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After more than five years, porn-centric ‘.xxx’ top level domain gets approved by ICANN

By Tim Conneally, Betanews

For more than five years, The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) avoided the establishment of a top-level domain specifically for pornographic websites.

In late 2005, ICANN approved the proposal from Florida-based ICM Registry LLC to create the “.xxx” top level domain, but pressure from the Bush administration caused ICANN to delay the rollout of the domain and ultimately shelve it.

The group formally rejected ICM’s repeated proposals to create the domain that was being called “the Internet’s red-light district” in 2006 and again In 2007.

Today, following an independent review, ICANN has approved the .xxx top level domain and will begin its registration.

ICM issued a statement today expressing relief about the approval, and outlined the positive aspects of a domain specifically for adult entertainment:

  • The effective labeling of content, so that individuals and search engines know that .xxx websites likely contain adult content, which will allow for simple and effective filtering for those who wish to do so
  • Best Business Practices to provide and promote confidence and certainty in .xxx domains
  • More predictable revenue streams, greater customer retention and fewer complaints for adult entertainment suppliers
  • A credible self-regulated forum for impacted stakeholders to discuss and develop policies relating to online adult entertainment

The group says it expects to go live with .xxx domains at the start of 2011 or possibly even sooner. 110,000 URLs with the .xxx suffix have already been pre-reserved. ICM’s founder Stuart Lawley told the Associated Press that he expects to make million per year in revenue from domain name services, and vows to put from each name sold toward the International Foundation for Online Responsibility (IFFOR,) a nonprofit child protection policymaking initiative he has set up.

Copyright Betanews, Inc. 2010

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