Will dotMovie be the first new gTLD blockbuster?

By Stuart Fuller


The news that Donuts had pulled off a real coup in registering and more importantly publicising The Hunger Games as an anchor tenant for their new dotMovie domain name should be welcomed by the whole industry.  What better way to put the fact there are new gTLDs out there than through the most anticipated films of the year. The films, starting Jennifer Lawrence, Donald Sutherland and Woody Harrelson have been a huge global success - so far the three films in the series have grossed over $2 billion globally, and the final part, The Mocking Jay Part 2 is due for worldwide release in November.
The launch of dotMovie, and potentially the future release of dotFilm could revolutionise the way in which the movie industry addresses the thorny issue of intellectual property infringement.  Currently the film studios will move to register trademarks and domain names as soon as a new film is commissioned.  However, one look at some of the biggest films released so far in 2015 highlights the issues they face. Home, Taken and Cinderella are pretty common generic terms and would have been registered years ago, whilst even more obscure titles such as Maleficent and Age of Extinction (The sub-title of the latest Transformers saga) have been registered for over a decade.
Thinking of taking a gamble for the future? Well Taken4.com has already snapped up (as recently as January this year) although 5,6 and 7 are available although I'm not sure the lead character, played by Liam Neeson has that many close members of his fictitious family to kidnap anymore.  For any Bond fanatics out there alas Spectre.com has also been snapped up.
It's not just new movies that cause an issue for the studios.  Old titles can still generate significant revenue streams for them and so the protection of the intellectual property that sits in film titles is of vital importance to them.  Unfortunately, some studios weren't quick enough securing domain names in the past, meaning they often had to add extra characters to the movie title to give it an online presence - for instance www.diehardthemovie.com or more recently www.sanandreasthemovie.com.
However, the launch of the new dotMovie new gTLD could provide the studios with an easy solution and very cost effective way to protecting their intellectual property.  With so many domain names out there registered by third parties hoping to make a fast buck off the back of some of the more generic film titles, the opportunity to register in relative white space could be very attractive.
By creating an industry standard naming convention it could also give the new gTLD industry a big lift. Seeing the dotMovie TLD in so many public places on posters, trailers and merchandise will naturally create acceptance of the fact the domain name world has changed.
The domain name industry has been waiting for the compelling event, the spark of innovation and creativity that could see user adoption start to match the hype.  Perhaps the answer is now on the silver screen? The magic of the dotMovie may have just changed the way we see the new gTLDs.