Why .college domains could be a nightmare for schools

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Colleges have one more thing to police.

On Tuesday, universities gained the option to register .college domain extensions - creating opportunities for schools who aren't pleased with their traditional .edu addresses and headaches for those who now have one more extension to police for cybersquatters - people who unscrupulously use domains that falsely appear to belong to someone else.


XYZ.com LLC, which owns the domain extension, is giving universities until mid-April to register domains for free as long as they own the trademarks.

In the fall, others will be able to swoop in, which means dollars for the company but could spell bad news for schools.

Several years ago, the University of Hawaii discovered a .xxx site bearing its name - and lots of nude photos of couples having sex. The school eventually convinced the owner to shutter the site, but it left other schools wary and scrambling to snap up addresses that might be used against them.

While most colleges are likely to stick with their traditional, highly regulated .edu addresses for the time being, many are likely to register .college addresses to avoid landing in similar embarrassing situations.

This story originally stated that the owner of .college is Generation XYZ. The correct name of the business is XYZ.com LLC, which is affiliated with Generation XYZ. The story has been updated.

Emily DeRuy is a Washington, D.C.-based associate editor, covering education, reproductive rights, and inequality. A San Francisco native, she enjoys Giants baseball and misses Philz terribly.