Science

Website names ending in .xxx go on sale

Pornographic websites and other adult entertainment businesses will be able to buy website names ending in .xxx starting Tuesday.

Pornographic websites and other adult entertainment businesses will be able to buy website names ending in .xxx starting Tuesday.

The new .xxx domain names go on sale at 11 a.m. ET, announced the ICM Registry, the organization that manages and provides supporting infrastructure for the domain.

They can be purchased via accredited registrars that already sell other domain names. They will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis with prices set by the individual registrars.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers decided last June to allow website languages using almost any word in any language. Initially, it refused to allow .xxx, but later changed its mind.

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The decision was controversial because many businesses feared their names would be used by .xxx sites.

Businesses were given until Oct. 28 to pay a fee to block adult sites from acquiring their names.

The new .xxx domain names aren't cheap.

Domainmonster.com is selling them for $76.41 per year and GoDaddy.com is selling them for $101.91 per year apiece. Even with the 10 per cent discount GoDaddy is currently offering, that is quite a bit more than it is charging for .biz, .org and .com domains, which go for $6.10, $7.12 and $12.22 per year, respectively.

However, the ICM Registry notes the price comes with a number of perks that don't come with other domain names:

  • Daily scans for malware by antivirus maker McAfee, which makes them "among the safest on the internet." However, Go-Daddy notes that these scans are optional.
  • A MetaCert "family safety" label that will make it easier for users to adjust browser settings to restrict access to adult content.

Go-Daddy also touts registry-sponsored portals and direct searches to increase traffic to .xxx sites.

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