Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) thinks .sucks, one of hundreds of new generic top-level domains being considered for the Internet by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, should not be approved because it will undermine the credibility of Icann's gTLD expansion.
The only apparent purpose of .sucks, Rockefeller says, is to extract defensive registration payments from Internet users, unfairly defaming individuals, organizations and businesses.
"A gTLD like 'sucks' has little or no socially redeeming value and it reinforces many people's fears that the purpose of gTLD expansion is to enrich the domain name industry rather than benefit the broader community of Internet users," Rockefeller wrote in a letter to Stephen Crocker, chairman of the Icann board of directors.
A number of companies, arguing the gTLD would stimulate debate, have applied for the gTLD including Donuts, Momentous Corporation and Top Level Spectrum Inc. Ahead of approval, Momentous, through its Vox Populi Registry has already started soliciting defensive registrations.
Donuts, the largest applicant for new gTLDs, said it carefully considered the utility of each gTLD before it applied. "The notion of open use applies to most existing gTLDs, where the term 'sucks' is liberally used in tens of thousands of registrations, and, it should be pointed out, many times in positive ways (for example: Buyllyingsucks.com)," said a Donuts spokesperson in a statement.
"While a critical interest of each our gTLDs is the promotion of the First Amendment principle of free expression (including criticism and dissent), we also have taken care to provide tools for companies to effectively avoid costly defensive registrations. … We are not soliciting, and have no plans to solicit 'defensive registrations,'" the spokesperson said.