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Porn Domain Names Inch Closer To Reality

by Sean P. Aune | June 26, 2010June 26, 2010 8:20 am PDT

After nearly ten years of wrangling, it looks like we may be closer to the launch of .XXX domain names than we ever have been before.

Since the year 2000, iCANN (Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers), the people responsible for keeping domain names in check, have been debating the possibility of launching the domain extension .XXX for pornography related websites. This would essentially set up a de facto “red light district” on the Internet, and could help with filtering issues for parents, schools and businesses.

xxxThis proposal was actually thought dead in 2007 (you can read a PDF of the whole history of the debate), but after request for a review by an independent board, the proposal to launch the top level domain (TLD) was found to be sound, and the idea is back in play.

According to ABC News, there are somewhere around five to six million porn related sites currently, and the new domain name would not be required for them, it would be completely optional.  The only problem is that pornography sites seem to be mixed on the concept, and it will take the backing of some sites to get this passed to be finally released.  However, there are at least some that are ready for the change as Stuart Lawley, president of ICM Registry, said his company already has reservations for customers for over 110,000 .XXX domain names, and the number is increasing daily.

With the switch to the new TLD being completely optional, I’m not entirely clear on why companies seem to be balking at supporting the concept.  “It’s a hot topic on the various message boards,” Alec Helmy, president and publisher of XBiz said. “The value proposition of the .xxx — is this something that the industry needs, or is it just some other way for another entity to make money?”

Mr. Helmy went on to add, “There are two different camps. The kind of business folks who look at every opportunity as a business opportunity and those who are very … protective of the potential ‘ghettoization’ of the industry.”  I hate to inform Mr. Helmy, but .COM or not, porn on the Internet is already seen as a “ghetto”.  The .XXX domain would just make it easier for people to know which exits to avoid when traveling on the Information Super Highway.

What say you?  Are you for or against the new domain name?


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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