Missouri Universities Scoop Up .XXX Domains

Nov 7, 2011 9:00 AM PST

ST. LOUIS — In an effort to protect their school’s websites from becoming porn destinations, Washington University and University of Missouri-Columbia have registered .XXX domains.

According to a report on the St. Louis website stlToday, the schools have registered Washu.xxx, WashingtonUniversity.xxx, Wustl.xxx, Mizzou.xxx, Missouri.xxx and MissouriTigers.xxx domains.

The report said the trend is reaching across the nation, fueled by schools worried about their federally registered trademarks.

"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.

The defensive move was a no-brainer for local colleges and universities, according to the report, considering the low cost $200 registration fees during ICM Registry’s Sunrise A and B periods that ended on Oct. 31.

But some experts said they don't think the vast majority of institutions need be concerned.

Not Greg Jackson, vice president for policy and analysis at Educause, a nonprofit that promotes the use of technology in higher education who said, "Then again, it's just a couple of hundred bucks. So I don't see any reason not to do it.”

That thinking prompted the St. Louis College of Pharmacy to grab StlCop.xxx. Although not porn-centric, the school’s vice president of information technology said it was better to be safe than sorry.

According to the report, the school has registered all the StlCop versions it can get its hands on, including .org, .tv, .info and .biz. but couldn’t get .com, which still belongs to a domain prospector.

One reason Washington University decided to make the move was because it shares a name with a female anime character, Washu Hakubi. The school worried that some anime contains sex and violence and didn’t want the possible association.

"It wouldn't necessarily be anyone who even knew much about us," said Karen Daubert, the university's trademark and brand manager.

And the stigma of .XXX will have most school’s domains pointing nowhere.

"In this case, they won't point to anything," Daubert said.

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