Sun rises on .xxx domain registration

Summary:Registered trademark holders can from Wednesday register their .xxx domain or make sure that such a domain using their brand name will never exist

The .xxx top-level domain will be opened up on Wednesday to brand and intellectual property holders for registration, ahead of a wider opportunity to register.

At around 4pm UK time, a 50-day 'sunrise period' will begin, ICM Registry, the company that is running the new top-level domain (TLD), said in a statement. During this period, companies inside and outside the adult industry will be able to either register their .xxx domain name or exempt themselves, blocking anyone else from creating a .xxx URL using their brand name.

Icann, the organisation that manages TLDs, approved the new extension in March. According to ICM Registry, all .xxx sites will be automatically scanned by McAfee for malware. The .xxx TLD will be the only one in existence to come with this protection as standard.

"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," ICM Registry chief executive Stuart Lawley said.

Lawley explained that consumers would be able to easily identify adult content through the use of .xxx, and would also benefit from the malware protection that comes with the TLD. Using the TLD will also help adult entertainment companies achieve "greater and more predictable revenues", and those wishing to avoid adult content will be able to do so more easily, by simply avoiding sites with URLs ending in .XXX, he added.

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.

– Stuart Lawley, ICM registry chief executive

In addition to the malware scanning, each .xxx site will also have a Metacert electronic label, so people can adjust their browser settings to limit access to such sites. A global non-profit organisation, The International Foundation for Online Responsibility (IFFOR), has also been set up to create policy for the new extension.

In the run-up to the sunrise period launch, ICM ran a 'founders program' where 35 companies were allowed to launch 1,500 .xxx sites as a showcase for the domain.

Once registered trademark owners have had their chance to opt in or out of the system during the sunrise period, a 'land-rush' period will begin on 8 November, when other adult entertainment businesses can register .xxx URLs. On 25 November, members of the public will be able to register remaining URLs.

The creation of the online red light district has been long coming. Icann originally approved the idea in 2005 and was set to give ICM Registry its licence to run .xxx, but the Bush administration and conservative groups pushed back. The TLD became an increasingly political issue, and was one of several sticking points that eventually led Icann to gain independence from the US government's control.


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Topics: Networking

About

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't be paying many bills. His early journalistic career was spent in general news, working behind the scenes for BBC radio and on-air as a newsreader for independent stations. David's main focus is on communications, of both... Full Bio

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