Porn publishers sue ICANN over .XXX domains


18 Nov 2011

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ICANN's board meeting in March, where the .XXX domain for the adult entertainment industry received approval

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Two major online porn publishers have filed a lawsuit against ICANN over the .XXX domain name that ICANN approved this year. The publishers accuse ICANN of behaving in a monopolistic manner and of unfair practices.

Luxembourg-based Manwin, which is the company behind major porn sites like YouPorn, and a company called Digital Playground, filed the lawsuit at a US district court in California.

The case challenges the authority of ICANN and the way the .XXX top-level domain was approved.

The companies are seeking “preliminary and permanent injunctive relief” requiring that the .XXX registry contract be openly rebid to introduce competition.

According to domains website The Domains, the lawsuit, if successful, has the potential to derail the entire gTLD process. However, it says, the plaintiffs did have the option of applying for an extension to the process before it was finally approved earlier this year.

ICANN approved the proposal for a .XXX sponsored top-level domain (sTLD) in 2005. One year later, ICANN reversed the decision and in 2007 it was again rejected. ICM Registry appealed this decision and almost a year ago it was announced it won the appeal.

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