Protect Your Station’s Image From Adult Websites
Did somebody order a
sausage pizza, hold the pizza?
and attorney for Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth Kevin Goldberg recently penned
an article advising station owners how to protect their station identities
from association with the sex industry.
As you may recall, ICANN
recently approved the creation of custom domain extensions, enabling
those with the funds to obtain their own extension, be it .pepsi,.comcast or
even .xxx. While the move is supported by some (including BRS Media, who is in
line to purchase .radio) and opposed by others, Goldberg points out the
negative potential facing broadcasters.
Goldberg opens by
reminding stations again to register their call signs, slogans and all station
identifiers with federal trademarks. Not only is this a good idea in and of
itself, but “non-adult oriented” entities will be given the unique opportunity
to block the registration of any .xxx domain name that
incorporates their registered trademarks.
you’re just now considering a trademark to defend against a .xxx takeover,
don’t bother. Those concerning a .xxx must have been registered prior to Sept.
1, 2011, and Goldberg says that processing is a six-month wait.
What’s the worry, you may
wonder? Imagine a member of your audience wants to visit your station’s
website. They enter the call letters (“WOYV”) into a search engine and receive
a page of related site links. The top result may be your legitimate site
(“WOYV.com”), or it may be a porn site (“WOYV.xxx”) using your good name to
lure unsuspecting visitors.
As most adult-themed
websites are interested in the most traffic by any means possible, they could
employ blackhat (read: unethical) search engine optimization tricks to put
their sites at the top of any seemingly related internet search. This can put
listeners at a greater chance of seeing clothes-free barnyard wrestling when
all they really wanted was information on winning those concert tickets to the