Earlier this morning, domain registry operator MMX announced its AdultBlock and AdultBlock+ services are now on the market. These two services were created “for trademark holders seeking to protect their brand identity across its adult portfolio of TLDs.” In 2018, MMX acquired ICM Registry, and as a result of the acquisition, MMX now operates adult domain name extensions (.XXX, .Sex, .Porn, and .Adult).
The press release announced that MMX is partnering with Uniregistry to offer these two services. It is unclear (to me) whether other domain registrars are also offering the services to clients. From what I can see on the MMX website, it looks like they are courting other registrars to participate in offering the services to clients. I do not see the pricing for these two services.
Here’s the press release I was sent announcing the availability of these services:
MMX Launches Adult Domain Name Trademark Protection Service
New Service Allows Mark Holders to Prevent Domain Name Abuse at Economical Rates
London, 15 July 2019 — MMX, the innovation-led Domain Registry Company, is pleased to announce its new service for trademark holders seeking to protect their brand identity across its adult portfolio of TLDs from the increasing trend of domain name abuse including website phishing and malware.
Branded AdultBlock and AdultBlock+ the products have been designed to allow trademark holders to block the registration of their trademarks, as well as look-alike variations across MMX’s four adult themed Top Level Domains (TLDs) which the Company attained through its acquisition of ICM in 2018.
Under the basic AdultBlock service, rights holders will be able to block their exact match terms across the four TLDs – .adult, .porn, .sex, .xxx. Through the AdultBlock+ service, the level of protection can be increased to cover potentially thousands of look-alike variations able to be generated per name through homoglyphs and alternate Internationalised Domain Name (IDN) scripts.
The development of AdultBlock+ is in direct response to the increasing trend by bad actors to register look-alike trademark domain names. This illegal practice allows cyber-criminals to create visual matches of domain names – often used in email scams and business email compromise attacks – by using different scripts, that are often visually indistinguishable from its credible counterpart, to dupe the user into navigating to a potentially nefarious website. In 2018, Farsight Security observed 116,113 look-alike domain name registrations across 125 brands and in another study, almost 35% of registered domain name variants were owned by unrelated parties2.
MMX has partnered with Uniregistry to deliver and market its adult blocking service to the corporate registrar community and end-user audience.
Under the roll-out, registrants of ICM’s original 2011 Sunrise B program for .xxx will also be able to upgrade to the new blocking services for all four, adult themed TLDs without having to undergo the trademark reverification process if completed before 31 December 2019.
ICM Registry was the first registry to offer a blocking service in response to trademark owners concerns of enduring damage to their brand due to unauthorized registration and usage of their registered marks. Over 65,000 brands protected their trademarked names within .xxx in 2011.
Pricing on the basic AdultBlock product has been structured to enable corporate registrars to deliver savings of 35% over the equivalent price as registering a single name across all four extensions. Meanwhile, trademark holders and brands adopting a 10-year AdultBlock+ registration before 31 December 2019 can do so for the same price as a 10-year basic AdultBlock registration.
Toby Hall, CEO at MMX, commented,
“MMX has taken extensive soundings with the corporate registrar community in the pre-launch phase to ensure a strong value proposition for the service. Our AdultBlock products have likewise been packaged in a format that our corporate registrar partners will be able to easily onboard and affordably deliver to their clients.”
Vaughn Liley, Director of Registry Sales at Uniregistry, continued,
“We are delighted to be partnering with MMX on the introduction of AdultBlock and AdultBlock+ while moving the industry one step closer to delivering a standardized blocking mechanism that has the ability to eliminate abuse across any extension. This has broad appeal amongst the corporate registrars and trademark holders alike as it’s this kind of innovation and countermeasure to abuse that helps support a stable DNS while encouraging universal acceptance of new TLDs.”
For further information on MMX’s adult block services, please visit https://adultblock.icmregistry.com
1Schiffman, M. (2018). Touched by an IDN. Farsight Security.
2Le Pochat V., Van Goethem T., Joosen W. (2019) Funny Accents: Exploring Genuine Interest in Internationalized Domain Names. In: Choffnes D., Barcellos M. (eds) Passive and Active Measurement. PAM 2019. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11419. Springer, Cham.