At a minute after midnight on Sunday, UTC time, .sucks domains will go on sale to anyone who wants one.
The flick of the switch to general availability is expected to produce a feeding frenzy as brands and celebrities scramble to make defensive purchases – there's no way Coca Cola wants Coke.sucks in the wrong hands – and speculators try to scoop brand names in the hope of selling them back.
The .sucks registry has been accused of targeting trademark holders in a predatory fashion, but defends itself as saying it is empowering consumers to start conversations about brands. It's therefore created an "advocates program" that gives away free .sucks domains to "cause-related, customer service-driven and politically partisan websites among an even wider set of domains devoted to helping people make a point and rally a community." The registry also points out that it has run a “sunrise period” in which trademark holders have been able to stake their claims in the .SUCKS domain, and also operates dispute resolution procedures that align with established domain name registration polices.
Domain registrants nonetheless expect a frenzy once the curtain lifts.
Karen C. Zetes is IT director, infrastructure, at Corporation Service Company, an outfit that offers “digital brand services” including domain name management and “enforcement services”. Zetes told The Reg the advent of .SUCKS has seen the company conduct tests to ensure its infrastructure can cope with the midnight rush, as it would with any event likely to cause a spike in traffic. It's also taken the slightly unusual step of ensuring staff will work the few hours either side of the launch to keep things humming.
If you want to get in on the .sucks action, prices start at US$199 for a block that prevents anyone from buying the .sucks domain of your dreams. If you want to buy one to use, fork over $249. ®