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Colleges Buy '.XXX' Domains To Prevent Porn Parodies

Xxx College Sites

First Posted: 12/06/11 11:57 AM ET Updated: 12/06/11 04:06 PM ET

As Tuesday's deadline for public sale of adult-oriented, ".xxx" domain names approached, Chicago and Illinois universities joined a host of higher education institutions, buying the rights to URLs that uses their schools' names to prevent them from being appropriated for parody use.

"I think you can look at the 'Girls Gone Wild' phenomenon and figure (adult websites) may aim at the college-aged demographic," Deborah Douglas, spokeswoman at Chicago State University which registered csu.xxx and chicagostateuniversity.xxx, told the Chicago Tribune. "We need to protect the integrity of our students and our brand. Porn and parasite, you can put those in the same sentence."

After a decades-long battle, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which oversees internet domain ownership and naming systems, approved the creation of a distinct domain name for adult-content websites in March. Proprietary domain names were set to be sold in a public market starting Dec. 6, prompting many universities, and other organizations who believed there would be a market for related pornographic materials, to buy them as a preventative measure.

Northwestern University, the University of Chicago and Illinois State University have all purchased their .xxx related names, which host blank, black pages indicating that the domain has been reserved from registration.

"We don't want someone coming across our trademark on a porn site," Terry Robb, director of information technology at the University of Missouri-Columbia, which has registered missouri.xxx and missouritigers.xxx, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "God only knows what they'd come up with."

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Filed by Lizzie Schiffman  |