XXX domain sellers take it both ways

It was already known that if you paid enough cash, you could get a new adult .XXX domain associated with your name or brand. Now it turns out that for up to $300 you can make sure it isn’t.

ICM Registry, the company that is overseeing the use of the domain through local registrars, has launched a 50 day “sunrise” period. During that time, there are two registration schemes. The first is for existing adult services companies who will be able to register any .xxx address that matches an existing trademark they already own. The second is for anyone who holds a trademark but isn’t in the adult industry and simply wants to block a particular name from being used.

According to ICM, the reason for this is that ” Although there will be post launch rights protection mechanisms in place, we believe that many rights owners will take a prevention is better than cure approach.” That said, you can see how some people might think “Pay us several hundred bucks or we’ll let a porn site use ‘your’ name” sounds a little like blackmail.

During the 50 day process, it’s not a case of first-come, first-served. Instead cases of multiple applications will depend on the type of application:

  • If there are two or more applications to use the same name, the applicants take part in an auction.
  • If there are two or more applications to block the same name, the name is blocked and the registrars cash in by taking payments from all the applicants.
  • If there’s an application to use a name and also an application to block, the applicant to use gets the name, but on the understanding that it can’t complain it wasn’t warned if the applicant to block goes on to sue it.

Once the 50 days ends, there’ll be a further 17 days described as a “Land Rush” during which genuine adult entertainment businesses can claim a site without needing a trademark. Once that period is up, everything else is up for grabs, first-come, first-served.

A total of around 19,000 potential addresses won’t be part of the process at all, having already been marked as blocked. 15,000 of these came at the request of governments and include both terms associated with underage sex, names of cities, and names of high-profile politicians. ICM has also blocked a further 4,000 names of celebrities as a pre-emptive measure.

To minimize further problems with public figures, nobody will be able to register an address with a person’s name unless it exactly matches their own forename and surname.

ICM claims this isn’t simply a moneymaking exercise. It says all sites using a .XXX domain will be virus-checked daily, an industry first. It also argues that .XXX domains make it easier for parents to automatically filter unsuitable material. Of course, that logic relies on the assumption that porn purveyors will move all their content to .XXX sites, which clearly isn’t going to happen.

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3 Responses to XXX domain sellers take it both ways

  1. For a minimum of $100 a year hell NO we won't all switch to .xxx. There's no point, especially for smaller porn sites, and independent porn sites. That and we've already built up traffic to the .com, why screw up a good thing? I'm just waiting till the government deems it necessary to attempt to force us all onto the .xxx, in which case, I'll be looking for a place to live outside of the country.

  2. For the record, Sunrise and Landrush periods have been part of most if not all new Top-Level Domain (such as .xxx) launches at least as far back as 1999.

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