ICANN Delays .XXX Vote, Will Seek Public Comment

Mar 12, 2010 1:30 AM PST
NAIROBI, Kenya — ICANN today delayed a vote on ICM Registry's proposal to sell .XXX domain names and directed its general counsel and chief executive to formulate "possible process options" to the plan that would be available for public comment.

The Internet policymaking group, holding its 37th meeting in Nairobi, said it would formally vote on the .XXX issue “no later than its Brussels meeting,” which is slated for June 20-25.

The ICANN board decided on a plan to post the options and a report within 14 days on its website. The options will be posted for 45 days.

ICANN board member Rita Rodin Johnston said that the panel worked diligently in reviewing ICM Registry’s appeal to its proposal through the week that started Sunday.

“I just want to assure everyone in the community that the board takes this decision [by dispute-resolution jurists] very seriously … we intend to continue moving very quickly in making a decision,” Rodin said.

After the meeting, ICM Registry CEO Stuart Lawley told XBIZ that he plans to be patient over ICANN's latest move on the .XXX matter.

"We note the ICANN board resolutions and are looking forward to seeing the proposals in the next 14 days for the process to implement the independent review panel's decision," he said.

Earlier in the year, dispute-resolution judges, 2-1, ruled in favor of ICM agreeing that ICANN's decision to nix .XXX were arbitrary.

The .XXX proposal has many in the online adult industry worried that it would amount to the creation of a red light district on the Internet.

ICM Registry's proposal would make it the gatekeeper for the sTLD, requiring it to monitor registrant compliance with content site-labeling requirements.

The .XXX top-level domain would be dedicated exclusively to adult content and could be used by some states as a means to force all unwanted or illegal content to migrate to that sTLD that could then be easily monitored or filtered.

ICM’s plan also would require a set of “best practices” to protect children online and fund the International Foundation for Online Responsibility, an independent organization ICM has said it would create if approved.

ICM pledges to donate $10 of the proposed annual fee of $60 for a .XXX domain name to child-protection groups and require users of .XXX to label their content.

In an interview with XBIZ earlier this week, Lawley said that there's a "detailed rollout procedure" included in the draft contract that would allow the sTLD to begin selling names after 180-210 days if it is approved.

"Once a contract is signed we will continue our pre-reservation and begin allocating names," he said. "They should go on general sale to the community approximately six months after that."

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