CANOGA PARK, Calif.—Internet regulator ICANN is holding a conference March 14-18 at the Westin-St. Francis Hotel, in San Francisco’s Union Square. The proposed .XXX sTLD is scheduled to be discussed and an abbreviated public commentary period will be held 4-6 p.m. Thursday. Former President Clinton is scheduled to deliver a keynote speech during a gala event on Wednesday.
Free Speech Coalition (FSC) and industry representatives also will be gathering in San Francisco on Thursday, when they will stage a protest rally and press conference in opposition to ICM Registry’s application to run a.XXX sTLD. Representatives will also attempt to address the ICANN Board during Thursday’s public comment period.
As the adult industry trade association, FSC has fought against .XXX for more than seven years, consistently arguing that, if approved, .XXX domains will cost adult website operators millions annually in unnecessary fees; will make adult websites easier to block by governments and other anti-adult entities; and could needlessly fragment the Internet.
Industry members are encouraged to participate in the protest rally, which will take place on the sidewalk outside the Westin-St. Francis Hotel from 12:30-2 p.m. on Thursday, March 17. Those who wish to participate in the rally should contact FSC at (818) 348-9373, or email@example.com. Instructions and directions will be provided.
Immediately following the rally, FSC will hold a press conference with industry leaders, including Evil Angel founder John Stagliano, Pink Visual President Allison Vivas, Kink.com founder Peter Acworth, industry attorney Paul Cambria, online publication YNOT President Connor Young, Wasteland.com founder Colin Rowntree, FSC Board Chair Jeffrey Douglas and FSC Executive Director Diane Duke.
The press conference will take place at 2 p.m., at the Chancellor Hotel, located at 433 Powell St, one-half block from the Westin-St. Francis Hotel. Media interested in attending should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (818) 348-9373.
Though a majority of the adult industry’s largest companies have sent letters to ICANN expressing their opposition to the .XXX sTLD, efforts to quash the proposed “sponsored” Top Level Domain have not persuaded the ICANN Board to reject ICM’s proposal. The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) that consults with ICANN also has expressed its disapproval of .XXX.
In a letter sent to ICANN, John Stagliano said:
“.XXX is supposed to be approved, accepted, or whatever, by the "community" of people already in the adult community. As the owner of Evil Angel, an adult producer and distributor, and a defender of our right to exist since 1983, I do not support this. I would support it only if there were different criteria for the creation of this entity, that would allow anyone to open a dot porn, or whatever that would compete with .XXX. The effect now is to create a monopoly for one company in this area. The adult community has invested in how it is structured now. It is unfair to us all to add an additional expense to our business without competition for the services that this new business, .xxx, would provide.”
Pink Visual’s Allison Vivas explained why it is so crucial for to attend the San Francisco ICANN meeting to express opposition to .XXX:
"Right now we feel that it is important for Pink Visual to raise its voice in this controversial matter at the ICANN conference, because we can’t imagine showing support for any for-profit entity whose business model and business practices are not yet defined, and which hasn’t demonstrated a proven ability to benefit our industry,” she said.
“We are unconvinced that a business model that charges roughly six times market price for the product is a fair and beneficial business model for the industry,” Vivas added. “On day-to-day business matters we don’t retain the services of vendors without having an understanding of what those vendors can actually do for our company; why would we throw in behind the establishment of a top-level domain about which we have the same question?"
FSC’s Duke described the years-long efforts to prevent .XXX from being approved:
“Over the past seven years, we have tried to communicate the adult industry’s opposition to .XXX at every opportunity, using every means and forum available. We have participated in public comment periods, letter writing, conversations with stakeholders, and testimony at ICANN’s public meetings,” Duke said, adding, “All three of the world’s only existing adult-trade-associations have issued statements in opposition to .XXX.
“Although we appreciate the GAC’s responsiveness to our concerns, it is clear that the ICANN board of directors has not heard us,” Duke continued. “We hope that Thursday’s rally will raise the volume, enabling ICANN to get the message, once and for all, that ICM’s .XXX application does not have the required support of the sponsored community.”
Industry members who would like to express their opposition but cannot attend the rally in San Francisco can participate in a “We Don’t Want .XXX” Twitter campaign that FSC will stage throughout Wednesday and Thursday, March 16-17. Please follow @FSCArmy.
For more information about .XXX, contact the FSC office with the information given, or visit the FSC Blog to read a five-part series entitled, “What’s Wrong with .XXX?”
Rally in opposition to .XXX sTLD
Who: Members of the adult entertainment industry
When: Thursday, March 17 from 12:30-2 p.m.
Where: Sidewalk outside the Westin-St. Francis Hotel, San Francisco
FSC Press Conference
Who: Adult entertainment industry leaders
When: Thurs., March 17 at 2 p.m.
Where: Chancellor Hotel, 433 Powell Street, San Francisco