.XXX Domain RegistrationA virtual world wide web for sex and porn industry has finally taken shape. ICANN, the authority that issues the domain name ownership resolution for generic top-level domains (gTLDs) such as .com, .net., .org, .info, etc., has finally approved the controversial .xxx top-level domain (TLD) specifically for websites focuses in pornography, sex, mature or adult contents or provides sexual services.

The idea to create a distinct .xxx domain name suffix for sites hosted with adult materials have been around since year 2000, and specifically sponsored by ICM Registry on 2005. However, the decision to approve or reject the .xxx porn-friendly TLD has proved to be difficult, with protest from political groups, conservatives and religious groups. Some people fears that granting of .xxx domain may legitimate inappropriate adult contents. In fact, the .xxx top-level adult domain has been rejected and not approved by ICANN twice for policy reason, and only recently been overturned after been challenged in court.

With the creation of .xxx domain, it’s hope that web surfers and Internet users can easily determine whether a website contains adult materials or not, and allows administrators in educational institutions or businesses to easily set up filtering rules to block or restrict access to pornography websites. In addition, since adult materials have been widely available online, the introduction of .xxx virtual sex domain is hope to offer adult content or service providers to responsibly brand themselves, although there is no law, requirement or instruction to move all adult sites from standard TLDs to new domain ending in .xxx.

According to ICM Registry, all .XXX registrants will be contractually obliged to follow a set of practices drawn up to provide effective self-regulation of the adult industry, including:

  • Safeguard children from being marketed or targeted online
  • Defend customer privacy
  • Use and promote accurate labeling and meta-tagging
  • Ensure clear and accurate disclosures, security of transactions and contact information
  • Protect intellectual property rights
  • Combat the use of unlawful malicious codes and technologies (e.g., spoofing)
  • Oppose fraudulent, anonymous and unsolicited bulk SPAM advertising adult entertainment

But not everybody in the adult porn business are supporting the .xxx domain name though. Many fears that censorship will be tighten with the introduction of .xxx TLD, and segregation of porn sites hosted on .xxx domain name from mainstream Internet. Another point of contention is the price to pay to the registrar for .xxx domain registration, which has a wholesale price of about USD $60 (retail price may be higher), many fold of standard gTLDs’ registration price.

ICANN gives its rationale for approving registry agreement with ICM for .xxx sTLD in this document. The .xxx domain registration is expected to available to everybody who interested by June 2011. However, holders of adult industry trademark or current owner of existing adult-oriented domain names at standard sTLD can reserve and register the .xxx domain names through Founders, Sunrise (which is already starting now) and Landrush phases of .xxx prior to official launch via ICANN accredited registrars accepted by ICM. In fact, ICM Registry has been taken pre-reservations of .xxx domain even before approval is given, and is reportedly has more than 100,000 interests in registration for .xxx domains.

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