India's Plan To Block .xxx Shows The Pointlessness Of Specialized TLDs

from the open-the-whole-thing-up dept

For many years, we've wondered about the wisdom of ICANN slowly doling out totally pointless new top level domains (TLDs) -- like .jobs and .mobi -- that seemed much more focused on getting companies to pay up for domains they didn't need, rather than serving any useful purpose. With the recent approval of .xxx, the same thing is happening. Various porn companies feel the need to buy up .xxx domain names, even though they already have domains they're happy with. And making things even worse is that various countries, with India taking the lead, have declared plans to block all access to the .xxx domain anyway.

Of course, this is kind of silly. It's as if they're pretending that porn doesn't exist elsewhere on the web. But, the other silly thing this highlights is the idea of slowly rolling out specialized TLDs. For years, we've been asking why ICANN doesn't just do away with specialized TLDs and let anyone register anything.anyTLD. It really would not be that difficult to set up a system to allow that, and then you get away from this idea of having to set up all these expensive special TLDs. It also makes it silly for any country to target a specific TLD to block. But, of course, it won't happen, because it doesn't involve the companies wishing to be registrars of these new TLDs getting tons of cash.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: .xxx, blocks, domain names, india, tlds


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Unbelievable, 30 Mar 2011 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Re: My .02

    This isn't at all like the the porn palace vs the park. The issue here is when the kid follows a link about Disney to a disney blog and then gets stuck in an explicit pornado. To follow your metaphor, the porn palace has set up a display in the kids park. How long would that last in the real world?

    .xxx is a good idea. They should give any existing dotcom the .xxx equivalent for free, allow pre-registration for all other TLDs, and provide for a limited time forwarding of the dotcoms to xxx. Then require all pornography to be on .xxx domains and lift any rating restrictions on xxx content. Illegal porn (snuff films, kiddie porn) would still be illegal, but explicit home pages and sites without registration requirements would be allowed and parental controls or disclaimer laws would be lifted.


    This would make it easily filterable, an easy conversion from the com to xxx, easy to purge from your cache without affecting your other history, and easily enforceable from a legal standpoint. After the grace period, any dot com forwarding to or carrying xxx content would be in violation.
    Porn searches would have to be done on a .xxx search engine.

    The porn industry does not have the right to force porn on any country that doesn't want it, or on children. And porn fans are more than capable of using a new extension. This could be a boon for the porn industry in that .xxx could be unrestricted by ratings and easily marketable en masse. Those that want it would have open access and those that don't could easily isolate it.

    This approach is no different from parental controls and ratings systems in place in the TV industry. It in effect, sets up a recognized, secondary channel for porn on the internet.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.