ICANN AND SO CAN YOU!

Pornographers, Get Out Your Credit Cards. The .XXX Domain Names Have Arrived.

xxx Pornographers, Get Out Your Credit Cards. The .XXX Domain Names Have Arrived.

Like this, only raunchier.

We told you this was coming. The “internet land rush” set off by ICANN’s decision to sell pretty much any top-level domain your marketing department can think of, is imminent. And, because this is the internet we’re talking about, the frenzy is starting with .xxx, a domain name ICANN approved last year in a 9-to-3 vote.

A Palm Beach company called ICM Registry, which first applied to register the .xxx domain name in 2000 and in engaged in years of legal battles costing $20 million, will be in charge. Although several .xxx sites have gone live, The Independent reports that this morning marks the start of the 50-day “sunrise” period to bid for real estate in the “internet’s red-light district.”According to the Indepdenent:

“After the ‘sunrise’ period closes, there will be a ‘land rush’ from 8 November giving adult businesses premium access to the remaining sites; 17 days later it will become a free-for-all.”

ICM Registry owner Stuart Lawlyer says 1,500 have already been approved and he expects the future to bring close to half a million .xxx sites. According to Mr. Lawley, it’s a “win, win, win” benefitting porn consumers, purveyors, and detractors. The latter benefits because the .xxx domain name leaves internet users “in no doubt about the underlying content of the sites.” That is, if the smutty pictures didn’t tip them off already.

The porn industry, which already has a habit of adding “xxx” to their Twitter handles, isn’t thrilled about shelling out money to ICM. But the emergence of the domain does allow for some industry regulation. For example, to encourage visiting porn sites, which have a reputation for spreading viruses and malware, ICM signed a contract to McAfee to scan all the .xxx websites. To prevent cybersquatting, ICM has also removed sites linked to celebrities, “including beyonce.xxx, angelinajolie.xxx as well as political figures including Barack Obama and David Cameron.”

But what we really want to know is whether the .xxx domain name will upset the ranking on Business Insider features like, “CHART OF THE DAY: Who IS the YouTube of Porn?

Follow Nitasha Tiku on Twitter or via RSS. ntiku@observer.com