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Green light for ‘red light’ domain

Despite opposition from sectors as diverse as the Christian Right and some sectors of the adult industry itself, ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) last month authorised .xxx as a new top level domain name (TLD) for adult entertainment sites.

The .xxx TLD is owned by ICM Registry and the web suffix has been granted the same rights as .com, .net, .co.uk and other TLDs. The only difference being that as a sponsored TLD, .xxx domain names will only be available to the adult entertainment industry. The contract will require anyone registering a .xxx domain to complete an application process endorsed and overseen by the International Foundation for Online Responsibility (IFFOR).

ICM Registry claims the introduction of .xxx – which was first proposed back in 2003 – provides numerous benefits, such as giving reassurance to customers that they are more protected from the risk of viruses, identity theft, credit card fraud and inadvertent exposure to child abuse images. The firm states that it will also give individuals and parents who wish to avoid adult entertainment sites the opportunity to filter out unwanted .xxx material. ICM also claims that .xxx will be of benefit to online adult entertainment providers, giving them predictable revenue streams, greater customer retention and the chance to take a proactive and responsible approach to their web presence.

Stuart Lawley, CEO of ICM Registry, said: “ICANN’s decision to give .xxx final approval is a landmark moment for the Internet. For the first time there will be a clearly defined web address for adult entertainment, out of the reach of minors and as free as possible from fraud or malicious computer viruses. We believe consumers will be more prepared to make purchases on .xxx sites, safe in the knowledge their payments will be secure. Tens of thousands of adult entertainment website owners recognise the business benefits of .xxx and have already applied to pre-reserve over 200,000 .xxx domains.”

The .xxx TLD will be regulated by IFFOR, an independent non-profit entity made up of a seven-person Policy Council, which will be funded primarily by $10 (USD) annually from every .xxx domain registered.

Clyde Beattie, Director of IFFOR, said: “[This] announcement means IFFOR will be able to contribute programmes to make a difference in protecting children online. In addition, we will be able to establish a forum for the online adult entertainment community to communicate and proactively respond to the needs and concerns of the broader Internet community.”

ICM Registry will offer current intellectual property owners the opportunity to reserve relevant domain names before going to the open market, enabling them to protect their brand names and intellectual property rights within .xxx

For further information visit www.icmregistry.com or www.iffor.org