Internet

Porn Stars to Rally Against .xxx Domain

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

With a name like the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), its public meeting next week in San Francisco next week promises to be a boring one. But a protest outside should be interesting -- it could be packed with porn stars.

ICANN is set to discuss whether to implement a .xxx domain name for all pornographic sites -- and one report said it will go against precedent and do so.

The porn trade group Free Speech Coalition (FSC) is dead set against it. According to a report from The Register, it is calling for a huge rally outside the hotel where the meeting will be held on March 17.

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FSC president Diane Duke has invited "all industry professionals and supporters of the adult entertainment community" to attend. (Just imagine if every "supporter" in America actually showed up.)

FSC believes .xxx will be terrible for adult Web sites. It said the domain invites censorship and blocking. It accuses registry operator ICM Registry of just going after quick cash instead of having the best interests of the industry in mind.

ICM counters that by calling FSC is a California-centric organization that does not represent the interests of porn webmasters worldwide. It points out that thousands of people have pre-applied for some 200,000 .xxx domains.

ICM has spent millions of dollars over the past decade in its campaign for the right to run .xxx. The application has been moving through ICANN for the seven years.

ICANN is up to the last step in the process -- consultation with its Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), which is set to take place at next week's meeting.

The GAC, which represents dozens of international governments, formally objects to .xxx. However The Register reports that in an "unprecedented move," ICANN is set to overrule GAC and implement .xxx.

If that does happen, FSC is considering a lawsuit to stop the domain.