In the wake of the Sony hacking news and changes to the premiere schedule and venue of the controversial movie, The Interview, I thought it would be interesting to see how many domain names were registered with the keywords, “theinterview” and “Sony.” It often seems that people will registered domain names related to current events, despite the fact that trademark domain name ownership is risky.
I took a look at Verisign’s DomainView Keyword Trend tool to see what domain names were registered with certain keywords in the prior 30 days, and here is what I found:
There have been 725 .com domain names and 49 .net domain names registered with the word “Sony” in them. Some of these seem to be specifically about The Interview, and others were about other Sony products, services, or the primary brand (for instance PS4). Obviously, this large amount of domain names would also include names that did not mean to include the brand in the registration. For example, a registration that has the word “Sonya” in it was probably not registered with Sony in mind.
There were 84 .com domain names registered and 3 .net domain names registered with TheInterview in them. Many of these seemed to specifically be registered with The Interview movie in mind due to the other keywords. Since “the interview” is a commonly used phrase, it is possible some of these domain names were not registered with the movie in mind.
One reason why this is interesting is because Sony decided to release The Interview online, and there are probably quite a few people searching Google to watch it. There will also likely be people who type in various urls to try and find a place to pay to watch the movie or try and find a free copy of The Interview so they can watch it for free. My opinion is that some people believe a url with exact match keywords is more trustworthy, so perhaps some of the domain names were registered with that intent.
I believe SeeTheInterview.com is an official website to watch the movie, although the domain name is registered under privacy at the moment. SeeTheInterview.com was one of the 84 .com domain names registered in the last 60 days. TheInterview.com is owned by a company that is not affiliated with the movie of the same name.