The Free Speech Coalition issued out the following press release Monday morning:
CANOGA PARK, Calif.—A letter template has been created by Free Speech Coalition (FSC) for adult online business owners to send to ICM Registry, to demand that their trademarks be protected from sale on .xxx domains to third parties.
The “letter of notice” informs ICM Registry—operators of the .xxx domain—that the sender will consider any infringement on their trademark as potentially actionable. The letter also clearly states concerns about potential anti-trust issues and unfair businesses practices on the part of ICM, as well as the certainty of cyber-squatting and other exploitation of established trademarks in the .xxx domain.
“This template provides adult businesses which do not want the risk of participating in the precarious .xxx experiment with a path to protect their intellectual property and valuable brands,” FSC Board Chair attorney Jeffrey Douglas said. “This template should be discussed with their lawyers and adapted to their needs, but it can be a valuable tool to prevent the damage to their long developed good will and valuable web names.”
The letter template is available for download at the FSC website and FSC Blog. Addressed directly to ICM CEO Stuart Lawley, the letter can be sent to ICM Registry’s address in Florida.
“FSC is inviting adult businesses to put ICM Registry on notice that they do not have permission to sell the .xxx version of their trademarked names and brands,” said FSC Executive Director Diane Duke. “It is critical that ICM Registry understand that the adult community will not tolerate ICM’s business model, which is built on frightening existing adult companies into paying ICM in order to protect their brand and trademark.”
Adult companies that have already issued demands to ICM Registry to protect their trademarks from infringement include Hustler/LFP, Manwin, Pink Visual and AEBN. FSC encourages all adult online businesses to be pro-active and to put ICM on notice concerning any infringement of trademarks.
Currently, ICM is offering “sunrise” period pricing for adult and mainstream businesses willing to pay to block sale of the trademarks in the .xxx domain. The letter template refers to sunrise period blocking practices as “inadequate,” and that ICM is not relieved of liability in the event of trademark infringement or other possible intellectual property violations.
Recent reports indicate that only 20 percent of businesses registered for .xxx domains are adult-related.
FSC urges all adult online businesses to stay .com and say no to .xxx—bad for the Internet and bad for your business.