When we originally heard about Vox Populi’s plans to offer .SUCKS sunrise registrations for $25,000, we were outraged.
We understand better than anyone that registries can charge whatever they want, and that registrars must mark up those fees to recover their costs for integration, registration, and ongoing management. All that said, their original pricing seemed extortionate to brand owners.
I was extremely hopeful when I heard that their plan to charge $25,000 had been changed, and that a new pricing structure would be introduced.
Honestly, I was expecting to see sunrise fees on the order of $100 to $200 dollars. And had that been the case, I would’ve reluctantly recommended that all brands register defensively.
But as we all now know, that is not the case and Vox Populi has recommended an MSRP of $2499 for the registration of sunrise names.
There is a big part of me that would like to tell brands to simply walk away, and to forgo any registrations in this TLD. However, when I think of the fallout that could occur within our clients’ companies when .SUCKS sites start popping up, I cannot in good faith recommend this approach. Furthermore, I believe that recovery of these domains using traditional methods will be extremely difficult.
I know that we will have clients who will feel compelled to apply for these sunrise registrations, and of course we will support them.
But we will not profit from this TLD.
Our focus is protecting brands on the Internet. Taking advantage of our clients by profiting from the sales of these names is counter to everything we stand for. And so with that, MarkMonitor will charge our existing clients only a very nominal fee of $25 per registration (in addition to the fee charged by the registry) to cover our costs.
As ICANN begins their mandatory reviews of the New gTLD Program later this year, I know that there are many who will raise concerns related to registries which appear to be taking advantage of brand owners. I invite all brand owners to join me in raising these issues. It’s difficult to say whether any new policy prohibiting this type of behavior could ever be approved, but I do feel strongly that it’s an issue that needs to be brought to the table.