Everything You Always Wanted to Know About dotXXX but Were Afraid to Ask

  • Brand Protection
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About dotXXX but Were Afraid to Ask

Back in 2015, the popstar Taylor Swift hit the headlines for purchasing the domains and[i] The registrations were made to defensively counter the release of the dotADULT and dotPORN top-level domains, and it’s a strategy followed by many brands hoping to limit associations between their names and adult entertainment websites. Defensive domain purchasing is one route to reducing this exposure, but it can be an expensive process for widescale coverage. There is an alternative, however, in the form of Corsearch AdultBlock, the domain-blocking mechanism capable of proactively limiting adult-website infringements without having to manage hundreds of individual domains.

The origins of AdultBlock

In 2011, dotXXX was the first adult tld to launch, and it was an event that generated huge interest from brands that wanted protection from being associated with it. To this end, ICM Registry launched the Sunrise B Block, which was designed to protect trademarks for ten years. Sunrise B is still the most widely used blocking solution in the market and its proactive approach has protected approximately 70,000 registered trademarks from infringement for nearly a decade. The low infringement rates during that period have demonstrated the power of a blocking service that is effective but also more cost effective than defensive domain registrations or UDRP / URS complaints.

The sun sets on Sunrise B

In 2021, Sunrise B will expire and be replaced by AdultBlock and Adultblock+. For those brands who transfer their trademarks to AdultBlock before the retirement of the old service, they will continue to enjoy uninterrupted domain protection into the future. Subscriptions which are allowed to lapse along with Sunrise B, however, will be exposed to challenges not just from the dotXXX domains that Sunrise B was designed for in 2011, but now also from dotSEX, dotPORN, and dotADULT.

Who is AdultBlock for?

If your trademarks have been protected for the past decade by the original Sunrise B Block, or if you are a subscriber to Trademark Clearinghouse, Corsearch AdultBlock can futureproof your domains immediately. For any company needing to protect themselves against potential reputational damage in a proactive, efficient way, it’s a must.

Do you still need to block adult domains in 2020?

Although many aspects of the adult industry have changed since 2011, its websites are now more popular and more aggressively competing for online traffic than ever. According to October 2019 data from Statista, 3 of the top 20 websites globally were adult, attracting a combined 6.5 billion visits.[ii] Data from the world’s largest adult site, Pornhub, suggests that in 2011 it had less than 25 million daily visits, but by 2017 this had risen to 75 million daily.

Adult entertainment is a multi-billion dollar industry run by skilled technical innovators who are well practiced at diverting traffic to their sites through a variety of means, including domain registrations for popular trademarks. These individuals will doubtless be aware that the expiry of the existing adult block in 2021 could leave open huge potential gaps for them to create more traffic for themselves.

If the risk was great from just one TLD in 2011, the risk from four during the next decade is significantly higher.

AdultBlock and AdultBlock+

The new AdultBlock services will offer:

  • Both products block the ‘label’, which is the middle text of the domain name (the ‘corsearch’ in, across all four TLDs
  • Both products block names when they become available, e.g., if a defensive domain registration expires, the block will absorb the lapse and continue its protection
  • AdultBlock is designed for organizations with single labels protecting specific properties, products, or company names
  • AdultBlock+ is designed for organizations with multiple labels
  • AdultBlock+ protects against exact label copies, but also protects against confusingly similar typos and homoglyphs (nearly identical characters that differ in meaning and visual presentation)
  • AdultBlock+ blocks other recognized methods of confusing consumers by using characters that are distinct but related, including 3 and E
  • Both services are available in 1, 3, 5, and 10 year increments

If you would like to to learn more about adult-domain blocking, get in touch.