Irish hosting player gears up to sell .xxx domains

18 Feb 2011

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A major domain name reseller based in Carlow, Blacknight, is accepting expressions of interest from the adult entertainment industry for registering .xxx domains in anticipation of ICANN finally giving the new domains the go-ahead in the coming weeks.

The proposal for a .xxx sponsored top-level domain (sTLD) was approved by ICANN 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 they won the appeal.

Blacknight is working with ICM Registry to provide information services to businesses with bona fide adult industry credentials who wish to register for domain names ahead of launch.

According to Blacknight’s website, adult webmasters or intellectual property holders in the adult space, and general intellectual property holders, have special application windows called ‘sunrise’ periods which will occur in advance of the general launch and availability of the .xxx sTLD.

The CEO of Blacknight, Michele Neylon, told Siliconrepublic.com his company is at present the only ICANN-registered reseller prepared to sell .xxx domains.

As well as operating as a domain name provider in Ireland, Blacknight has built up a substantial international business providing hosting and top-level domains, such as .eu, .mobi, .tel, .biz, .org and .co.uk, to name a few.

Adult industry need only apply

Neylon says he sees the .xxx top-level domain in the same light. “But in this case we are only interested in expressions of interest from bona fide members of the adult industry.

“This saga has been dragging on for 10 years now. When it launches we expect there will be some good uptake from the adult industry but also from other industries who wish to register a .xxx with their company name and then bury it for brand protection.”

Neylon takes the view that providing a .xxx top-level domain will help to resolve the problem of people unintentionally coming into contact with websites that contain adult material because there will be an easily identifiable mark – the end of the web address.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com