Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses The Courts The Internet Your Rights Online

Two Porn Companies Take ICANN and .xxx Registrar To Court 272

Posted by timothy
from the acourtin'-we-will-go dept.
SharkLaser writes "Two of the largest porn companies on the internet, Manwin and Digital Playground, yesterday sued both ICANN and ICM Registry, which runs the .xxx TLD, over extorting defensive registrations with ICANN's blessing. 'The complaint focuses on ICM's recently concluded "sunrise" period, during which porn companies, for about $200, could apply to own a .xxx address matching their trademark or .com domain.' Schools also felt the same way, and had to reserve domains under their name so that no porn content could be put up on them. The .xxx TLD has also previously been subject to criticism by both religious groups and adult industry, but for different reasons. Religious groups believe the .xxx TLD legitimizes pornography, while the adult industry believes it could lead to censorship."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Two Porn Companies Take ICANN and .xxx Registrar To Court

Comments Filter:
  • ICANN's Authority (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 18, 2011 @07:03PM (#38104810)

    The $200 fee is bullshit, and clearly unfair profiteering. My tax dollars went toward the development of the Internet. Who gave ICANN the authority to require another $200 from me to register a domain name?

  • Religious groups (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Friday November 18, 2011 @07:03PM (#38104814) Homepage Journal

    Porn will exist on the internet whether you want it to or not. Using a .xxx TLD makes it that much easier to identify and filter porn if you don't want to see it.

  • by fish_in_the_c (577259) on Friday November 18, 2011 @07:04PM (#38104824)

    I mean .xxx does in some sense acknowledge that people market pron. ( is there any sane person who dosn't know that? )
    It also should make it MUCH easier for people who want to avoid seeing pron to not be spammed by it.
    Is it censorship to not look at things I don't want to and now allow them to be seen by people using equipment I have authority over?
    ( Assuming of coarse the equipment is not paid for by public funds who's business is it what I do and do not allow on my networks and equipment).

    It seems to me .xxx meets a legitimate content labeling goal that can make everyone's life easier because we all understand what kind of 'information' should be labeled in that way and can act appropriately.

  • It IS extortion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tompaulco (629533) on Friday November 18, 2011 @07:06PM (#38104846) Homepage Journal
    Domain names cost like $7. Why do they have to pay $200 for one in another TLD just because it has the same base name? Disband ICANN and ICM and sell of their assets.
    Domains used to be free. Whose brother-in-law in congress gave these a-holes authority to charge money for a free service?
  • by CmdrPony (2505686) on Friday November 18, 2011 @07:09PM (#38104860)
    But it's not under $10/year. It's $200, and companies have to register product names, typos etc too.
  • by muon-catalyzed (2483394) on Friday November 18, 2011 @07:09PM (#38104864)
    $200 is definitely a high price when you try to register all typos, abreviations and variants of your mark, but a good price to deter squatters and bulk buyer speculators.
  • by bmo (77928) on Friday November 18, 2011 @07:20PM (#38104924)

    I mean .xxx does in some sense acknowledge that people market pron.

    When is the last time you paid attention to a TLD? When is the last time *anyone* paid attention to a TLD?

    It also should make it MUCH easier for people who want to avoid seeing pron to not be spammed by it.

    You are suggesting that all the porn providers would magically all move over to the .xxx domain by themselves, for your convenience. Gosh, you're naive and lazy.

    And if you are being spammed by porn, I suggest you examine exactly which websites you are going to. I only get porn spam by visiting, you know, porn sites.

    Is it censorship to not look at things I don't want to and now allow them to be seen by people using equipment I have authority over?

    English, motherfucker, do you speak it?

    Let me try to parse that....

    Oh yeah, you can subscribe to one of the many filtering companies out there like Websense and Bluecoat. You can even set your DNS to use the filtering at OpenDNS, which is free (well, they take your demographics and such). There is no shortage of companies that will help you shield your eyes, should you want it. The fact that you are offended by stuff you see says 2 things about you: that you are thin skinned and lazy.

    It seems to me .xxx meets a legitimate content labeling goal that can make everyone's life easier because we all understand what kind of 'information' should be labeled in that way and can act appropriately.

    Go be a nanny somewhere else.

    --
    BMO

  • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) on Friday November 18, 2011 @07:24PM (#38104934) Homepage Journal
    Religious people watch just as much, if not more, porn than non-religious people.

    They're just publicly obligated to speak out against it, along with all the other enjoyable things in life like smoking Marijuana and polyamory.
  • by BenoitRen (998927) on Friday November 18, 2011 @07:40PM (#38105042)

    Who defines what is porn? Two persons on opposite sides of the planet will have very different opinions on that. That's why there's fear of censorship. It opens the way for a law to have everything deemed pornographic to be moved under the .xxx TLD, which means that the website might as well not exist from the point of view of many networks.

  • It's Extortion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by brainzach (2032950) on Friday November 18, 2011 @07:41PM (#38105062)

    This is just a racket to force many companies to pay ICANN for protection.

    Unlike the uselss .biz and .co TLDs that no one care about, .xxx can be used to be actively exploit and damage the names of respected businesses and organizations.

    Legitimate porn companies will probably stay away from .xxx names because it is saying that we can't afford a real TLD. It will also open themselves up to be easily censored. There is nothing advantageous to it.

  • by Nemyst (1383049) on Friday November 18, 2011 @08:13PM (#38105240) Homepage

    Slippery slope fallacy does not an argument make.

  • Re:It's Extortion (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 18, 2011 @08:22PM (#38105288)

    I was thinking the same thing. Then I remembered my neighbours. Most people are stupid. I mean really fucking stupid.

  • by 0123456 (636235) on Friday November 18, 2011 @08:26PM (#38105324)

    Slippery slope fallacy does not an argument make.

    The only 'slippery slope fallacy' is the laughable claim that once there's a power that the government can easily abuse... they won't abuse it.

  • by bmo (77928) on Friday November 18, 2011 @08:52PM (#38105438)

    .com and .org at one point were supposed to mean different things potentially.

    You just nailed why TLDs no longer matter. It doesn't matter any more what you or I thought TLDs are supposed to mean. They mean nothing now. They are placeholders. You are lucky if a country code TLD actually matches where the website actually originates from or is targeted to.

    Which is why you should pay attention more to what it says on the front page than it says in the TLD.

    someone wasn't smart enough to do paperwork for the correct country and we had to do it over

    So the "Her Majesty's Government of Australia" on the top of the page did not differentiate from "Her Majesty's Government of Northern Ireland?" I don't know about you, but I find governments to be pretty possessive about their names and make sure they're plastered all over every web page, print publication, video, film, etc.

    >gov meaning explicitly US government is bad.

    I agree, and it's an argument why TLDs should be done away with. We should have country codes at most.

    --
    BMO

  • by bmo (77928) on Friday November 18, 2011 @09:02PM (#38105472)

    >1. 99.9% of humans past the age of 13 have sexual urges.
      -While I am sure the percentage is high you have only skewed this to your own ends.

    Without sexual urges the human race would have ceased to exist. Lack of sexual urge has been mostly bred out and is seen as "not normal" by most people skilled in the sciences of biology and psychology, usually attributed to hormone imbalance and depression. He has not skewed the data. You have ignored the data all around you.

    --
    BMO

  • by dougmc (70836) <dougmc+slashdot@frenzied.us> on Friday November 18, 2011 @09:16PM (#38105524) Homepage

    You would have for that to force all porn to use an .xxx domain, which is impossible, be it only because nobody's able to define porn precisely.

    Um, the government has *no* problem defining porn precisely enough to apply laws to it. Yes, the final decisions are made by courts, but don't delude yourself into thinking that they can't make a definition -- they can, and they have.

    They certainly have little problem nailing people for child porn, for example. Or the occasional obscenity case.

  • by dougmc (70836) <dougmc+slashdot@frenzied.us> on Friday November 18, 2011 @09:20PM (#38105548) Homepage

    Using a .xxx TLD makes it that much easier to identify and filter porn if you don't want to see it.

    RFC 3675 [ietf.org] disagrees with you.

    Of course, that RFC is just somebody's opinion on the matter. It's hardly the last word.

    And really, the title is ".sex Considered Dangerous" -- not "A mandatory *.sex (or *.xxx) domain will not make it that much easier to identify and filter porn if you don't want to see it".

    If all porn was forced to be on *.xxx domains by law and was not directly reachable via any other DNS tlds, then it certainly would make it that much easier to identify (though there's the risk of false positives) and filter porn if you didn't want to see it. This doesn't mean it's a good idea, but it *would* make this filtering easier.

    (Of course, there's some big ifs in there too, I realize that.)

  • by SomePgmr (2021234) on Friday November 18, 2011 @09:29PM (#38105604) Homepage
    Except, who creates standards of appropriateness for an international resource like the web? You can't without creating a nonsensical, administrative mess of censorship and general disagreement.

    That's just another example of how .XXX was just a cash grab. Nobody can effectively categorize and police content on the web outside of a voluntary service, which will never be 100%. And so there's no way to say, "all porn must move to .XXX". If you can't move all porn to .xxx, then there's no real reason to have it.

    It was just a way to make a crapload of money from people that don't even want the resource, just so that they can protect their existing services. That's shitty, and they only got away with it because the target was the porn industry.
  • by Adrian Lopez (2615) on Friday November 18, 2011 @09:51PM (#38105716) Homepage

    They certainly have little problem nailing people for child porn, for example.

    So little problem, in fact, that parents have been prosecuted for innocent pictures of their naked children.

    Or to put it another way: it's not as simple as you think it is.

  • by mysidia (191772) * on Friday November 18, 2011 @10:33PM (#38105992)

    If they were only charging a nominal fee, such as $1/year, noone would be complaining. The high fee is the extortionate part.

    We sure know it doesn't reasonably cost $200 a year per domain to create and maintain the database entry, answer queries, and provide WHOIS service.

    The high fee is purely opportunistic price gouging. Hurry up and buy, before we let the general public take your name.

  • by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @12:37AM (#38106572)
    I think you significantly underestimate the number of women, especially younger ones, who watch porn. It's a market with a lot of opportunity considering that they want different niches than do men, but increasing numbers want it nonetheless.

    Further, the vast majority of porn actresses are not being "trafficked" ... makes me wonder if you even know what the word means. (Nor does anybody get locked up for watching porn other than kiddie or snuff, and that's not because it's porn but because it's kiddie rape or homicide.)
  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @03:15AM (#38107008)
    Alcohol is legal because it's been established too long to ban. Like tobacco.

    I debate with anti-porn crusaders a lot, and their standard approach is to convince themselves that pornography is some super-addictive drug-like poison that'll destroy a person's life with ease. If they can't find any actual mechanism of damage, they make one up. They'll even claim it is spiritually damaging, which has the nice advantage of being impossible to disprove. Take, for example, this quote from pressure group the Family Research Council:

    "Pornography is a major threat to marriages, the family, and the society at large. It is not a private choice without public consequence. Pornography alters both sexual attitudes and behavior, undermining marriage, which in turn, undermines the stability of the entire community.

    It goes on to list all manner of studies which prove pornography causes all manner of health problems, but I'm not even going to bother checking into the studies myself because I know the FRC has a long history of using worthless junk studies churned out by political pressure groups and distorting the findings even of legitimate studies. But that doesn't matter. It's the confirmation bias in action. If you tell an anti-porn crusader that 'scientific studies' show that, as the FRC puts it, 'Pornography viewing and sexual offense are inextricably linked' then they'll believe the claim without actually wanting to look at the studies.
  • by reiisi (1211052) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @04:06AM (#38107162) Homepage

    Making a 100% barrier is not the point.

    A certain amount of self-regulation will occur, and that will be better than the present.

    The companies and schools that get excited about their names being used in the .xxx domain, well, if they get excited about such things, let them pay for the blocking move.

    Internet users who see "washington.edu" and "washington-edu.xxx" in a browser that doesn't hide the TLD are going to be aware that the latter is not the former.

    The .xxx domain is not the best solution theoretically possible, but I don't have any real hope that all internet users will suddenly figure out how to keep their libidos in check.

When all else fails, read the instructions.

Working...