Student Media Story Ideas: Colleges Rapidly Purchase Porn Domains Before They Are Offered to the Public

Image control within higher education has gone triple-X.  At the moment, officials at colleges and universities nationwide are rapidly buying domain names sporting the .xxx URL.

Administrators’ primary goal with the purchases is protecting their schools’ online trademarks. At the same time, the hope is that the web acquisitions will help stop sites springing up that seek to connect their schools with, ahem, sexual innuendo.

“ICM Registry has started selling .xxx domain names as a way to differentiate adult entertainment websites from other websites,” The Maneater at the University of Missouri explains.  “Trademarks and big companies can ‘buy up’ URL versions of their brands so as to avoid having a porn site registered under the same name. This pre-release buying period will help companies avoid brand mismanagement when the domain is open to the public.”

For example, Duke University administrator Michael Schoenfeld told The Chronicle campus newspaper for a recent related report, “We have reserved a number of Duke-related names, things that involve Duke, things that involve Blue Devils.  I don’t know precisely how many we settled on, but we’re looking at the most common and most intuitive uses of Duke.”

Yet, as Schoenfeld simultaneously admitted to The Charlotte Observer, “The Internet is a very creative place, and I don’t think anybody could possibly secure every possible combination that could ultimately be embarrassing to an individual, company or university.”

Sure enough, the Chronicle piece by Gloria Lloyd confirms, “A search at buy.xxx shows that coachk.xxx and bluedevils.xxx are already claimed, though dukeuniversitybluedevils.xxx and cameroncrazies.xxx are still available.”

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