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New TLD a Reality?

ICANN, the independent agency that maintains the database of registered domain names, recently approved a resolution to add .xxx as a top level domain (TLD) exclusively for porn sites.

As a person who has struggled for many years (sometimes unsuccessfully) with porn addiction, I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, filtering will be a breeze–but only if existing porn sites are required to move their activities to a .xxx domain. That’s not likely to happen.

On the other hand, it could end up costing big bucks in trade name protection. Existing companies will be forced to purchase the .xxx version of their name so that porn dealers can’t. Cybersquatters will likely move in and purchase .xxx versions of popular porn and legitimate business sites quickly, and then resell them at huge profits. This could be a bigger headache than it’s worth.

From what I’ve read on this, the porn industry opposes this because they feel it will lead to censorship. The church opposes this because they feel it legitimizes smut. I’m not sure about big business, but I’m sure that they oppose this due to the potential high cost of maintaining another domain name version of their trademark.

All of this begs the question: Why do this if everyone is against it?

But there’s an unexplored side to this. It is only 89 cents plus ICANN registry to purchase a .info domain name from GoDaddy.com. That’s how I happen to own three (now two): christiandelusion.info, godisnotimaginary.info, and the recently expired fastfoodmanagement.info. Active-domain.com prices .info domains at $2.89 for the first year. Domain.com sells them for as low as $9.29 in bulk registration, up to $10.29 for single names. If the .xxx domain becomes like the .info domain–that is, very cheap; given the ease of setting up a free website hosted by Google Sites with a custom domain; and given the fact that even the most technologically impaired can upload pictures directly from their cellphones to sites like Facebook; isn’t this just going to exponentially increase the amount of porn–especially amateur porn–available online? And is that a good thing for anyone concerned?

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About Cory Tucholski

I'm a born-again Christian, amateur apologist and philosopher, father of 3. Want to know more? Check the "About" page!

Posted on July 7, 2010, in Morality, Sin and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. isn’t this just going to exponentially increase the amount of porn–especially amateur porn–available online?

    I seriously doubt it. The real expense in running a website that gets more than a handful of hits a day is in the hosting and upkeep of the site, not the domain registration. What’s stopping all the people that you propose will set up a new porn site if ICANN enabled a new TLD from just doing so now?

  2. While I’m not a patent lawyer, I’ve been told that when the first internet boom started, the legality of all the names was quickly worked out. Legally, the rights to “generalmotors.com” belonged to General Motors long before they ever decided to put up a website. This was because people were trying to do just what you described. Walmart’s name belongs to Walmart even if they haven’t yet purchased the domain name. Therefore it should be the same for xxx domain names. The difficult part is when people buy the rights to all the domains that slightly mispell the popular site names…..gogle, gooogle, etc. But that is the case now, and won’t change with any new domain types.

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