You Can Soon Buy “.Sucks” URLs, But At Prices That .Suck

If you’ve ever dreamed of using the recently approved .sucks top-level domain suffix to make fun of companies that annoy you, your chance is coming up when registration opens later this month. However, a .sucks domain won’t exactly come cheap, so be prepared to be outbid by the company you’d love to skewer.

Last November, a company named Momentus won the ICANN auction for the right to operate the .sucks domain. The early registration period opens March 30 and goes wide to the general public on June 1.

But as MarketingLand notes, the yearly pricing to obtain a .sucks URL is higher than most people would want to pay for the novelty of operating one of these sites.

The cheapest level is the “Consumer Advocate Subsidized” level, which is only $11/year. That seems like a good deal, until you realize that these names won’t be available until September, meaning any big company name will be long gone. Furthermore, you’d be paying solely for the joy of owning the name, as the URL will redirect to a discussion forum on everything.sucks.

The cheapest level for anyone looking to actually run a website with a .suck URL is $249/year, but again this price isn’t available until after the initial “sunrise” period so the odds of getting a household name are incredibly slim.

And even if that company name is still around, it will likely fall under the “Premium” list, which starts at $299/year.

But if a name is registered with ICANN’s Trademark Clearinghouse database, that company will have to pay $2,499/year for the right to hold onto their .sucks URL.

Some critics contend that this price is extortionate, taking advantage of companies that are willing to pay top-dollar just to keep that embarrassing URL out of circulation.

It’s possible that big brands will refuse to pay up, figuring that not enough consumers would think to look at a .sucks URL. After all, there are no shortage of [companyname]sucks.com websites out there but the targeted companies still survive.

For example, no one would have heard of Walmart.horse if Walmart didn’t try to have it shut down.

The big question is what will happen if someone manages to put together enough money to purchase a .sucks attached to a big brand name. It seems inevitable that the company would try to sue, though it would be hard to argue that it’s not a valid form of criticism that falls under a valid “fair use” of the brand name.

[via Ars Technica]