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.xxx to tackle piracy, child abuse and censorship

Kevin Murphy, December 5, 2011, 13:20:23 (UTC), Domain Policy

The International Foundation For Online Responsibility, the policy oversight group for .xxx domains, says it wants to help fight piracy, child abuse material and internet censorship.

Those are the three priorities to emerge from IFFOR’s inaugural two-day meeting last month, according to the organization. It has set up three working groups to look at the issues.

On filtering, a pretty hot topic given the various pieces of copyright-related legislation currently under consideration in the US and elsewhere, IFFOR said:

The filtering working group will review the state of global filtering laws, regulations and plans with a view to educating legislators and others about the advantages and effectiveness of user-defined filtering as opposed to mandated filtering or blocking at the ISP or router-level.

While there’s yet to be a proven case of an entire nation blocking .xxx domains, some countries have said they are considering it and I’ve heard several anecdotal cases of companies blocking the TLD.

IFFOR also said wants to find a way to help combat piracy “that can work across the entire dot-xxx registry” and is looking at both technical and legal measures.

The child abuse imagery working group, headed by veteran cyber-cop Sharon Girling, plans to work with existing third-party organizations on reporting and policy-making.

All three goals are self-evidently noble. Whether IFFOR will be able to make a noticeable impact on any will of course depend on what policies its working groups come up with.

IFFOR’s Policy Council comprises nine members: five from the porn industry, a free speech advocate, a child protection advocate, a security expert and an ICM Registry representative.

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Comments (12)

  1. DOTXXXFAN says:

    All noble goals indeed. I think .xxx combined with .kids will give parent’s the ability to control what content they wish their kids to see.

  2. Ms Domainer says:

    *

    Yeah, right.

    There is nothing “noble” about a TLD that promotes the exploitation of the weak and weak minded.

    Having said this, I hope that the US will NOT try to block the entire TLD because, in the end, freedom of expression (even if it’s personally distasteful) is the cornerstone of our government.

    I would not like to see that door opened.

    However, if I wish, I should have the right to block the TLD from my computer–freedom from someone else’s expression.

    *

    • DOTXXXFAN says:

      Your comment about exploitation is interesting. Who is being exploited? Consumers? The porn industry? Children? And why are they weak / weak minded?

      I agree about freedom of speech. I don’t think that is what is going on here. It’s about freedom of choice.

      • Jason says:

        Lawley is promoting .xxx as the “home of responsible adult companies”, thereby implying that whoever doesn’t pay the ridiculously high registration fee for a .xxx domain is irresponsible.

  3. Shane says:

    Or the pedophiles can start their own at .xxxkids

  4. Jason says:

    Did they really think we wouldn’t see through this?

    They are desperate after getting sued and boycotted by major porn companies like Manwin and Digital playground.

    If ICM Registry and IFFOR really cared about protecting children they wouldn’t be flooding the Discovery Channel and History Channel with inappropriate ads during the day when children watch television.

    If ICM really cared about intellectual property rights, they wouldn’t have launched a campaign saying “pay us or else will sell the .xxx version of your trademark to someone who will use it for porn”.

    If ICM was really concerned about censorship, Stuart Lawley shouldn’t have told the BBC that .xxx is a great way for ISPs to filter out adult content.

    • DOTXXXFAN says:

      I don’t think they are desperate (I am not affiliated with ICM). I think the process for getting this approved has been arduous.

      The Discovery Channel and History Channel have plenty of content that I wouldn’t let my young child watch. Remember “The Human Animal?” – practically porn. If they were flooding qubo and nick, then I might have an issue.

      Did the other TLD launches offer the opportunity to purchase trademarked domains before the general public? I am asking because I don’t know.

      In regards to censorship, I think the comment was geared toward user choice. Wouldn’t censorship be self defeating? I am sure ICM wants recurring revenue. Especially after all the legal fees.

      • Jason says:

        There is a difference between .xxx and the other tlds:

        1) None of the other tlds had a “secure your .xxx domain before someone uses it for porn” campaign to scare trademark owners.

        2) None of the other tlds came with a strict set of rules the domain registrant has to follow. When you register a .xxx domain, you agree to follow the rules created by ICM and IFFOR.

        ICM and IFFOR can change those rules in the future if they want. ICM already mentioned they are planning to launch their own payment processing service. So it is perfectly possible that 3 years from now, ICM would change the rules that apply to .xxx domains so .xxx sites can only use ICM’s payment processors instead of CCBill or Verotel or Zombaio.

        • DOTXXXFAN says:

          Everyone still has a choice – buy .xxx domains, or don’t. I also see potential confusion between YouPorn.com, YouPorn.co, and YouPorn.tv, YouPorn.xxx is no different.

          ICM, IMHO will offer competitive services, instead of forcing their customers (domain owners) to use a particular service. The rates for adult related payment processing were too high last I checked. There is a lot of room for improvement there.

          Suppose they do abuse their control and in the process piss off a bunch of .xxx domain owners. Do you think that would be a smart business move? Put yourself in their shoes. They want our business.

  5. Dave Mustaine says:

    Porn cares so much about the general public. History has shown this through proper tax valuation, billing practices, workplace safety, etc.. I can’t believe anyone would question their tactics.

    • Jason says:

      Dave,

      The whole point being made by the adult industry is that the adult industry never wanted the .xxx tld. The industry doesn’t want it and ICM knows this. Why do you think ICM is scaring mainstream companies into buying a .xxx domain? Why do you think ICM is advertising their domains to the general public? Because that’s the only way they’re going to make money: scaring trademark owners into paying a ‘protection’ fee to ICM.

      ICM is not part of the adult industry. Lawley even clearly stated in an interview that he has no connection to the adult industry.

      • DOTXXXFAN says:

        I’m going to disagree with the whole scare tactics scheme. As a trademark holder, you have a choice on all fronts. Register a .xxx and block it or use it, don’t register and fight it when someone decides to use it (via legal system, or dispute resolution), or just ignore it entirely. There are systems in place to protect the trademark owner.

        As a trademark holder, you should be prepared to defend your marks at any moment – TLD related or otherwise. Same thing with patents.

        The reason these systems exist is for someone to lay claim to a mark used in trade, or IP. Trademarks and patents are ammo for legal guns, but not the guns themselves. It is up to the owner to fire.

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