.XXX Moving Forward With IFFOR Formation After ICANN Vote

Mar 21, 2011 12:15 PM PST

PALM BEACH, Fla. — After seven years of lobbying and spending millions on the initiative, ICM Registry's Stuart Lawley is moving forward with the next step of the .XXX proposal, which was approved on Friday by ICANN and set for a general launch in September.

"After seven years of triumphs and tribulations, I am pretty relieved it is all over," Lawley told XBIZ on Monday.

Later this week, IFFOR's policy council will begin selecting up to nine individuals to hold posts to the group's board. So far, Lawley said, there are 21 "strong" candidates in the field.

IFFOR, or the International Foundation for Online Responsibility, will act as the regulation czar for .XXX, funded primarily by .XXX domain name holders.

"We are trying for a blend — from studio heads to performers — and we will select five or six this week," he said. "We interviewed three candidates at the ICANN meeting in San Francisco."

Just days after ICANN's official blessing, Lawley said the numbers of pre-reserved .XXX domains is currently at 302,000 and that it is right about the level where ICM Registry's business plan estimated.

Lawley also said that .XXX has signed on two Founders member companies and is in talks with 18 others, with an eventual cap of 30. Founders members are for those companies with existing large portfolios vowing innovative ideas for their sites.

The benefits of .XXX for online adult providers, Lawley said, include predictable revenue streams, greater customer retention and the chance to take a proactive and responsible approach to their web presence.

"While, back in 2004, we would have sold more domain names, we think .XXX is now more relevant than ever," he said. "The [adult entertainment] industry needs a shot in the arm by dealing with piracy and embracing innovation; in addition there will be a better trust level over the sites because they will be safer and filtered free from viruses, identity theft, credit card fraud and inadvertent exposure to child abuse images."

.XXX will experience three tracks within the Sunrise period for top-level domain, two of which will be routes to conventional domain name registration by the adult industry companies. The third will be a route for businesses and organizations that consider themselves not to be members of the sponsored community to secure a blocked name.

Lawley said that .XXX, when it rolls out in September, will include a "revolutionary payment system" that will work alongside conventional adult payment processors systems, an idea he thinks will draw more paying consumers to adult sites.

"It will be designed as an iTunes-meets-Paypal [processing system] where consumers will be able to make micropayments with a dollar here, a dollar there," said Lawley, who noted that it would facilitate multiple currencies and be available in more than 120 countries.

While Lawley fought hard to push .XXX through, he continues to be adamant about defending .XXX domain owners if they were to be beset with possible legislation from political foes of adult entertainment, vowing again to instate a "fighting fund" of $250,000.

"And that figure will go up substantially," Lawley said. "[.XXX's] responsible self regulation is the best way to fend off onerous and clumsy legislation."


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