.xxx porn domain opens for business

It’s been a long time coming. The idea of the .xxx top level domain (TLD) was first been proposed back in 2000, and after eleven years of rejection, resubmission and no end of controversy, it was finally approved by ICANN earlier this year.

The new TLD was created “to promote a responsible approach to adult content on the internet and offer clear signposts to its locations online”, according to Stuart Lawley of ICM Registry, the Florida-based firm that has driven the campaign for .xxx over the past decade, and which is now responsible for managing domain name registrations for it. “Regardless of what your personal views are on the existence of pornography on the internet, at least .xxx will give people the information they need to make a choice,” he added.

Today marks the beginning of a so-called ‘sunrise period’ of fifty days, in which companies, brand owners and celebrities will be able to submit bids for their chosen domains. The bidding is open not only to those directly involved in the adult entertainment industry, but also to those who wish to protect their brands, or even their personal reputations.

BBC News highlighted the example of porn star Teresa May, who might wish to register her own domain to promote herself; whereas UK Home Secretary Theresa May might wish to protect her name and avoid any confusion with the busty porn star. Those wanting to register a domain for this sort of protection and prevention will be asked to pay a fee of around $150-$300.

A company such as Apple, for example, might also wish to prevent anyone else from registering apple.xxx, if it felt this might do harm to its brand reputation. ICM Registry explained that the company is “sensitive to non-industry brand owners who do not want their trademarks associated with adult content”. ICM has already barred the names of many public figures from being registered with .xxx domains, including barackobama.xxx and beyonce.xxx.

After the sunrise period, adult entertainment sites will be offered general access to purchase .xxx domains for seventeen days, after which domain registrations will be open to all. Neowin.xxx, anyone?

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