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Adult content websites get .xxx domain

March 18, 2011 |  1:47 pm

Getprev
Call it the red light district of the Internet.

The aptly named .xxx domain for adult-content websites was approved Friday by the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers, the group that manages the creation and distribution of Web addresses, despite fierce opposition from established porn stars and others in the industry who argued the decision would lead to censorship.

Florida-based company ICM Registry proposed the domain name .xxx in 2004 with plans to sell Web addresses, and a horde of adult-content websites and publications are now expected to register their brands lest they get snapped up by others. The triple-x domain suffix will not, however, be required by law for websites featuring ribald material.

“For the first time, there will be a clearly defined Web address for adult entertainment, out of the reach of minors and as free as possible from fraud or malicious computer viruses,” ICM Chief Executive Stuart Lawley said in a statement.

Lawley said that his company has already been flooded by thousands of requests to reserve more than 200,000 domain names.

Critics of the move, which include Los Angeles-based adult video producer Vivid Entertainment and the Free Speech Coalition, a trade association for the adult industry, have argued that the domain-suffix would create a virtual, stigmatized section of the Internet that would ultimately curb free speech and be easier to censor.

Lawley has previously talked about his plans to build a "PayPal for porn" system that could process more than a $1 billion in transactions a year.

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--Shan Li

Photo: A board member for the Free Speech Coalition protests a plan by ICANN to approve the .xxx domain. Credit: Associated Press

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