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      Using protection: Colleges buy up porn sites

      The public can now purchase .xxx websites to signify adult content on the web.

      The University of Michigan and several other colleges have started buying .xxx website addresses in order to protect their brands, USA Today reports.

      New .xxx web addresses first went on sale to the public last week and many universities and other trademark holders were worried about pornographers using their names to profit.

      The University of Kansas, for example, has purchased the rights to nearly two dozen .xxx websites, including kansas.xxx, jayhawks.xxx and kugirls.xxx, the newspaper reports.

      "We settled on the ones that we thought it would be reasonable for us to protect," Paul Vander Tuig, the university's trademark licensing director, told USA Today. "It's truly a preventative blocking measure, blocking others from doing it."

      Last month, the Plain Dealer reported the Ohio State University, University of Akron and Oberlin College are among those in the Buckeye State planning on purchasing .xxx as a preventive measure.

      The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was first petitioned to allow the .xxx domain in 2000 and a lengthy debate followed over the next decade.

      ICANN's Brad White says pornographers are not being forced to move from .com and .net domains to the new .xxx.

      "Half the porn industry likes it and half doesn't," White is quoted as saying.

      How many .xxx sites should universities buy up in order to protect their brands? Should they care at all? Sound off below and on our WNWO Facebook page.

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