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.XXX Domain Moves Closer to Approval

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By Jason Beahm on June 29, 2010 12:51 PM

Since the year 2000, proponents of creating an .xxx Internet domain have been lobbying for the creation of a separate domain for adult entertainment. They say it makes sense to have a clear domain category for pornography and adult entertainment. Critics counter that it will be costly, confusing and will create difficult technical issues about how to categories and define pornography.

Last Friday, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers or "ICANN," seemingly put to rest a decade long dispute over whether porn sites should have their own top level domain, which is the technical terms for the end name of a website, such as .com, .net or soon to be, .xxx.

"It's been a long time coming, but I'm excited about the fact that .xxx will soon become a reality," said Stuart Lawley, chairman of ICM Registry to CNNMoney.com. ICM Registry is a nonprofit organization that has been pushing to establish .xxx since early 2000.

Doubters wonder whether the new domain will actually fulfill its intended purpose. Yes, it will be easy for businesses and parents to block .xxx sites from their computers. However, it is a near certainty that there will still be a plethora of pornography on .com and other domain sites. Further, established pornography companies with .com domains will be extremely resistant to give up their established brands.

As Tony Bradley of PCworld.com opined, perhaps the only way the .xxx domain would clean up other domains would be if a rule were established that succeeded in requiring all pornography to be confined to the .xxx domain. However, between the difficult question of defining pornography and expected legal battles in such an attempt, it seems unlikely that the new domain will have a major impact on the world wide web.

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