASU plans to spend “a couple hundred dollars” on .xxx sites, he said.

“It’s the main ones you want to defend against because you don’t want anyone picking up those instead of your regular site,” he added.

On the other hand, some universities think Internet users will easily recognize which sites are university-affiliated and which ones are not. After Oregon State University’s request to reserve oregonstate.xxx was denied, the school decided it’s “not going to worry about it,” according to Melody Oldfield, the director of University Marketing at OSU.

So far, more than 100,000 .xxx domains have been published on the Web, joining the long list of adult-only URLs. An estimated 4.2 million websites contain pornography, and approximately 28,258 Internet users are viewing pornography every second, according to TopTenREVIEWS, a website that reviews Internet filter software and gathers Internet statistics.

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