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Saturday, March 19, 2011

LAND HO! .XXX DOMAINS OKAYED


ADULTS HORNLY: It's not your dot com's online porn, anymore!

OR:
WEB RED LIGHT DISTRICT
GIVEN THE GREEN LIGHT


By Ed Gauthier
Innocent Bystander

Triple X doms, anyone?

Well, this week most people observed St. Patrick's Day as usual, but just 24 hours later the online version of the porn industry was given something else to celebrate: .XXX - their own adult top-level domain (TLD) name address.

After almost 19 years of debate, ICANN finally approved its introduction Friday. Interested parties can reserve domains through its sponsor, ICM Registry. These new .XXX domains will cost at least $60 to register once they become available, which is expected to be anytime after May 1, when the second fiscal business quarter (Q2) begins.

At the end of the first week after ICANN's long-awaited announcement, the number of reservations is already surpassing a quarter million domain names. However, those who might wish to enter the x-rated game at this point should bear in mind that it's not quite the "landrush" situation it may initially appear to be.

That's because owners of already existing TLD names (.com, .net, .org, etc.) are able to automatically go to the head of the line, which means new participants will be forced to gather whatever unspoken-for crumbs are left after the stampede. In other words, the chances of some unknown party grabbing the domain sex.xxx from the current owners of sex.com are absolutely zero.

With the introduction of this TLD is the inclusion of Rights Protection Mechanisms, which lets adult (and non-adult) companies block their trademarks from being registered. Apple, for example, can (and will) reserve apple.xxx and ipad.xxx. These locked pages won't forward to apple.com either; they'll simply point to a non-porny holding page. However, any such companies wanting to block domains will have to pay a one-time fee per domain.

By the way, the .XXX TLD wasn't championed only by the porn industry. A large reason behind .XXX's introduction is that it will make adult websites very easy to identify, creating an official internet "red light district," as it were, which is very helpful for any groups or individuals in general society who wish to avoid bumping into adult content.

On the downside for those who deal in and/or seek such material, though, is that such "sex site segregation" allows for very easy blocking of and by ISPs, by other companies and institutions - or pro-censorship conservative governments.

In fact, it's already been suggested that unless popular search engines like Google change their ranking algorithms to bias in the new TLD, at first the majority of web-surfers probably won't even notice most new domains, unless they're looking for them, based on their old .com presence. After that, it will be strictly up to the .XXX- related sites themselves to gain more notice and seek their own level.

The only "problem" (depending if you're pro or anti-porn) with this is that it will no doubt require the .XXX sites to present even "dirtier" fare than ever before, to gain the attention they need in order to keep meeting their financial goals. So it will be a whole new contest of obscenity laws versus capital gains. Should be interesting, to say the least!


LIKE I ALWAYS TELL COMEDIANS: Don't work blue -
unless you're gonna get plenty of green!

UPDATE: (3/25/11) Yes, not only did those naughty little .XXX reservations pass a quarter million at the end of the first week, but they went on to pass a half million by the end of the second week. So it won't be any shock in a couple more weeks to hear that it went over the million mark. It's like that saying, which I just made up today:

"The more society witnesses a war and destruction rut,
the more it welcomes the distraction of smut!"