It’s official, .xxx domains get the go ahead from ICANN

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Porn, get ready for your own industry-specific top-level domain (TLD) name.

ICANN has today announced that it has approved the controversial .xxx domain, which will be specifically used to host sites that are within the porn industry; just like .aero is for the air-travel business and .org is for organisations.

“It’s been a long time coming, but I’m excited about the fact that .xxx will soon become a reality. This is great news,” ICM Registry’s chairman Stuart Lawley said in a statement.

ICM claims that there are 110,000 domains that have been pre-registered for a .xxx domain name.

The .xxx TLD was proposed by ICM in 2000, alongside a .kids TLD. Both, however, were rejected by ICANN; however, ICM persisted and submitted another proposal for the .xxx TLD, but this time a sponsored top-level domain, meaning that it is specific to one industry, as opposed as a generic top-level domain, which puts it in the same area as .com and .net. After three years of discussion hearing opposition from governments and from the public, ICANN rejected the proposal on 30 March 2007.

ICM then proceeded to file an independent review of the decision, and in February, the review stated that the Board’s decision failed to treat the document under its “neutral, objective and fair document policy” and that the .xxx domain met the requirements of a sponsored top-level domain name.

While this is the first step, it does not mean that it is a TLD yet. ICANN still needs to check the technical and financial ability of ICM, the registry that has been pushing for the domain and likely to be the official registrar; and after that, it will need to be approved by ICANN’s board. However, in an email to CNET News, the domain should be live at the start of next year if all these decisions are in favour for ICM.

ICM has also stated that it will looking to establish a code of practise for all holders of the domain, including that the sites are labelled appropriately so they do not show up on search engines or blocked by software-based filters.

Image: Elliot Moore/Flickr

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