UC Berkeley spends $1,300 to purchase x-rated domain names

UC Berkeley may be known for its academics, athletics and the occasional protest, but the campus administration has paid about $1,300 thus far to stop pornographic websites from buying .xxx domain names associated with the campus.

Following other colleges across the country in the fall semester, the campus bought the domain names — which are used specifically for pornography-related materials — in order to safeguard the campus’ name and trademark against being used in an inappropriate manner, according to campus manager of science communications Robert Sanders.

“We wouldn’t want to be associated with the kind of industries that would use that domain name,” Sanders said in an email.

Trademark owners, including schools, were able to apply to purchase the .xxx domain names from September to October 2011 before members of the public could buy them, according to the ICM registry website. The campus Office of Marketing and Business Outreach worked with GoDaddy.com to register the names, Sanders said.

The campus bought six trademarked names — ucberkeley.xxx, universityofcaliforniaberkeley.xxx, uc-berkeley.xxx, universityofcalifornia-berkeley.xxx, goldenbears.xxx and cal.xxx — at $200 per domain name for 10 years, according to Sanders.

The campus also blocked the domain calbears.xxx from hosting adult content for one year for $101.99, according to Sanders. This domain cost more because Cal Bears is not a registered trademarked name, he said.

UC spokesperson Dianne Klein said the UC Office of the President is aware of the .xxx domain names but declined to comment further as to whether the office has purchased any.

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  • Anonymous

    Was this really worth $1,300? That could buy a student… two books for a semester!

  • Anonymous

    1300 is it? I mean, that’s relatively low. Does that $200 cover registration for the whole 10 years? (I forget how they were doing the whole .xxx TLD reg.) Because if so, that’s really an excellent deal, and if not, it’s really only going to be about $20/yr or less to keep domains once you own them. Personally, I’m of the mindset that owning many domain names is not such a bad idea since it’s easy, cheap, and will either prevent access (in this case) or allow easier access. 

    Still, I agree with the other comments that the .xxx thing kind of sucks for owners, and that UCOP could really do something for all campuses. 

    Also, Cal Bears is a good name, why isn’t that trademarked?

  • guest

    This is a great scholarship idea.  Hot coeds of Cal, post nudes to berkeley.xxx , the hottest receive donations, tuition issues solved.

    Of course there would be a lawsuit challenging discrimination of the uglies…

  • Guest

    Shows how narrow the campus administration thinks.  This should have been a coordinated system-wide effort led by and paid for by the Office of the President.  The OMBO is really not very good.  UCLA takes in multiple millions of dollars in copyright and royalty payments every year.  Berkeley would rather sue its own Alumni Association for using the Campanile in its logo than actually market and profit from the Berkeley images.

    Moreover, it could have represented a significant revenue stream.  Let someone try to use a registered UC name/trademark and sue the pants off of them.

    • Anonymous

      To the points about actually doing stuff like this as a UC and licensing content, it makes a lot of sense. 

      However, the idea of using litigation as a revenue stream is bad. Not only is it very risky overall, but it can also cost just as much in legal fees as your revenue would be since it’s often hard to prove real damages. You’re obligated to protect your trademarks and part of that is not waiting to sue just to make money. That’s not the point.

  • LuckyLoon

    goldenbears.xxx and calbears.xxx — heh…. those have some potential…

    • Anonymous

      I was thinking the exact same thing.

  • LAWLS

    EWWWW why’d you guys buy from GoDaddy? They support SOPA….

  • David Chen

    Wow, this whole .xxx TLD has definitely become a scam to force trademark-owners to purchase these as a defensive measure. They should have at least offered educational institutions and non-profits much lower prices to do this. Still, I don’t see why companies have to also be forced to buy all these permutations of their names to prevent this type of activity. I just don’t see the incentive for actual porn sites to move to these .xxx domains, so I’m pretty sure this is the entire business model (i.e., extorting trademark owners to defend themselves).

    • Anonymous

      “I just don’t see the incentive for actual porn sites to move to these .xxx domains” – Plus, even if they did, I think anyone on there would know that they weren’t affiliated, haha.