Registration For .XXX Domains Opens

NetworksSecurityWorkspace

Companies have been given 50 days to get their hands on an adult domain name, or opt out all together

Companies keen to prevent their brands from ending up in the ‘red light district of the Internet’ will be given the chance to block their names from use with the new .xxx top-level domain (TLD) from today.

ICM Registry, the company running the adult web domain, said that registration would open at around 4pm BST today. Companies both inside and outside the adult industry will have until 28 October to either register their .xxx domain name or exempt themselves, blocking anyone else from creating a .xxx URL using their brand name.

Flagging adult material

The idea is that the .xxx TLD will be used to flag sexually explicit material on the Internet. Under an agreement between the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and ICM Registry, ICM will use a portion of the fees collected to fund efforts designed to keep children away from online pornography.

“We believe .xxx creates a ‘win, win, win’ situation, with benefits for consumers of adult material, for adult entertainment providers and for those wishing to avoid adult content,” said Stuart Lawley, CEO of ICM Registry.

During the 50-day “Sunrise” period, companies and individuals that do not want their name associated with pornography will be able to pay a one-off fee of between $150 and $300 (£100 to £200), depending on which company they register their domain with. Conflicts over exact matching names will go through an arbitration process.

The so-called Sunrise period was recently extended from 30 days to 50 days due to the volume of interest; the company reportedly received nearly 900,000 expressions of interest for .xxx domain names during its pre-reservation process.

After the sunrise period is over, a “land rush” period will run for 17 days, allowing prospective adult sites to register for the remaining .xxx addresses. The domains will be distributed on a “first come, first served” basis.

A contentious issue

The .xxx domain was given the green light by ICANN earlier this year – in spite of warnings that it would become “the red light district of the Internet”.

The TLD’s activation drew the support of 16 of ICANN’s board members, but none of the governments participating in ICANN’s policy process supported the plan. The issue has also divided those in the sexually explicit media industry, with some fearing the domain will make it easier for sites to be censored.

“This decision represents a difficult, careful balance, weighing the extensive community advice both for and against,” ICANN stated at the time.

Read also :