ICANN Moves Forward With .XXX Proposal

Jun 25, 2010 2:30 AM PST
BRUSSELS, Belgium — ICANN’s board of directors voted Friday morning to move forward with ICM Registry’s .XXX proposal.

ICANN gave conditional approval to .XXX, the controversial sponsored top-level Internet domain, 10 years after it was first proposed by ICM Registry’s Stuart Lawley.

The decision was met by great apprehension by some board members, which still have to officially approve ICM’s application after a governmental advisory committee consultation is completed.

“At the end of the day we all faced the fact that sometimes we have to make the tough decisions, and I think this is very difficult,” ICANN board member Katim Touray said.

ICM Registry so far has spent $9.3 million on the initiative, which has faced outcry from some members of the online adult industry. It also faced an enormous letter-writing campaigns orchestrated by some groups in the Religious Right.

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

.XXX 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. ICM said it hasn’t planned any volume discounts, but that it would “listen to the community.”

ICM first proposed the .XXX domain in 2000, and ICANN has rejected it three times already since then.

"It's been a long time coming, and I'm excited about the fact that .XXX will soon become a reality," Lawley said Friday. "This is great news."

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