The ‘BACK’ in the .FEEDBACK TLD Refers To The Trademark Owner

TLS is the registry behind the .FEEDBACK top level domain.

The CEO of TS has stated that .FEEDBACK is UDRP-proof, because, as I understand the claim, criticism is a good faith use under the second prong of the UDRP.

The CEO backed up that claim by promising that TLS will pay up to $5k in lawyers fees to defend against UDRPs.

Additionally, the CEO of TLS had previously stated:

“No trademark infringement will occur though, the sites are all geared towards free speech and giving reviews. Confusing the public that the brand is running the site will not happen, each site has a disclaimer and makes it clear the brand is not running the site.”

Two observations on the trademark infringement point. TLS itself registered FOX.FEEDBACK as a demonstration. There is a disclaimer in mousetype. (1) If you Google ‘Fox feedback’ as a search term then the first hit looks like this:

FOX feedback
The Fox Broadcasting Company, is an American commercial broadcast television network that is owned by the Fox Entertainment Group division of 21st Century …

So people searching on Google could think that this is official.

(2) Also, the six most recent reviews, as of today, are all addressed directly to Fox (as in, “Geraldo Rivera is a cancer on your show”).

So the users erroneously think that Fox maintains the site.

As for being UDRP-proof:

A recent UDRP decision, written by friend of the blog, Warwick Rothnie, granted a complaint bought by DeBeers, which established that DEBEERS.FEEDBACK had been registered in bad faith. The website appeared to have had no original content, but had copied existing reviews from Yelp after receiving a demand letter from DeBeers.

The CEO of TLS has now tempered his ‘UDRP-proof’ remark, indicating that the use of a proxy service appears to have been a material fact in the result.

One thought occurs: .FEEDBACK is semantically different from, for example, .SUCKS or .REVIEWS or .CHAT in communicating a relationship to a source, in that the .SUCKS element in MICROSOFT.SUCKS would appear to suggest the opposite of origin (why would Microsoft sponsor such a site?) and .REVIEWS and .CHAT would be, for the most part, neutral in that regard.

In contrast, however, generally speaking, because you communicate feedback to the source, there is a greater likelihood that a .FEEDBACK TLD will be associated with the trademark owner. I think that’s what the ‘back’ in ‘feedback’ means.

This TLD can be used lawfully in many, if not most instances, especially if the unofficial nature of the site is PROMINENT SO THAT YOU CAN’T MISS IT.

But the .FEEDBACK TLD is not UDRP-proof and not trademark infringement-proof.

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