Photo: Charlie Neibergall/AP
Do you think real-estate mogul and Republican presidential primary front-runner Donald Trump “sucks?”
If so, would you be interested in purchasing the website DonaldTrumpSucks.com?
Well, you are (probably) out of luck. Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, already owns DonaldTrumpSucks.com, along with thousands of other web addresses.
A report Business Insider generated through the domain database Whoisology last week showed 3,153 web addresses are registered to the Trump Organization’s general counsel. Many of these sites are not actually online, but they provide glimpses into Trump’s business plans and his company’s anxieties about their brands.
According to the report, an email dentified as belonging to the Trump Organization’s general counsel registered several of Trump’s main web addresses — including his presidential campaign site, DonaldJTrump.com, and his company’s site, Trump.com.
The email also registered sites with the names of several of Trump’s children and grandchildren. According to the report, these domains were all still registered to the company as recently as March and April of this year.
Trump’s son, Eric, who is executive vice president of development and acquisitions at the Trump Organization, said the company acquires “thousands” of domains each year. Eric Trump described the practice as “business as usual” for the company. He said the more than 3,000 domains registered through the general counsel’s email address are just a fraction of the “tens of thousands” of URLs owned by the company.
“It’s just another part of doing business around the world with a famous brand and some famous figureheads at the top of the company,” Eric Trump told Business Insider.
Eric Trump said the Trump Organization does not privately register these domains, because they are “proud” of their various holdings. He described the practice as “a very forward-looking domain strategy” and said many other major companies have similar policies.
“We acquire thousands a year, and it’s smart,” Eric Trump said of the web addresses. “It’s just a smart thing to do, and it’s a great way to protect yourself.”
He said the Trump Organization is able to take domain names from squatters and other people who might take addresses with the company’s trademarks through the UDRP process set up by ICANN, the non-profit that regulates the internet’s domain name system. UDRP allows trademark owners to seize domains taken for “abusive” purposes through court proceedings or an arbitrator. However, Eric Trump said dealing with a UDRP can be a “waste of time” compared to pre-emptively acquiring domains.
“Sometimes it’s just easier to be incredibly proactive about domain strategy so, quite frankly, you don’t have to do that,” he explained.
Many of the addresses registered by the Trump Organization contain negative statements about Trump and his businesses. These include URLs branding the Trump Network, a controversial vitamin-selling business Trump bought in 2009 and later sold, was a “pyramid scheme” and a “fraud.”
According to Eric Trump, the company acquired these addresses to guard against “predatory people.”
“For a company like ours, it’s incredibly important to protect ourselves, and it’s incredibly important to own our intellectual property,” he said.
It’s a relatively common practice for businesses to buy web addresses that could be used to host attacks on them. For example, last year, the former New York City mayor and entrepreneur Mike Bloomberg was linked to the purchase of hundreds of domains including ones that branded him a “weiner” and a “moron.”
Check out some of the negative web addresses registered to the Trump Organization below.
The report showed the Trump Organization also has registered web addresses that could be used for Trump’s political endeavors. Interestingly, while there are domain names that reference 2012 and 2016, there do not seem to be any Trump addresses that are specifically pegged to future presidential elections:
(Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)
The bulk of the web addresses registered by the Trump Organization seem to relate to past, present, and future business endeavors.
These projects include current ones like Manhattan’s Wollman Rink, which is operated by the Trump Organization. The general counsel address also retains URLs that seem to have belonged to Trump businesses that no longer exist, like Trump Airlines, as well as addresses for ventures that never came to be.
For example, in 2013, Trump was outbid at an auction when he tried to purchase the Versace Mansion in Miami. The report showed the general counsel address still maintains several domains that seem to have been associated with this project, including TrumpVersaceMiami.com and TrumpVersaceMansion.com. It also owns addresses that could be linked to future potential Trump projects.
Check out some highlights from these URL’s for actual, defunct, and hypothetical Trump ventures below.
Obviously, the web addresses listed in this post are just a fraction of the 3,153 registered by the Trump Organization. You can peruse the full list of Trump’s domain names here.