Oh my God! Porn is officially on the Internet!

Summary:ICANN finally approved the Internet's .XXX top-level domain.

Can you believe it! There's porn on the Internet!

Cue Avenue Q's The Internet is for Porn.

What really happened was that after a decade-long fight, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), at the close of its 40th public meeting in San Francisco finally approved the .XXX top-level domain (TLD http://www.icmregistry.com/news/welcomeapproval.php). According to a PC Magazine report, Peter Dengate Thrush, a New Zealand lawyer and chairman of ICANN, announced today, March 18th, that ICANN had finally approved this red-light district TLD.

If you think this was done with the approval of the adult entertainment industry, you'd think wrong. They hate it. According to a press release by the Free Speech Coalition, an adult industry trade association, FSC Executive Director Diane Duke said, ""Over the past seven years, we have tried to communicate the adult industry's opposition to .XXX at every opportunity, using every means and forum available. We have participated in public comment periods, letter writing, conversations with stakeholders, and testimony at ICANN's public meetings. All three of the world's only existing adult-trade-associations have issued statements in opposition to .XXX."

Why? Evil Angel, a porn company, founder and adult film star John Stagliano explained in the statement, "I do not support this. I would support it only if there were different criteria for the creation of this entity, that would allow anyone to open a dot porn, or whatever that would compete with .XXX. The effect now is to create a monopoly for one company in this area. The adult community has invested in how it is structured now. It is unfair to us all to add an additional expense to our business without competition for the services that this new business, .xxx, would provide."

You see, the .XXX TLD already has an owner, ICM Registry. So if you want an .XXX site, the adult industry fears you'll have to pay ICM big bucks to register it.

ICM, of course, loved this decision. Stuart Lawley, CEO of ICM Registry, the company behind .XXX, said in a statement: "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"

At the same time, though, ICM also states that it has "no affiliation, current or historic, with the adult entertainment industry." I note in passing that ICM's slogan is "Let's be Adult about It..

There's already hysteria over this new TLD from some circles. Fox News has already declared that this new TLD will lead to pornographers trying "to get your children while they are looking for something else, say a game called "play with Carly" … and also make sure they have a tight grip on those children who might already be inclined to experiment with pornography and who now will know exactly where to go to find it, the '.xxx' world." This same Fox News page included an ad for Cialis.

The truth of the matter, of course, that any content-blocking software, such as Net Nanny can be much more easily set to block the entire .XXX TLD then they can be set to block the hundreds of thousands of adult entertainment Web sites already out there.

In the end, I see this as much adieu about nothing. Like it or not, people watch porn, the Internet has made it much easier for anyone and every one to get to it, and approving the use of the .XXX TLD domains isn't going to make any real difference to this situation. Deal with it.

Topics: Browser

About

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, aka sjvn, has been writing about technology and the business of technology since CP/M-80 was the cutting edge, PC operating system; 300bps was a fast Internet connection; WordStar was the state of the art word processor; and we liked it.His work has been published in everything from highly technical publications... Full Bio

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