Try typing Apple.sucks into the address bar. Your browsers should return with nothing. That’s because Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) CEO Tim Cook, or more likely somebody much lower down the food chain, decided to pay $2499 in order to remove that domain from the internet.
Sites ending in .sucks are being offered by Vox Populi. CEO John Berard says that they allow a company to meaningfully interact with its customers. Many of the companies involved have argues that the way in which the auction of .sucks domains has been handled violates the terms under which the ICANN operates.
Intellectual property protest .sucks
The intellectually property owners have a problem with this, however. Vox Populi allows companies to buy up the domains for $2499 each, but intends to charge just $9.99 after a so-called Sunrise period ends.
That means that companies that don’t buy into the project quickly could see, for example, Pepsi.sucks operated by Coca Cola, or, had they not invested, Apple.sucks operated by Microsoft Corporation (NASDSQ: MSFT).
The president of ICANN’s Intellectual Property Constituency president Gregory S Shatan sent an official letter of complaint to ICANN arguing that the .sucks domain names were being marketed in bad faith. According to the letter, Vox Populi is charging prices that are far too high according to the letter, and it is offering the domain names in bad faith.
ICANN in turn sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission regarding the domain registrations. The agency is looking for clarification on the legal implications of the .sucks domain. Meanwhile companies like Apple have, according to reports, already snapped up the domains in order to protect themselves from a damaging site associated with their brand.
ICANN stands to make quite a lot of money off of the .sucks domain name sale itself. The agency will receive $100,000 up front and an additional $1.00 for each of the first 900,000 transactions.
Apple Inc. .sucks
Apple has already bought up the Apple.sucks domain rights and it’s no surprise. The Cupertino company is the single most media savvy and marketing-aware company on the planet. Marketing boss Phil Schiller has created an image of Apple that won’t leave the popular imagination and one that has fueled the company’s growth into the single biggest public firm on the planet.
The minds behind some of the most successful marketing campaigns of all time aren’t going to leave Apple.sucks in the wild. $2499 is a small price to pay for just about anything in Cupertino.