I keep reading press releases and articles about how fabulous it is for the adult entertainment industry that ICM Registry is making the kind of bank on domain sales that has not been seen since the initial .com virtual land rush. $500,000 for a .XXX domain? $200,000?
We’re not even talking about the huge investment that some businesses would need to make in order to secure all of their .com properties in the .XXX frontier… er… resort.
That money isn’t going into the pockets of anyone in the adult entertainment industry, as far as I’m concerned; its going into the pockets of Stuart Lawley, ICM Registry, and the few people they graciously hire and pay. Oh, and race cars.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I don’t consider ICM Registry to be part of the industry. I see it as run by an opportunistic and stubborn man (both of which are traits that I can admire) who is doing what he’s doing not because he wants to clean up the internet, protect kids from porn, protect surfers from harmful .com smut cooties, or help elevate the reputation of sex workers or those who employ them. I believe Lawley is a clever Capitalist who has seen what he believes is a lucrative way to cash in on this internet sex thing.
And I have no problem with that. We all came from somewhere.
But one of the keys to long-term success in any venture, but certainly one in the world of professionally naked ambition, is to be able to work and play well with others. I don’t see that as being a trait that ICM Registry or its master possess.
For those of us who don’t buy the claim that ICM Registry is going to be some kind of protecting shepherd of our brands and reputations, I present both a hilarious (and yes, naughty) Seth MacFarlane cartoon and some serious advice from Diane Duke, director of the Free Speech Coalition, the trade association for the adult entertainment industry.
Sheering Time! — Seth MacFarlane
Buyers Beware: FSC Guide to Purchasing .XXX
CANOGA PARK, CA – Free Speech Coalition (FSC) has released an “Adult Business Guide to .XXX,” in an effort to spread awareness of important information to any online business owners that may be considering purchase of .XXX domains.
FSC has opposed .XXX domains for nearly a decade. Recent discussions with online business owners indicate a need for clarification of the .XXX registration process. Confusion and mixed messages given by ICM Registry (ICM) and its registrars about pricing and the application process have created a difficult situation for adult online business owners. Buyers Beware! FSC created this guide to help you read the fine print and understand the scope of your purchase.
“It is important for adult businesses to be able to see through all of the smoke and mirrors provided by ICM and some of it registrars. Hopefully, this guide will help business owners get to the truth,” FSC Executive Director Diane Duke said.
This quick guide will:
1. Show registrars’ prices for:
• The first year for Sunrise AT – for trademark owners attempting to purchase their trademarked name.
• The first year Sunrise AD – for adult businesses wishing to purchase a .XXX domain name that it owns in another TLD.
• Sunrise B – for businesses adult and non-adult that wish to block their .XXX trademarked name.
• Landrush – 18 days starting on November 8, 2011; during this limited period, only those members of the adult “Sponsored Community” can apply for .XXX domain names.
2. Highlight ICM policies that businesses should read and understand prior to filling out any application.
3. Educate potential buyers about the contributing factors to likelihood of a rapid decline in the value of any .XXX domain name.
Adult online businesses should be aware that registration fees for .XXX addresses are NON-refundable. If an application is rejected, fees will not be returned and you will not be registered for a .XXX address.
Important points for adult business owners also include defining what ICM and its affiliated registrars may recognize as a “trademarked” name.
For example, if you have trademarked “SexyChicks.com,” under Sunrise AT and Sunrise B, you do not have preferred status for purchasing “SexyChicks.xxx.” You would only be able eligible to buy or block “SexyChickscom.xxx.”
Also, domain names that adult businesses thought they had rights to may have been reserved by ICM for auction to the highest bidder.
In a recent debate between Duke and ICM CEO Stuart Lawley, many details of .XXX registration for adult online businesses were discussed. While Lawley provided general answers to questions on policy by-laws and contractual clauses for .XXX, he was unable to clarify many points for Duke and those in attendance. An hour-long video of the debate (courtesy of XBIZ Magazine) is viewable at the FSC Blog.
At one point during the debate, the CEO of DomainMonster states that .XXX domains will cost $79 per year if purchased through his company, correcting Duke for misquoting DomainMonster’s price. What he failed to add is that the $79 price is available only under the “General Availability” period, for those willing to sign a 25-year contract.
FSC reminds all adult online business owners – buyers beware.
Copies of FSC’s “Adult Business Guide to .XXX” are downloadable in pdf format, at the FSC Blog, or by contacting FSC at (818) 348-9373.
The Free Speech Coalition is the national trade organization to the adult entertainment industry. Its mission is to lead, protect and support the growth and well-being of the adult entertainment community.