Is ICANN extortionist? On Taylor Swift and the new TLD domains like .porn

Taylor Swift (or her lawyers) have made a smart move and went out and bought some new domain names, according to Taylor Swift buys own porn site domain names ahead of expansion – People – News – The Independent. She was able to buy “TaylorSwift.porn and TaylorSwift.adult before they become available”. Microsoft, who also have good lawyers, bought Office.porn.

Now you might think: big deal…domain names are cheap. But these ones aren’t, going for $2,500 a pop. And if they are like other domains, those fees must be paid annually.

You might also think: well, it was good of them to offer the domain first to individuals before others buy them. I first thought that before I knew how much the domains cost.

Does that add up to a form of extortion? That is very hard to state categorically, and if I was pressed, I would say it isn’t. But using the logic of “if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck”, you might draw a different conclusion.

Whatever you call it, it makes me think it is time to replace the ICANN and the use of domain names with something much better.

 

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