[LINK] xxx approved

Jan Whitaker jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Sun Mar 20 20:00:12 AEDT 2011

[and what about a .au option? Will the main domain registrars here 
also licence .xxx?]

"FRANCISCO (AP) -- You've heard of ".com" and ".org." Joining them 
soon will be their bawdy cousin: ".xxx."

On Friday, the board of directors of the Internet Corporation for 
Assigned Names and Numbers, which oversees the Internet's naming 
system, approved the creation of a red-light district online for 
pornographic websites. It follows a decade-long battle over such a name.

The uproar over the idea has brought together unlikely bedfellows.

Religious groups argue that giving adult websites their own corner of 
the Internet legitimizes the content.

Pornographers worry it will ghettoize their sites. Although it's 
meant to be voluntary, they fear governments could try to mandate the 
domain's use, so that pornographic content is more easily blocked.

Diane Duke, executive director of the adult entertainment industry's 
Free Speech Coalition, said in a statement that ICANN has 
"disregarded overwhelming outpouring of opposition from the adult 
entertainment industry -- the supposed sponsorship community" and 
dismissed the "interests of free speech on the Internet."

Supporters have maintained that approving the domain is in keeping 
with the principle of openness that has fueled the Internet's growth.

While the idea of ".xxx" has provoked a philosophical debate, for the 
U.S. company that submitted the application for the domain, the issue 
is little more than a matter of dollars and cents.

ICM Registry and its CEO, Stuart Lawley, who has led the fight for 
ICANN's approval of ".xxx," stand to profit handsomely from the 
rollout of ".xxx" websites -- because he will be in charge of 
collecting fees for the use of the new domains.

Lawley plans to charge registrars $60 per year for the domain names. 
He estimates that he could sell as many as 500,000 by the time he 
rolls them out this summer.

"This was always going to be a very lucrative arrangement," he said 
in an interview Friday.

Lawley's prices have been a critical issue for opponents to his plan, 
since domain names typically sell for a fraction of what Lawley plans 
to charge. They often sell for $10 or less.

ICANN had repeatedly rejected Lawley's application since 2000, under 
pressure from Christian groups and governments unhappy with the 
spread of online porn. Lawley has pitched the suffix as a way for 
parents to more easily block access to the content. He argues it will 
be easier for Web filtering software to block ".xxx" sites since they 
are clearly labeled as porn."


Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com

Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or 
sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer

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