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Porn trade group director says .xxx could be a gTLD

Kevin Murphy, May 11, 2010, 13:52:30 (UTC), Domain Registries

One of the directors of porn industry organization the Free Speech Coalition has suggested the .xxx top-level domain could be approved as an unrestricted gTLD.

Tom Hymes, who sits on the Free Speech Coalition’s board of directors, wrote to ICANN urging it first and foremost to kill ICM Registry’s .xxx application once and for all.

But Hymes went on to say: “If that scenario is unacceptable to the Board for one reason or another, I would then encourage it to explore a gTLD option for ICM.”

He noted that he was writing in a personal capacity, not as a representative of the FSC.

ICM’s application was filed under the 2005 round of “sponsored” TLDs, which meant it had to show backing from a sponsorship organization and some measure of ownership restriction.

For example, the Society for Human Resource Management is the sponsor for .jobs and the Universal Postal Union backed .post.

ICM, which has never been part of the adult entertainment industry, created a policy-making body called the International Foundation For Online Responsibility, IFFOR, to act as its sponsor.

In my view, IFFOR was basically a crude hack to get around the fact that in 2005 ICANN was not looking for any new gTLDs.

The FSC doesn’t like IFFOR, because a) it will make policy on what can be hosted under .xxx domains and b) the adult industry will not control its board or see any of its money.

Hymes, in his personal capacity, seems to be saying that an unrestricted .xxx gTLD would be okay. It’s the first ground I’ve seen anyone in the porn industry give in this debate. He says:

To its credit, the Board is striving to solve the dot xxx imbroglio by dangling a gTLD in front of ICM, a solution ICM thus far has refused to consider. But that sort of suspicious recalcitrance can no longer be tolerated. Instead of threatening to bring a costly lawsuit against ICANN in order to secure control of a policy making regime for which it does not have the required support, ICM should cut its losses, save everyone a lot of money and take the gTLD while it has the opportunity.

I happen to agree, mostly: .xxx would make a heck of a lot more sense, and would be a whole lot less controversial (Christians notwithstanding), as a gTLD.

Unfortunately, I can’t see it happening. Not easily, anyway.

There’s no ICANN process in place for approving gTLDs today, and if ICANN were to choose to kick ICM into the next new gTLD round, there’s a pretty good chance that ICM would find itself fighting a contested string battle with other applications.

From a process point of view, sponsored TLDs are a failed experiment.

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Comments (11)

  1. Kevin,

    Both you and Tom couldn’t be more wrong i am afraid.

    IFFOR is far from a “crude hack”, its a well developed well put together multi stakeholder mechanism to allow the members of the community to CREDIBLY self-regulate. They have operated in an isolated vacuum for far too long.

    The adult industry will, most likely, have a controlling position within IFFOR and yes some of the funds from IFFOR will be used for the benefit of the members.

    Clearly neither Tom nor yourself have studied the application thoroughly enough.

    .XXX as a gTLD would be be of little benefit for the adult industry as it would be a missed chance to visibly and credibly self regulate in conjunction with the other impacted stakeholders and have a voice as an organized large group on the world stage amongst the mainstream.

    As a gTLD with registrations available to the general public, whilst the registry(ICM) would likely sell many more names, it would be a free-for-all with no grandfathering in of existing names etc that the sTLD will provide. This could lead to chaos and bona fide members of the adult industry losing control of their brands and names they have built up over many years.

    It is ONLY as an sTLD that the long term benefits to the industry can be delivered as required by the IFFOR charter.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      Perhaps “crude” was a little strong. I’ve no doubt that plenty of thought went into IFFOR’s creation.

  2. Chris says:

    The adult industry never asked for the .xxx tld. In fact, adult webmaster have been and still are fighting AGAINST it. The .xxx tld was proposed by the ICM, a private organization with no ties to the adult industry and with only one goal: making money off of adult webmasters.

  3. Chris says:

    “My own first-hand experiences—along with the many conversations, including recent ones that I have had with informed or involved people who were around back then—have only confirmed for me that deals did take place during Hendeles’ early crusade to extract support from companies and people in the industry by any means possible. Like many, I too was relentlessly targeted by Hendeles for support he knew full well I was not willing to give. By early 2004, his final gambit with me was to purposefully lie to me in order to gain a concession that I regretfully gave: I would consider sitting on the IFFOR board if the scheme passed, but only if ICM promised not to use the concession to assist in the application or even to show it to ICANN, which in the end is precisely what ICM did. In light of that deceit, I believe they pulled similar stunts with others.” — Tom Hymes.
    (From: http://business.avn.com/articles/Dot-XXX-s-Dark-History-396316.html )

  4. Johny says:

    My friends are adult webmasters and they DO NOT support this idea!

  5. m azam khan says:

    em juss wana say that i love porn industry and i want to b a part of this industry

  6. m azam khan says:

    i juss wana say that i love porn industy and i want to b a part of this industry

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