When last we left the nascent “.sucks” generic top-level domain, ICANN was calling for investigation and scrutiny into the pricing structure the domain’s designated registry was implementing. That registry, a company called Vox Populi, is currently offering sunrise pricing on “.sucks” domain names with the MSRP going as high as $2,499. Individual registrars are charged $1,999 for each registration, and the registrants themselves are charged whatever the registrar wants—”as low as $2,024 and as high as $3,977.99,” according to Vox Populi). ICANN has raised accusations of “extortions” and “shakedowns,” with the implication being that companies desperate to control their brand’s “.sucks” domain will be forced to pay large amounts to buy it.
Yesterday, Vox Populi CEO John Berard officially responded to ICANN’s criticisms with a legal demand letter via Vox Populi’s attorneys, Fish & Richardson P.C. (Ars was provided a copy of the letter via e-mail, which can be read here). In it, the attorneys lay out their counterclaims to ICANN’s accusations, essentially saying that Vox believes ICANN’s points are baseless and that its pricing is consistent with what it believes to be the fair market value.
Of particular note is the statement early in the letter—that for all the implications of bad conduct, “None of the letters in question identifies any manner in which any law might actually have been broken.” The letter continues:
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