ICANN board approves dot-XXX top-level domain for porn

It's been a long time coming, says head of ICM Registry, the company pushing for the new domain

Pornography will have its own top-level domain, dot-XXX, the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers decided Friday.

The proposal was made under ICANN's rules for "sponsored" TLDs, through which domains have been created by interest groups including the aeronautical industry (dot-aero) and the cooperative movement (dot-coop).

ICM Registry, the company that proposed the dot-XXX domain, welcomed the vote.

"It's been a long time coming," ICM Chairman Stuart Lawley said in a statement, adding that he is "excited" by the move.

"The decision should soon bring to fruition our six-year effort to create a specific Web address for online adult entertainment, and comes on the heels of an independent review that declared that ICANN's previous decision to deny dot-xxx was wrong," he said.

ICM Registry says it is a "completely independent entity with no affiliation, current or historic, with the adult entertainment industry."

That claim of independence gave ICANN board member Rita Rodin Johnston pause for thought. "I still question whether, in fact, there is a real sponsored community here," she said in the board-meeting debate before the vote.

However, she went on to vote in favor of the new domain, saying that despite her personal reservations about the proposal, she felt obliged to by ICANN's decision-making process. "It really doesn't matter what I think. What's important is that ICANN has a process that it set up and the process came back and said that sponsorship criterion was met, and that this board has the courage to follow that criterion," she said.

Dot-XXX domains won't start appearing right away. ICANN must first conduct a "due diligence" study of ICM's business plan for the domain, and then the board will review the contract proposed for the operation of the domain. That may involve referring the matter to ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee, which is next scheduled to meet in December in Colombia, said board member Bruce Tonkin.

"There is a potential that this is a prolonged process," he said.

ICANN has considered introducing a top-level domain reserved for adult-oriented Web sites before. It failed to reach a decision on the current proposal at a meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, in March, and rejected similar proposals in May 2006 and March 2007. Dot-XXX and another supported by ICM, dot-kids, were among a long list of TLDs rejected by ICANN in 2000.

Friday's vote was not unanimously in favor of creating the dot-XXX domain: ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom and fellow board member Jean-Jacques Subrenat both abstained.

In a statement after the vote, Beckstrom explained his abstention, expressing doubts about the advice the board had been given on the project.

"While I accept the contribution to ICANN's accountability and transparency provided by the existence and the use of the independent panel review process, I am nonetheless concerned about the determination by two of the three panelists that the ICANN board should not use business judgment in the conduct of its affairs. In my view as CEO, the board must be able to use business judgment in order to protect the global public interest in the coordination of the root of the Internet and the domain name system," he said.

Subrenat, a French academic and former diplomat, did not give a reason for his abstention, but explained at length that it was "estabished on an informed basis with all due care, in good faith, in the honest belief that it is in the interests of the corporation of which I am a member of the board," and that it was "consistent with the dispositions of Article VI, Section 23 of the ICANN bylaws." That article merely notes that board members are presumed to concur with any decisions taken at meetings they attend, unless they abstain or vote against.

Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at peter_sayer@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags governmentregulationinternetICANNpornentertainmentdomain names.xxxInternet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?