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Pornographers still hate .xxx

Kevin Murphy, March 24, 2010, Domain Registries

The Free Speech Coalition, a trade group for the porn industry, has condemned the proposed .xxx top-level domain as “untenable” and “detrimental”.

In a letter to ICANN, FSC executive director Diane Duke challenged ICANN’s board to “settle the issue once and for all by going to the actual community to test the application’s true level of support”.

The FSC is concerned that the introduction of .xxx, as proposed and pursued by ICM Registry for the last 10 years, will inevitably lead to government regulation of the online porn industry.

Duke wrote: “a proposal for a ‘Sponsored’ top-level domain by a company that is not of the industry, with the added intent to ‘regulate’ an industry it knows nothing about, is simply untenable”.

The FSC has an even bigger problem with IFFOR, the International Foundation for Online Responsibility, the group set up by ICM to act as its sponsoring organisation

IFFOR – a bit of a hack to get around the fact that ICM was essentially applying for a gTLD during a “sponsored” TLD round – was loosely modelled on ICANN’s own bottoms-up structure, with four supporting organisations creating policy for .xxx domains.

Judging by this flowchart, which is open to interpretation, the adult industry would control less than half the votes.

“Our resolute position is that no self-respecting industry would ever agree to have a minority voice on a board tasked with setting critical policies for its members,” Duke wrote.

While ICANN ultimately rejected .xxx due to the lack of community support, ICM did manage to get some support from other areas of the adult community back in 2005.

ICANN was found at fault when it rejected .xxx. The question now is whether ICANN decides to stand by its first decision, to approve .xxx, or its second, to reject it.

Bottom line: It can’t win either way.

Dot-XXX lights fire under ICANN’s feet

Kevin Murphy, March 22, 2010, Domain Registries

ICM Registry has urged ICANN to stop messing around and finalise the contract that would add .xxx to the domain name system.

“There is no legitimate obstacle to the approval of ICM’s registry agreement,” ICM chair Stuart Lawley said in a letter to ICANN yesterday. “We can see no reason for further delay in the process of approving ICM’s registry agreement”.

At its Nairobi meeting earlier this month, ICANN’s board decided to hand the problem of how to handle .xxx to its staff, saying it “wishes to create a transparent set of process options which can be published for public comment.”

ICM now claims that no such process options are necessary. The .post application, Lawley said, was approved last December, six years after it was made, without the need for any new processes.

There are some differences between .post and .xxx, of course. While the .xxx application has previously been approved, it has also previously been rejected.

It is back on the table following an Independent Review Panel decision that ICANN broke its fairness rules by singling out ICM for special treatment.

Lawley reminds ICANN of as much several times in his latest letter, which can be found here.

ICANN’s staff is expected to deliver its process options next week. There will be a period of public comment, and the board will have to make a call by its June meeting in Brussels.

ICANN: .xxx is not approved

Kevin Murphy, March 12, 2010, Domain Registries

ICANN never makes a decision if it can make a process instead, and that seems to be the case with the board’s latest call on .xxx.

The board voted this morning to kick ICM’s proposal until after the Brussels meeting in June, on the basis that it needs a process by which it can approve .xxx.

While this is mixed news for ICM – it’s not what it hoped for but the company still has a pretty good chance of getting what it wants – the language used in the resolution clearly indicates that the board believes .xxx is currently in an unapproved state: (continue reading)

Will .xxx be a slam dunk in Nairobi?

When .xxx appeared on the agenda (kinda) for ICANN’s Nairobi board meeting, it didn’t look to me like particularly spiriting news for ICM Registry.

The agenda item coyly reads “Consideration of the Independent Review Panel Declaration ICM Registry v. ICANN”.

This could quite be easily interpreted as a rather dry picking-over of the legal implications of the IRP’s findings; the board could still brush the ruling aside as “advisory” and hope Stuart Lawley isn’t waiting outside with a gang of armed (continue reading)

About Domain Incite

Kevin Murphy, February 27, 2010,

incite v. to provoke, encourage, stimulate.
domainincite.com n. because all the good domains were taken.

Domain Incite is a news blog about the domain name business, policy, politics and technology published by TLD Research Ltd (UK company no. 08048392) and edited by industry analyst Kevin Murphy.

DI is widely read in the domain name industry — often described as the “must read” for policy and business news — and currently attracts approximately 22,000 readers every month, growing all the time.

DI is based in London, UK, and is updated with the latest domain name industry news five days a week.

DI has been cited as an expert source for domain name industry news and analysis by the BBC, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Guardian, CBC, CNBC and La Nacion (Argentina).

For editorial or advertising inquiries please email: info@domainincite.com

Kevin Murphy, Editor

Kevin Murphy is a journalist and analyst with 16 years of experience covering the domain name industry. He attended his first ICANN meeting — ICANN’s second ever — in Berlin in 1999.

Formerly US Bureau Chief with Datamonitor, reporting on the internet technology sector on a daily basis for Computer Business Review and ComputerWire, Murphy was also a regular contributor to The Register.

Murphy has extensive experience conducting bespoke research and analysis projects for organizations in the fields of internet security and domain name services.

ICANN new gTLD panel September 20, 2011

ICANN panel on new gTLDs, London, September 20, 2011. Left to right: Kevin Murphy (Domain Incite), Lesley Cowley (CEO, Nominet), Lorna Gradden (Director, Com Laude), Rod Beckstrom (CEO, ICANN). Photo credit: ICANN

Domain Incite Testimonials

“Always informative, thought-provoking and insightful (or should that be ‘inciteful’?). Domain Incite has quickly established itself as a must-read for those in the domain name industry and ICANN followers.”
Lesley Cowley, CEO, Nominet (.uk).

“As an existing registry operator we have often been on the receiving end of Kevin’s sharped eyed observations and canny ability to see directly through to exactly the relevant facts at hand… I have a lot of confidence in Domain Incite being of use to many ICANN watchers and would-be new gTLD applicants.”
— Stuart Lawley, CEO, ICM Registry (.xxx)

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— Andrew Allemann, Editor, Domain Name Wire.

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