Colleges pay about $200 for internet domain names.

The world is getting closer to the launching of a new internet address system for pornography providers, and there are some eye-opening names being registered. Among them: washu.xxx and mizzou.xxx.

Don’t, however, expect to find naked co-eds at either of these sites.

In what amounts to a defensive maneuver, schools across the nation are snapping up the .xxx domain names that match their federally registered trademarks. It’s simply a matter of trying to keep them out of the wrong hands.

“We don’t want someone coming across our trademark on a porn site. God only knows what they’d come up with,” said Terry Robb, director of information technology at the University of Missouri-Columbia, which also has registered missouri.xxx and missouritigers.xxx.

Colleges and universities are no different than other organizations in this regard. With the impending launching of the new .xxx top level domains later this year, everyone with a trademark had a chance to reserve names in what’s called a ‘sunrise phase.”

Essentially, it provides some protection for organizations against domain prospectors who grab sites to use or sell at a profit.

In theory, the .xxx top level domain will give adult content providers a natural place to be on the internet. But it has been criticized by the porn industry, which worries that this is the first step in forcing all adult providers to move to the more easily blocked domain addresses.

Against this backdrop, universities and other organizations have been forced to decide whether it’s worth the time, trouble and money (about $200 per domain) to take control of their .xxx sites.

Some experts don’t think there’s a lot to be worried about for the vast majority of institutions.


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