CANOGA PARK, Calif.—Free Speech Coalition (FSC) Executive Director Diane Duke and FSC Board Vice President Tom Hymes will attend the ICANN Conference in Brussels, Belgium, from June 21-25. They will be there to represent the adult industry against the latest proposal to create a .XXX sTLD (sponsored top level domain), and speak to the ICANN Board of Directors on behalf of industry businesses and professionals that overwhelmingly oppose .XXX domain for adult websites.
“I am honored to be going to Brussels with Diane,” said Hymes, who traveled to Wellington in 2005 for the same purpose. “The fact that so much time has gone by has done nothing to diminish the dangers posed by dot XXX. Yes, it should never have been resurrected from the dead in the first place, but it was and now we need to be there, reminding the ICANN Board and staff at every turn that dot XXX has no industry support, and also that the last thing in the world they want to be is the ultimate arbiter of a policy-setting IFFOR (International Foundation for Online Responsibility). Believe me, that scenario would be hell on earth for ICANN.”
This latest attempt is one of several made by Internet registry firm ICM to push for approval of .XXX domains. The controversy has been ongoing since 2005, when ICM and its CEO Stuart Lawley first filed an application with ICANN for the sTLD. ICM and Lawley have reportedly spent more than $9 million on the campaign, hoping to gain approval.
Since 2005, FSC has lead opposition to .XXX by promoting letter-writing campaigns and encouraging adult industry members to speak out against .XXX during ICANN’s public commentary periods. FSC also argued the constitutionality of the proposed sTLD. Opposition to .XXX has been strong amongst the adult industry community, as well as many conservative media activists groups; while adult online businesses fear being pigeonholed in an Internet .XXX “ghetto,” conservative groups argue the .XXX designation would make it easier for minors to access adult material online.
Duke traveled to Lisbon, Portugal, in 2007, to speak against .XXX at the ICANN Conference. The ICM application was rejected following an ICANN Board of Directors meeting held at that time.
During this latest go-round, FSC has encouraged several hundred industry members to submit opposition statements to ICANN during the public commentary period that ended May 10. Industry heavyweights that submitted letters of opposition include Adam & Eve’s Phil Harvey, Hustler’s Larry Flynt, Gamelink’s Ilan Buni, AEBN’s Scott Coffman, and Eros Association’s Fiona Patten, among many others.
“Tom and I will be there to ensure that whatever process ICANN decides on for moving forward, the sponsoring community — the adult entertainment industry — will have an opportunity to voice our concerns and outright objection to an .XXX sTLD,” Duke said.
For more information on .XXX or on how you can support FSC, contact the FSC at (818) 348-9373, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the ICANN Brussels meeting, visit here.