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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Adult Industry Angry With .xxx Domain

Pornographic industry seems furious at the Internet regulator ICANN and ICM Registry. The reason is the .xxx domain name. 

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Several outfits, including Manwin Licensing and Digital Playground, are currently taking the fight to ICM Registry. The latter is looking after the .xxx top level domain, and the companies in question believe that ICM Registry mishandled the process. Manwin Licensing and Digital Playground claim that there was no need for the domain name in the first place.

In fact, the adult industry was dead against it anyway, saying it would segregate the web, regardless of the fact that one cannot separate porn from the web. Here it doesn’t matter how many domain names one owns.

ICM Registry repeatedly begged at ICANN’s doorstep trying to approve the suffix. According to media reports, the outfit first applied for the .xxx domain eleven years ago, but back in 2000 Internet regulator ICANN replied that there was no point. However, ICM Registry didn’t give up and kept appealing again and again. Finally, after 11 years of attempts, the board agreed to let the outfit take the lead on the domain.

Manwin Licensing, which is engaged in publishing Playboy sites, claimed that ICM Registry had an unfair stranglehold on the pornographic industry on the Internet. The outfit complained that ICM was selling .xxx registrations for as much as $60 a pop. This is considered by the company quite a lot of money. Moreover, publishers argued that they needed to own a .xxx domain even if they didn’t want one. The matter is that they had to stop competitors or opportunists from making money on their registered brands through those domains.

Manwin Licensing has already issued a statement, where the managing partner of Manwin Fabian Thylmann claimed that the current situation uncovers a pernicious monopoly at the very heart of the web. The company demands to end such anticompetitive practices by both ICM and ICANN in order not only to protect their business, but also help other outfits that have to pay money for keeping their names and brands unassociated with a .xxx designation. Thus far, a number of colleges and other organizations have already registered their names within .xxx domain to protect themselves. However, ICM replied that the claims of the companies were without merit.

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