Meta Platforms alleges registry operator is infringing its marks such as Facebook and Instagram.
Meta Platforms has filed a cybersquatting lawsuit (pdf) against Freenom and associated companies. Freenom is best known for operating the .tk namespace.
.Tk is the country code domain name for Tokelau. Despite being just a small territory of New Zealand, Tokelau’s domains are the most-registered country code domains, with over 20 million registered.
The reason so many are registered is because of the price: free.
Freenom offers .tk along with .ml, .ga, .cf and .gq domains for free, both for initial registrations and renewals.
It makes money by monetizing remnant traffic to these domains when they expire.
Meta Platforms has a host of complaints against the company, many of which echo its lawsuit against OnlineNic.
Inexpensive domains attract a lot of bad actors, and when the price goes to zero it attracts even more.
Brian Krebs wrote about the lawsuit today and noted that registrations aren’t currently available on Freenom’s website. Freenom cites a technical issue. (I checked a registrar that sells Freenom’s ccTLDs, and it is also not presently allowing .tk registrations.)
It’s worth noting that ICANN does not regulate country code top level domains like .tk.