Third Time No Charm: ICANN Rejects XXX Domain - Does .xxx Have a Future?
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So what happens next? This proposal for the .xxx domain had already been overhauled from an earlier version. It was first submitted in 2000, at which time ICANN raised the content regulation issue. When it was resubmitted in 2004, the proposal included language accommodating a policy-setting organization to address those particular concerns. But the revised proposal was rejected in May 2006, because ICANN believed that the language was vague enough to risk landing the content regulation task right back into ICANN's lap.
So ICM clarified the language for this version of the proposal. Independent organizations would be hired by ICM, whose mandate would be to monitor rules compliance. The rules themselves were to be developed by the International Foundation for Online Responsibility, a separate body created specifically for that purpose. After going to all that effort, it's no wonder that Stuart Lawley is unhappy with ICANN's decision.
"We are extremely disappointed by the board's action today," he said. "It is not supportable for any of the reasons articulated by the board, ignores the rules ICANN itself adopted for the RFP (request for proposals) and makes a mockery of ICANN bylaws' prohibition of unjustifiable discriminatory treatment." ICM is not giving up; when Lawley was asked by an Associated Press reporter if he might pursue a lawsuit against ICANN, he said such a course of action was "likely."
This is the end of the line for this proposal, however. ICANN chairman Vinton Cerf has said that it would no longer be considered. That leaves ICM with three options. It could push ICANN to review its decision. It could file a lawsuit if, as Lawley has stated, it honestly believes that ICANN has not followed its own guidelines. Or it could come up with an entirely new proposal to be considered the next time ICANN examines bids for top-level domains. Whatever path ICM chooses, it seems likely that this isn't the last we'll hear of the .xxx domain.
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