Registration begins for .xxx domains

Posted by Mark Raby

If you own a business and have been dying to register your company name as a XXX website, now's your chance.

Beginning today, users can apply for a .xxx domain but right at first, only those who can prove they have a company or brand that fits the domain will have access.

This period is being referred to as the "sunshine period." However, by the end of the year, anyone will be able to sign up for any .xxx site they want. It still won't be cheap, though.

Top domain registration provider Go Daddy has announced pricing options for the brand new Web extension - $100 per year, plus a one-time $200 registration fee.

That makes .xxx just about the most expensive product on Go Daddy.

There are an estimated 5 to 6 million adult sites on the World Wide Web, and it's expected that the vast majority will have absolutely no interest in moving to the .xxx domain. Some existing porn sites are likely to register xxx versions of their domains, but strictly as a defensive measure. In total, ICANN expects around 500,000 xxx sites will be registered when it goes live.

The idea of creating the domain is to have a virtual "red light district," which is monitored and set to official guidelines. Users would be able to go to a .xxx site and know that it is safe from viruses or spyware.

But opponents of the move, like religious groups and the Free Speech Coalition, dislike the idea that such an official designation would be given to online porn, highlighting its availability (as if that's anything anyone actually had concerns with).

The domain was first proposed in 2005 and it has been rejected an un-rejected multiple times since then. Today's announcement from ICANN means that it will actually become a reality. Barring any more problems, .xxx will be available online in a few months.