Originally published Jan. 8, 2012

GVSU.xxx is off the market and essentially off the Internet, as the university does not maintain the site as a working domain.

“We reserved the domain to protect GVSU’s image and primary domain name,” said Ben Rapin, GVSU web manager. “We did not buy/register the domain, but simply reserved (blocked) it so that others could not register the domain, the difference being that our reservation does not allow us or anyone else to use the domain in any way.”

The university paid $199 to reserve the site for 10 years, said Rhonda Lubberts, assistant vice president of Institutional Marketing forGVSU. Lubberts said the university will not pay any annual or ongoing expenses to maintain the site, which will remain blank.

Adult websites were required to switch to the .xxx domain on Dec. 6, and several universities have since purchased .xxx domains. According to the Detroit Free Press, most institutions bought the .xxx domains to prevent pornographic sites from being linked to university trademarks, with some purchasing multiple domain names.

One article cited the University of Michigan as having bought 21 URLs to protect the school image, while Central Michigan University purchased three.

Rapin said GVSU’s method of reserving only the primary site is the most cost effective approach for GVSU at this time.

“While it is easier and cheaper to reserve or register a domain than it is to reclaim it, it would not be cost-effective for the university to register the virtually unlimited number of possible GVSU related names for domains,” he said. “Instead, we choose to protect our primary domain and deal with infringing sites as they come up.”

Some schools like Michigan State University did not reserve .xxx domains, but opted to closely monitor the Internet to prevent the unauthorized use of school trademarks.

Rapin said GVSU is best served by having its primary domain name off the market.

“Proactively reserving or registering domain names is the most effective way to prevent others from attempting to make use of a GVSU-related domain,” he said.

The site was secured in September during the “Sunrise-B” stage, which allowed trademark owners to remove their domains from the .xxx domain pool.

The .xxx domains are currently available for members of the public to purchase, but Rapin said GVSU can take legal measures to make sure that nobody uses university trademarks.

For more information about .xxx sites or to purchase a domain, visit http://www.icmregistry.com.

Original publication: http://www.lanthorn.com/article/2012/01/gv_reserves_xxx_domain_to_prevent_trademark_infringement

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