Wednesday, December 6, 2011 saw the official public launch of the new adult domain .xxx, to seemingly mixed results. According to numbers from the ICM Registry there were more than 55,000 new .xxx domains registered within the first 24 hours of general availability. That brings the total number of registrations to somewhere near 160,000 since the sunrise period was launched. Yet who is registering these domains is telling of what the future might hold.
Though hard and fast numbers are not available, ICM seems to believe that a large number of the domains have been registered not by adult website owners, but by mainstream websites looking to protect their brand from future infringement by the adult entertainment industry. As such, ICM believes that many of these newly registered domains will never actually point to any websites. Owners will simply hold onto them to prevent the adult entertainment industry from getting them later on.
As for those operating adult websites, lawsuits have been filed by their lawyers alleging that ICM and ICANN are engaging in unfair business practices. Even if they win the suit, the adult entertainment industry doesn’t seem likely to jump on the .xxx domain name wagon anytime soon due to the fact that it would potentially hurt their business. They rely heavily on ignorance among Internet users in capturing attention for the websites. If forced to exclusively use the .xxx domain, it is likely they will lose a significant amount of viewership.
Purely from a revenue standpoint, the new domain registrations generated more than US $3 million for ICM. A portion of that money will be donated to the International Foundation for Online Responsibility and their fight to control the proliferation of pornography on the Internet.