Taylor Swift, Microsoft Preemptively Buy Up Porn Site Domain Names

25 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Business News Roundup, March 24.

Singer Taylor Swift, Microsoft Corp. and Harvard University are among those buying up .porn and .adult Web suffixes as a pre-emptive move before those domain names become available this summer.Starting June 1, anyone will be able to purchase domains ending in .sucks, .adult, .porn, and hundreds of other options, with new suffixes released every month.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is making address suffixes beyond the usual .com or .org available for people and businesses to use — including the likes of .music, .app or, of course, .porn. Amy’s Kitchen Inc. said Monday that it is recalling over 70,000 individual products due to worries that its spinach might have been infected with a harmful bacteria. CNN reports that Swift’s team is part of “a select group of people and companies” that have been given access to some of ICANN’s more controversial new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) before they’re released to the public. The natural and organic food maker, based in Sonoma County, said the recall impacts foods ranging from several kinds of lasagna and pizza to stuffed shells and tofu scrambles.

The singer is now the proud owner of porn domain sites like TaylorSwift.porn and TaylorSwift.adult and the likes in an attempt to beat the Internet trolls (aka pornographers who want to capitalize on her name, brand and image) to the punch. She recently trademarked lyrics from her latest album; beat the paparazzi out of a $100,000 payday; and in a controversial move, pulled all her music from Spotify because “piracy, file sharing and streaming have shrunk the numbers of paid album sales drastically.” But note to Swift’s team: .Sucks is operated by another company, so it’s still available for purchase. That number is eventually expected to rise to more than 1,000 as private companies continue to shell out big bucks (approximately $185,000 a pop) on applications for gTLDS like .pizza, .android., .dad and .mormon. According to the site, Microsoft has bought not only Microsoft.porn but Office.porn and Office.adult as well. (TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. ICANN has opened up the sale of domains on the above gTLDS to those who it determines may need to protect their brands against cybersquatting or trademark infringement.

San Francisco’s Square widely expanded its Square Cash payments service Monday, offering it to businesses as it goes after the more than 13 billion checks written annually, which are worth more than $1 trillion. “Individuals aren’t the only ones who don’t like checks,” the company said in a blog post. “They’re inconvenient for businesses too, whether you’re a landlord, a lawyer, a dogwalker, or an interior decorator.” EBay Inc., which is spinning off its PayPal division this year, plans to pay each of the two new companies’ chief executive officers $14 million in total compensation after the split. Jay Rockefeller told ICANN he thought it was “little more than a predatory shakedown scheme” to get businesses to spend big money on defensive domain registrations.

But according to CNN Money, “[ICANN] claims that its program to expand gTLDs will be beneficial for all internet users, because descriptive domains, such as .healthcare, .deals, and .amsterdam, help ensure web users arrive at their intended destination.” “To me it’s very responsible,” said Steve Miholovich, senior vice president of marketing at Safenames, a domain registrar and advisory firm for websites. They will both get an annual salary of $1 million following the spinoff, plus cash bonuses and equity awards of as much as $13 million, the San Jose company said Monday. EBay announced the split after coming under pressure from activist investor Carl Icahn, who argued that PayPal was being held back by its connection with eBay’s slower-growing online retail business.

To lure Schulman to PayPal, eBay paid him $38 million, $22 million of which was a make-good payment for money Schulman was required to repay American Express and other compensation he forfeited by coming to eBay. The Kansas Wheat Commission is spending $200,000 for the first two years of the project, which is meant to identify everything in wheat’s DNA that can trigger a reaction in people with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder in which eating even tiny amounts of gluten — comprising numerous, complex proteins that gives dough its elasticity and some flavor to baked goods — can damage the small intestine. Slightly more Americans bought homes in February, but tight inventories, affordability problems and nasty winter weather point to sluggish sales in the coming few months.

Sales of existing homes rose 1.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million, a slight rebound after plunging in January, yet still underperforming by historical standards, the National Association of Realtors said Monday.

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