Non-Porn Organizations Racing to Scoop Up .Xxx Internet Addresses

Non-Porn Organizations Racing to Scoop Up .Xxx Internet Addresses
In a sign of just how savvy modern organizations have become, such entities are racing to purchase domain names that end in .xxx, despite the fact that virtually none of them plan to ever use them. The idea, according to the New York Times, and the folks who run the ICM Registry, is that companies or other organizations don’t want some other group usurping a domain name that could cause harm to their reputation.

All this activity has come about as the ICM Registry, the body responsible for managing domain names and addresses, voted to add the .xxx address signature to the existing group. Most users are familiar with .com, .org, .gov, etc. Now, sites such as “newsite.xxx” can exist with their purpose perfectly clear. The reason non-porn purveyors are buying up domain names is to prevent something like, USC_University_Girls.xxx, from existing on the internet, which they say, makes groups such as the University of Southern California worry that their reputations will be sullied if a porn group grabs a domain with their name in it that ends with .xxx.

But it’s not all non-porn buyers rushing to grab new addresses, porn producers are rushing in as well to capitalize on the new addressing scheme, apparently unaware of the real reason the ICM Registry chose to allow .xxx addresses in the first place, and that is, as the Times article explains, to help spam filters separate them out from regular email and to assist programs that seek to block websites from loading that contain non-appropriate material, such as are used in libraries, schools and at home by parents wanting to keep such material from appearing on their children’s computers.

Virtually all well known colleges and universities have grabbed every name that could conceivably be tied to them, as have well known corporations such as Coca Cola, Budweiser and Apple Computer. Non-profits such as the Boy and Girl Scouts have also been aggressive in protecting their names and images as have other web sites such as Amazon, YouTube and Craigslist.

All of this means big bucks for the ICM Registry, as each name request adds $60 to their coffers, though prices for consumers vary depending on which entity is making the request. Buyers also have the option of purchasing domain names for one or more years, or going whole hog and buying lifetime ownership, which adds significantly to the cost.

Peter Thrush, chairman of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers board, said in an interview with the Times that the vote showed that his organization was accountable for their actions, as evidenced by the split vote. Allowing the ICM Registry to offer .xxx domain names, he suggested is a fair way to help build a self-regulating industry.

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