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The xxx domains are being launched this month for pornographic content and many organizations have preemptively acquired them so others cannot.ICM Registry, the company behind .xxx, sued and forced the regulator to re-approve its plans.An Indiana University spokesman estimates that the school spent roughly ,200 to purchase and 10 similar domain names. There are thousands of domain names for universities to try to protect, "making this an IT Whac-a-Mole problem that is not practically or financially viable," says Michigan State University spokesman Kent Cassella. Some universities will simply take legal action if and when an unsanctioned site pops up. Earlier this year, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which governs domain names, gave official approval for websites to start adopting ".xxx" suffixes. Concerned over the reputation of their brand and students, universities across the country used the sunrise period to buy up ".xxx" domain names that could potentially be exploited to fake an association with their campuses.The idea, says Chloe Albanesius at , was to make it easier for parents and consumers to flag adult web content, while also allowing porn sites to clearly brand themselves. "Down the road there's no way we can predict what some unscrupulous entrepreneur might come up with," University of Kansas' trademark licensing director, Paul Vader Tuig, tells the .
He pitches the suffix, in part, as protection for parents, arguing it will make it easy for Web blocking software to filter out ".xxx" sites, marking them clearly as porn.What's really at stake, he said, is setting the ground rules for how Internet suffixes will be created in the future and how much say governments have in the process.The availability of new suffixes is in itself a good thing for freedom of expression on the Web, he said.But "it's a nightmare for any prominent entity concerned that their name will be associated with porn," says Erin Gloria Ryan at , which gave some organizations — both inside and outside the porn industry — the opportunity to register for domain names. The University of Michigan, Penn State, Purdue, Carnegie Mellon, and Indiana have adopted similar approaches. Kansas paid nearly ,000 to purchase dozens of ".xxx" domain names.
On domain licensing sites like Go Daddy.com, ".xxx" domains are sold for an average of 0 per year. For some institutions, the prospect of buying up every domain name that could possibly be tied to their school is too daunting and impractical, says David Jesse at the .
He also warned that might not necessarily be a success -- and that some new Internet suffixes have failed to attract many signups.