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Lawsuit Filed Over .XXX Domain Name Launch: Could More Lawsuits Follow?

Posted in Uncategorized

Written by Jamison Arterton

In opposition to the imminent launch of the new  .XXX generic top level domain (gTLD), two adult entertainment companies have filed suit in federal district court in Los Angeles against the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and ICM Registry, the sole operator of the .XXX domain name registry. (For background on the .XXX launch, click here,  here and here).  The complaintwas filed by adult filmmaker Digital Playground Inc. and Manwin Licensing International SARL, the owner of a the domain names YouPorn.com, Pornhub.com, xTube.com, and Brazzers.com, among others, and manages Playboy Enterprises Inc.’s brand online.  Digital Playground and Manwin alleges, in essence that ICANN and ICM Registry are engaged in monopolistic conduct, price gouging, and anticompetitive and unfair practices.  Establishing the new .XXX scheme, the plaintiffs charge, unnecessarily forces owners of trademarks and domain names in other TLDs to purchase defensive .XXX domain names and incur associated costs.  While ICM has stated that the claims are baseless and that it will vigorously defend this matter, this latest lawsuit is likely a preview of what will come with the launch of ICANN’s new gTLD program.  See here.