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Mar 6, 2012
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The Internet killed (and changed) a lot of businesses (or at least made life for these much, much harder). Listening to music, reading books, shopping --- all of these can be done online, but let's not forget that it changed even the sleaziest of industries as well: the adult film industry, and apparently, people are making a lot of money off of it (without showing any skin) as well.

Last last year, there was news that adult film sites could now change their Internet domain from ".com" to ".xxx" and now that it's been launched, people are registering domains prefixed with famous brand names and celebrities in an effort to sell it to the actual owner of the name.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) says that among the complainants were banks and an online shopping operation. We see how cybersquatters are seeing this as an opportunity to make money. If you owned a bank, you'd try to protect it as much as you could and you'd probably move heaven and earth to keep it away from being remotely associate with a dot-triple x domain suffix. Enter cybersquatters, who would sleazify even the most serious and professional of banks by registering their name and then, when contacted by the owner, sell it at an exorbitant price.

A more wholesome example would be the people who bought Adora.com and are offering to sell it at the low, low price (sarcastic tone) of US$300,000 (about P12.9 million). Our best guess is to the owner of Adora.ph, the luxury department store located in Greenbelt 5. The Adora.com owner certainly wasn't shy about using the Adora.ph logo on its page.

Sometimes these things have a happy ending (no adult joke there) like in the case of the guy who bought pizza.com for $20 back in 1994 and ended up selling it in 2008 for a whopping $2.6 million (over P100  illion) after he found out that vodka.com sold for a little over that amount.

But back to the problem at hand. The triple x domain was created to make access to adult websites more manageable around the web---the biggest democracy in the world. The problem here lies in adult content providers registering a .xxx but also keeping a .com domain as well.

We'll have to check if cybersquatting was included in our local cybercrime bill currently pending in the Senate, and will keep you Techies updated on the deets as they come in.

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WORDS BY Neps Firmalan
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