Entertainment

XXX industry gets a .xxx label

Betsi Fores The Daily Caller News Foundation
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ICM Registry, a Florida-based Internet domain reseller, hopes to lure the adult entertainment industry to a recently created top-level domain (TLD), which will serve “.xxx” websites.

Launched Tuesday, the TLD will provide a more private place for porn marketers and consumers. It will also give workplaces and parents an easy way to block much of the Internet’s growing porn marketplace.

“While adult entertainment is enjoyable to many adults, it is not appropriate for all audiences,” said ICM Registry CEO Stuart Lawley in a release. “We created .XXX to address the unique needs of the online adult entertainment industry.”

The domain name provides instant branding for companies, though some experts are skeptical.

Robert Guerra, senior adviser for Citizen Lab, “says .xxx domains could set an unwelcome precedent in Internet free expression,” reports the Toronto Star.

“It may actually usher in a new age of censorship,” Guerra said. “We really need to monitor very closely whether sites are going to be more easily blocked.”

Businesses are also complaining about the cost of buying domain names to protect their brands.

“It’s going to impose a cost burden on organizations,” Guerra said. “In a way it’s like a tax.”

According to the registry, playboy.xxx was registered Tuesday night.

ICM Registry CEO still believes the new TLD will be a success. “The public response has been overwhelming as consumers and the adult entertainment providers are excited about the benefits and infinite possibilities.”

GoDaddy.com, the Internet’s most active domain registrar, has said it will charge existing porn marketers a whopping $209.99 to apply for one of the new domains and register it for a single year. Annual renewals will cost $99.99. For comparison, GoDaddy charges $11.99 for dot-com domain names.

But these fees must be put into perspective. ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is charging domain resellers like ICM $185,000 just to apply for the rights to control new TLDs.

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