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WEB HOSTING NEWS

Waiting for the .xxx Domain
By: Terri Wells
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    2005-09-14

    Table of Contents:
  • Waiting for the .xxx Domain
  • The Rationale for .xxx
  • The Politics of .xxx
  • .xxx from a Web hoster’s Perspective

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    Waiting for the .xxx Domain


    (Page 1 of 4 )

    ICANN's recent approval of the .xxx domain brought on protests from the Bush administration that caused the nonprofit organization sponsoring it to delay its going live. Keep reading to learn about the history and controversy surrounding this domain, and why its approval -- and the U.S. administration's reaction to it -- might have implications beyond whether or not the .xxx domain ever sees the light of the Internet.

    In some businesses, even when you’re running your company honestly and you provide goods or services that are very much in demand, you develop a Rodney Dangerfield complex: you “don’t get no respect.” Such is the case with those in the adult entertainment field, particularly for the owners and operators of sexually explicit websites. Even now, just when it looks as though the International Corporation for Assigned Named and Numbers (ICANN) is about to acknowledge these purveyors of prurient material with their own voluntary sponsored top-level domain, the arrangement may be stopped cold by the Bush administration.

    Make no mistake: like its older cousins, available in hard copy, video, and live forms, online adult entertainment is big business. According to tracking by comScore Media Matrix, two out of five Internet users visited an adult website in April 2005. That’s 40 percent of the sample. The company further stated that four percent of all web traffic and two percent of all surfing time involved an adult site. Much as political conservatives and others may wish otherwise, X-rated material will not simply fade away, online or elsewhere.

    Those who do not wish to look at such material shouldn’t find it thrust upon them, however, even accidentally. That’s one reason why stores that also sell more innocent goods keep magazines such as Playboy and Penthouse behind the register and (usually) covered in some way. (Besides, like cigarettes, it is illegal in the U.S. to sell such material to someone under a particular age). Honest pornographers welcome this. They know their material is not suitable for everyone. They’re business owners; they want to reach their customers, not give offense to people who wouldn’t be interested in their material in the first place. That’s just good business.

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