.xxx: The Internet’s Pornography Domain

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A long campaign is coming to an end after approval was given Friday for the creation of an internet domain dedicated to pornography.

Net overseer Icann (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is having a conference in Brussels, where the earth was presumably moved by the news, as initial approval was granted for that elusive .xxx domain. ICM Registry, which is firmly behind the domain, said .xxx makes it easier to filter out inappropriate content. Chairman Stuart Lawley claimed it was, “great news for those that wish to consume, or avoid, adult content.”

Lawley expects to make $30 million a year in revenue by selling each .xxx site for $60 — and pledged to donate $10 from each sale to child protection initiatives. ICM expects the first .xxx domains to go up early next year and has over 110,000 pre-reservations for .xxx domains.

So it looks like a happy ending for .xxx: in 2005 initial approval was given but then rescinded following protests from conservative groups. But in light of a panel of U.S. judges ruling in February 2010 that Icann erred in denying approval, Friday’s decision isn’t entirely unexpected. Whether porn on the internet takes off remains to be seen…

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