Earlier this week .XXX domain names finally went live after years of debate. Already 10,000 websites have registered with ICM, the agency offering the domains for sale.
ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, finally approved the adult domain in March, putting an end to the discussion as to whether a separate domain was even necessary. After all, you don't have to look very hard to find online porn without the .XXX domain.
Those against the domain argued — not surprisingly — it legitimizes porn. Those who favor it say it creates a safer playground by placing restrictions on companies who buy in. They are required to adhere to certain business practices and agree to be scanned by McAfee tools daily to prevent the delivery of malware and scams. ICM states it will work with Metacert to develop safety labels showing parents how to set restrictive browser settings.
The legal wrangling looks to continue as top porn sites argue ICM and ICANN are anti-competitive by harboring all the .XXX domains, fixing pricing and placing restrictions on use.
While debate rages, in an ironic twist it appears among the first to line up to register the domains are colleges and universities. Their concern is unscrupulous operators could create an adult playground on the backs of their good name.
The The Journal Gazette has reported Indiana University alone has spent $2,200 to secure 11 domains for the next 10 years. The University of Michigan has also jumped on their domains. So don't go looking for naked co-eds on their watch!
In fact, we're pretty sure marketing departments all over the world are rushing around trying to get protection to cover their brands' .XXX domains. After all, no one wants to get caught with their pants down.