First XXX domain names available for purchase

Sep 08, 2011 By Diane C. Lade

XXX now officially marks the spot for dirty sites on the Internet.

Stuart Lawley, a Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., entrepreneur, has launched the sale of the first ending in .xxx - taking its place alongside the better-known "edu," "com" and "org." Lawley has fought Internet regulators for more than a decade to create the .xxx domain and position his company, ICM Registry, as the first to sign up pornographers and adult entertainment operators.

The - - approved Lawley's request in March to set up what some have called the first "online red-light district." Lawley said Thursday that he already has received 900,000 inquiries about 650,000 names. He projects first-year revenues between $30 million and $80 million.

According to Lawley, the .xxx suffix creates a "win-win" for both adult entertainment providers who want to brand their content and browsers who would rather avoid it. He said ICM will daily scan each new .xxx site for and viruses, making browsing for adult content far safer than on most sites.

Conservative religious and political groups, concerned a separate domain legitimized porn, helped stall .xxx's creation throughout the 2000s, Lawley said. "But pornography is out there, and it's not going to go away," he said. "Our slogan is: Let's be adult about it."

ICM, as the domain operator, has contracted with about 60 to 70 domain registrars worldwide to process the initial launch for verified businesses, which ends Oct. 28. Those outside the adult industry also can register .xxx domains during this time, protecting their famous names or brands from others who might hijack it for salacious purposes.

Registration then will open to the general public on Nov. 8.

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