The Board of Directors of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Internet’s main oversight body, yesterday approved a new domain for “adult-entertainment” sites — .xxx — which had been submitted for consideration by ICM Registry along with ten other potential new Internet address suffixes, including .jobs and .travel.
Acording to ICM, .xxx will be for adult oriented websites willing to “adhere to a set of industry best practices,” which will “help protect children from exposure to online pornography and also have a positive impact on online adult entertainment through voluntary efforts of the industry.”
Registration for the the new .xxx domain will cost $60 a year, ten-times more than .com, .org and other standard domains.
Watchdog groups aplauded the announcement. Parry Aftab, Executive Director of WiredKids.com and the Wired Safety Group said, “Creating the .xxx top-level domain [TLD] gives parents a valuable tool to protect their children from inappropriate content on the Internet. It isn’t a complete solution but it is a very important step in the right direction.”
Facts and figures:
The online adult-entertainment industry is one of the largest and fastest growing sectors of the Internet.
According to Reuters, online adult-oriented ecommerce is worth more than $3 billion USD globally and is growing at a double-digit rate. The number of adult websites has grown 18-fold over the last six years alone.
More than 10% of all online traffic and 25% of all global Internet searching is adult-content oriented with more than 100,000 adult webmasters worldwide and well over one million adult domains.
Members of the adult entertainment industry have identified a need to work together to: develop mechanisms to reach only those online users who want to use their products or services; respond to the growing demand from child and family safety groups to ensure the Internet is safer; and respond to the privacy, security, and consumer protection concerns of their audience.
.xxx TLD name registrants will be expected to adhere to the a set of best business practices that will include: safeguarding children from being marketed to or targeted online by adult webmasters; defending customer privacy; deploying accurate meta-tagging; ensuring the clear and accurate disclosure of relevant practices, security of information and transactions, and accountability through the provision of accurate contact information; protecting intellectual property rights; combating the use of unlawful malicious codes and technologies, including spoofing and phishing; not engaging in fraudulent, anonymous, unsolicited or illegal commercial email advertising their products and services; and avoiding the use of misleading domain names or domain names intended to attract child pornography consumers.
The voluntary .xxx TLD will facilitate and protect free expression rights –- both for content providers and Internet users — just ask the MPAA, which is self-regulated.