ICANN Internet Wide Open For XXX

Porno sites with sexually explicit material received their own top level domain (TLD) on the Internet as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) begins to review a plan to change the suffix designation .xxx. The primary reason the domain designation is to help people filter out adult oriented content.

The adult entertainment industry on the Internet remains one of the driving forces for technology and dollars, to the tune of $12 billon, on the Internet. Thousands of sites proliferate and this new move would give them their own domain.

ICANN: Internet Wide Open For XXX
Back in 2000, ICANN began categorizing the domain names. Everyone is familiar with .com or .org but there are others like .edu, .gov, .int, .mil, and .net. The .xxx suffix came up then but ICANN voted it down and promptly received a piledriver from politicians asking why ICANN wasn't willing to protect children by using this designation.

Other domains designations approved recently include .jobs and .travel as well as .cat, .post and .mobi. There are other designations awaiting approval.

The Internet Content Management (ICM) Registry led the charge for the .xxx designation and is pleased with the result. They've been working since ICANN failed to create the .xxx TLD back in 2000 and they were created specifically to get the .xxx approved.

"We are pleased with the ICANN Board's decision. By moving forward with .xxx, the online adult-entertainment industry is taking part in a pro-active approach to its presence on the Internet, making an identifiable commitment to responsible behavior and to the development of best business practices," said Stuart Lawley, Chairman and President of ICM Registry.

The real question is if this will actually be a "best practices" case for the online adult entertainment industry. Even the cost for picking up the new domain designation is minimal, what would be the real reason for existing sites and companies to switch. In many cases, the name of the website sort of gives away the subject matter anyway.

The argument is to help people filter out the material but without any legal enforcement, there's no real reason to switch, particularly for the smaller operations. Hustler magazine could add another domain without a problem but the small, independent "mom and pop" operations could have some difficulty. This is akin to adding a new area code for phones in a state. Lots of costs creep up because so many things have to change. Why would they want to make the change? Will it mean additional business and revenue? Is there a legal obligation? There wouldn't seem to be at this point. It's just going to be another route for more adult entertainment on the Internet. All the old sites will remain and now millions more will creep up.