.XXX Domains Approved

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(The Hosting News) – During its meeting last week in San Francisco, The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – more commonly known by the acronym ICANN approved the creation of a new top level domain extension – .xxx. As the technical coordinator of the Internet’s Domain Name System ICANN is often called upon to debate and resolve issues related to domains. According to the recent press reports covering this latest decision – they blew it. Or they sold out – take your pick.

While a first blush it might seem that it makes sense to have a domain extension that segregates adult content – it simply won’t work. Besides the fact that literally hundreds of thousands of adult sites are already established on other domain extensions, having a simple filter that excludes the .xxx domains won’t prevent those interested in seeking it out and viewing the content. That is because every domain name can be translated into its underlying IP address in order to view the content. All that a person wanting to get around the filter has to do is search by IP or access a directory which translates the domain name into an IP address – then type that in.

Also – as mentioned above – every single adult content site created to date resides on a top level domain extension other than .xxx. So that means in order to use the .xxx extension for a site, the entire website along with databases, images and written content must be moved to a new account. Anyone who has ever had to move even a modestly large website knows that it is a big task – and not one that you would enter into lightly. Daniel Foster is technical director at UK web hosting company 34SP.com and explains, ”Moving a website, while not uncommon does require backing up and copying the entirety of the website. This alone may deter users from moving a website. Additionally, any move to a new domain name will require DNS propagation. That means the site may not be available for up to 24 hours after the move. This is another deterrent to moving.”

So if filtering adult content probably won’t work, why approve the domain extension at all? There is one simple reason: money. Big money.

The new .xxx domain extension will be administered and managed by ICM Registry. That is the company that ICANN contracted for the job. On the homepage of the ICM Registry website there is a counter in the upper right which is entitled, ”.XXX Domains Pre-Reserved”. That counter is up to 305,733 as of the writing of this article. If you combine that piece of data with the wholesale price of each .xxx domain – $60 – then you arrive at a guaranteed $18 million of revenue and growing each day.

The dollars will only go up from here. This is why: every large brand will need to register the .xxx version of their current brand name. The obvious example is The Walt Disney Company. Disney can’t take the chance that disney.xxx gets registered by anyone other than Disney. Similarly disneyland.xxx, mickeymouse.xxx, etc. You get the picture. Every mainstream brand now has to defensively protect their brands against exploitation via the .xxx top level domain.

Considering that there are currently nearly 130 million active domains in use, the upside for .xxx seems considerable. So maybe ICANN knew what they were doing after all.

Source: .XXX Domains Approved

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