Pornography Web sites and other adult entertainment domains are now eligible to officially register under the .xxx domain.

The domain previously faced criticism from businesses across the U.S. as porn and mainstream businesses alike complained that they were being forced to buy domain names they don't want.

The new domain is now open to both pornographers and non-pornographic sites that want to block the use of their names on the .xxx domain.

The domain's operator, ICM Registry made the announcement recently.

 

casting.xx:

casting.xx: Casting.xxx screenshot

“We believe .XXX creates a “win, win, win” situation, with benefits for consumers of adult material, for adult entertainment providers and for those wishing to avoid adult content. With all the sites' malware scanned daily and properly labeled, it’s a win for consumers of adult content who are now able to identify and select the sites they wish to visit more easily and safely,” said Stuart Lawley, CEO of ICM Registry.

“It is also a win for the adult entertainment industry as .XXX helps to ensure that responsible adult content is easily identified online, leading to greater and more predictable revenues. And finally it’s a win for those who want to avoid adult content online, with Internet users in no doubt about the underlying content of the sites and having the tools to help avoid them.”

Previous reports about the .xxx domain said the domain operator was accepting early applications from owners of different brands who want control over them. The ICM Registry revealed that it had received more than 900,000 expressions of interest from companies wanting to pre-register their trademarks or block others, according to a previous Reuters report.

.XXX registrations, according to an official press release, will begin with a 50-day sunrise period that gives businesses both inside and outside of the adult industry, an exclusive timeframe to register or exempt themselves from .XXX, ending Oct. 28. ICM Registry is also working closely with more than 50 individual domain registrars around the world who are handling the registration process for .XXX.

This will be followed by a land rush period that will start on Nov. 8. Businesses then will have access to any remaining .xxx addresses for 17 days. Following that, .xxx addresses will move into general availability, according to ICM.

The domain had come into a lot of criticisms lately when lawyers for the most storied brands in the U.S. started taking action to prevent the loss of their corporate Web addresses.

Many feel they're being blackmailed to protect their brands, said Kristina Rosette, a trademark lawyer at Covington & Burling. She also added that requiring preregistration fees to protect trademarks is common among domain registries, which include the expected revenue in the business plans and projections.

Some adult-content providers also paid the $200 fee because they wanted to use the domain, while other non-porn brands like MTV Networks and Red Cross preregistered to avoid any kind of legal battles in the future with cybersquatters who would register trademarks for reselling them.

“ICM Registry is also sensitive to non-industry brand owners who do not want their trademarks associated with adult content. Our unique sunrise period offers an exclusive window for trademark owners’ outside of the sponsored community to apply to opt out of the registry, enabling businesses to be proactive in avoiding brand conflicts,” Lawley added.

Elsewhere, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had also signed up and instead of blocking its name the organization would launch peta.xxx as a pornography site that will draw attention to the plight of animals, according to PETA spokeswoman Lindsay Rajt.

To ensure the extension is launched responsibly, each .XXX site will be scanned daily by McAfee for malware, according to ICM's official site.