ICM Registry Announces Launch Dates for .Porn, .Adult

Nov 7, 2014 9:45 AM PST

LOS ANGELES — Following the recent signing of the .porn and .adult registry contracts and after a lengthy negotiation with ICANN, ICM Registry on Friday announced its launch dates for .porn and .adult.

Starting March 1, 2015, .porn and .adult will be made available for a 30-day period to trademark holders who are registered in the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), as required under ICANN’s Rights Protection Mechanism.

After Sunrise has closed, the next phase of the .porn and .adult launch will be a 30-day Limited Registration Period, referred to as the Domain Matching Program. The Domain Matching Program will be from April 15 to May 15, 2015. The Domain Matching Program will allow .xxx stakeholders to register any available directly matching second level names in .porn or .adult, before those names are offered to the general public.

The Domain Matching Program will also be available to trademark owners that successfully applied during .xxx’s Sunrise B program. The Domain Matching Program is explained in greater detail here and here.

By way of example, during the Domain Matching Program if you have the domain name Example.xxx, you will be given a priority right to register Example.porn and Example.adult. The Domain Matching Program will be available to all .xxx registrants who have a .xxx registration as of March 31, 2015.

Once the Domain Match Program ends, General Availability for .porn and .adult will begin on June 4, 2015.

The Domain Matching Program is very similar to the original “grandfathering plan” that ICM tried to bring to market, with a few key changes. The changes are a result of ICANN’s decision that the original “grandfathering plan” was in contravention of ICANN’s Rights Protection Mechanisms.

At the time ICM applied for its new gTLDs ICANN had not yet finalized their rules; ICANN’s final Rights Protection Mechanisms were published long after the new gTLD application window closed.

As a result, ICANN’s final Rights Protection Mechanisms do not allow some of ICM’s original ideas. These final ICANN rules affected not only ICM, but also affected all other new gTLD applicants including entities like VeriSign, Inc. which runs and operates .com.

Stuart Lawley, CEO of ICM, remarked, “We are delighted at long last to be able to provide firm dates for the launch of our exciting new gTLDs. Whilst we are disappointed that ICANN didn’t allow our original Grandfathering Plan, we believe the new Domain Matching Program means that 98%-­?99% of our underlying .xxx domain registrants and Sunrise B participants will be given the chance to register the directly matching .PORN and/or .ADULT name, should they so wish.”

He added, “ICM was not the only applicant affected by ICANN’s 'trademark first' policies, even VeriSign who run .com were denied permission to introduce their transliteration of internationalized versions of .com, which was a program along the same lines that ICM had planned for in .porn and .adult.”

Steve Winyard, vice president of ICM, remarked, “ICANN’s mandated rules added a further layer of complexity and procedure to what we had intended but the new Domain Matching Program will serve as an adequate substitute for the vast majority of registrants to help them secure matching names in our new TLDs.

"The allocation of premium names in .porn and .adult has also been somewhat affected by the non-negotiable ICANN rules. Any .xxx Premium Name holder who is wondering how ICANN’s rules affect them should contact me directly. We remain committed to delivering our premium names to companies in the adult entertainment space that have good plans to develop them, as many have done in .xxx.”

Winyard added, “The launch of our new TLD’s in 2015 will bring a plethora of exciting opportunities for web masters and brand creators and we are confident that these new TLDs will bring favorable results in search engine rankings as well as creating additional revenue for their owners.”

Multiple parties, including the current owner of Sex.com, initially applied for .sex. ICM has recently acquired the .sex TLD through private negotiation. ICM anticipates the launch of .sex in Q3 2015.

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