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Industry Alert: New Language Harmful to the Industry is Being
Considered for Inclusion in the .XXX Binding Agreement


April 7, 2006 – The Free Speech Coalition (FSC) is concerned that provisions detrimental to the adult entertainment community are being considered for inclusion in the contract (Agreement) between ICM Registry and ICANN regarding a proposed .XXX Top Level Domain. These provisions, if adopted, would be binding upon all .XXX domains and any website that shares an IP address with such a domain.

The following provisions are being recommended for inclusion in the ICANN/ICM Registry Agreement:

  • That measures will be taken to “restrict access to illegal and offensive content.”
  • That proof of age will be required of actors portrayed in .xxx domains.
  • That a WHOIS compliance policy with “additional verification processes” is established for all .xxx domains.
  • That ICM Registry maintains accurate details of registrants and assist law enforcement agencies to identify and contact the owners of particular websites.
  • That ICM Registry ensures the protection of intellectual property and trademark rights, personal names, country names, names of historical, cultural and religious significance and names of geographic identifiers drawing on best practices in the development of registration and eligibility rules. (Italics added)

There are no specifics as to how or by whom “illegal or offensive content” is to be defined, or in what way the age requirement for actors will differ from those imposed by 2257. It is also unclear what specific personal, country, cultural, historic or religious names will be restricted for use by adult sites, or whether the “additional” WHOIS processes will be more stringent than those required for other TLDs. These few examples are indicative of the vagueness contained in the new language under consideration.

"The Free Speech Coalition has long opposed the establishment of a .XXX top level domain name because of its potential to serve as an easy censorship tool," said FSC spokesperson Tom Hymes, who represented the organization in Wellington. "The current contract talks, together with the Baucus-Pryor bill, show that FSC’s concerns were well-founded all along. ICM Registry’s hope to establish and operate a voluntary .XXX TLD free from government interference appears to be a dangerous pipe dream… now more than ever before."

The Free Speech Coalition and the Eros Association of Australia are in excellent position to build on the momentum established in New Zealand, where we had productive discussions with ICANN Board members and staff, and members of the Government Advisory Committee (GAC), the constituent group that represents the interests of 109 world governments. Several GAC members were receptive to our points, and we were pleased to note that some of those points were reflected in the final communiqué issued by GAC at the conclusion of the ICANN meeting.

If you agree that the legitimate adult entertainment industry cannot afford to allow the sorts of restrictions currently under consideration, please submit a letter of opposition for us to use in our ongoing efforts to protect your online freedoms!

The Free Speech Coalition’s .XXX top-level-domain letter writing campaign is available at www.freespeechcoalition.com/dotXXX/Form.html. Sample letters are available upon request. Please email tom@freespeechcoalition for more information.

Relevant documents are posted to the FSC website, and in the Correspondence section on the ICANN website at www.icann.org, and the GAC website at http://gac.icann.org.

Free Speech Coalitionis the trade organization of the adult entertainment industry. Its mission is to safeguard the industry from oppressive governmental regulation and to promote good business practices within the industry.

 

US Commerce to Gac Letter, March 20, 2006

Lawley to Tarmizi Latter, March 25, 2006

GAC Communique, March 28, 2006

Sample Letter (send to tom@freespeechcoalition.com)

Letter-Writing Campaign

 

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