Want to get your hands on a .XXX domain? You’ll have to wait another few weeks, that is unless you are a member of the adult entertainment industry.
Irish hosting company Blacknight is allowing members of ‘Adult “sponsored” Community’ to pre-register .XXX domains, as part of the domain’s landrush period, before registration is opened to the general public.
Blacknight is one of only a hand-full of companies who are offering the .XXX domain for registrations and the company’s CEO, Michele Neylon, says that there has been “an almost Christmas-like anticipation” for the new top level domain prior to its launch.
On October 28 the .XXX domain left its Sunrise period, which allowed trademarks to register domains to protect their brand. The domain entered its Landrush period on November 8 and will remain there until November 25. For these 17 days members of the Sponsored Community, the adult entertainment industry, will be able to register domains. This is done on a non-first-come-first-serve basis, so if two applications are received for the same domain the applicants will enter a private auction.
After this the domain will be opened to the public for registration on December 6.
Blacknight says that there have already been a huge number of registrations, over 195,000, in the Sunrise period. The company added, “.XXX has been a long time coming…Now is the perfect time for members of the sponsored community to get their .XXX domains before they are gone.”
The .XXX domain has a long history, it was first proposed to ICANN; the organisation charged with managing the web’s domains, in 2000 but for obvious reasons courted controversy and disagreements within the organisation. Groups against the domain said it would offer little protection against illegal or unsavoury content, while groups supporting the domain believed it would alert users of sexually explicit content before they entered the site. The domain was even resisted by some in the adult entertainment industry as they feared it would allow search engines to demote or remove their websites from their rankings.
Outside of the Sunrise period the .XXX domain is destined to become a money spinner, as many companies register .XXX versions of their domains to protect their brands.
All involved are trending carefully with the TLD (it’s launch slogan “Let’s be adult about it” shows how they are pitching this, not to mention that McAfee is providing malware protection to .XXX domain operators). .XXX domains will be subject to the Foundation for Online Responsibility’s code of conduct and users will be required to pay$10 to the organisation when registering.
The .XXX domain is only one of a number of significant changes taking place in the way the web operates, along with the release of the .CO domain last year, the use of non-latin characters in domain names, and the pending release of generic top-level domains.