Monday Morning Quick Tip – Is Your Horsebiz Website In Danger Of Becoming A Porn Portal?


.xxx logo from ICMRegistry.com

Earlier this year, a .xxx (pronounced dot triple-x) sponsored top-level domain was established for the pornography industry, and right now we’re in the ‘sunrise period’ that allows trademark holders and exact-match domain owners to buy & secure their own URL in a .xxx version to prevent it from becoming a pornography site and diluting or harming their brand. Given the potential issues for equine website domains, it would be a good idea for any horsebiz owner or marketing manager to review and understand any risks they face, before it’s too late.

Pornography involving horses or other animals is a reality. It’s also a fact that porn is a global, $57 billion dollar industry comprising 12% of the entire Internet, according to these industry statistics from TopTenReviews.com. While .xxx has been under review for years and only received the go-ahead last March (Mashable.com), with PETA recently grabbing their own PETA.xxx URL for some high-profile ad campaigns (Huffington Post) the tactic is sure to come to the attention of others interested in capitalizing on high-profile brand names.

Examples of sponsored top-level domains (sTLD) you might already be familiar with are .edu or .gov – they’re domains set aside for a particular community’s use. The intention behind the .xxx sTLD is that it becomes a trusted porn portal, one with significant oversight to prevent abuses. As might be expected, there are strong arguments on either side of the .xxx issue, with one of the main points being the ability of parents and employers to more effectively block access to these sites. Sponsored by the International Foundation for Online Responsibility (IFFOR), the .xxx domain is operated by ICM Registry LLC.

Logo image from TheRegister.co.uk

The Register, a British news and opinion website for technology, reported that during the first week of the sunrise period, ‘porn-shy’ businesses ponied up in larger-than-expected numbers to preemptively block their URLs from porn use or affiliation. Reporter Kevin Murphy has reported extensively on the .xxx topic, including a planned ‘porn only’ search engine at search.xxx, an overview of the costs of .xxx domain registration, and how celebrity names have been added to a ‘permanent reserved status’ list to prevent their use for porn sites.

The links included here provide a starting point for further learning on the topic, however keep in mind there are deadlines for taking action:

  • Sunrise period is from September 7 to October 28, 2011 – this is where trademark or existing same-URL owners can pay a one-time fee to block their URL(s) from .xxx availability
  • Landrush period is from November 8 through 25, 2011 – this is when URLs not blocked will become available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis at premium pricing
  • General availability begins December 6, 2011

Read more about .xxx here, including the ICM Registry’s FAQ about .xxx. The web hosting companies XDNet.co.uk and NetworkSolutions.com also had good explanations.

It’s going to be up to each individual horsebiz whether it’s worth the money to preemptively block your URL from .xxx use. However, now is the time to act, before the decision is made for you.

Was this information useful in deciding whether you’ll block your website’s .xxx site?  Quickly rank it from 1 to 5 stars using the new Rate This tool right under the title, or leave a more detailed comment via the Leave a Comment link in the grey box below.

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This article and the site contents are copyright Lisa Kemp and Kemp Equine, all rights reserved. Brands and trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. Content may be linked to from your site or social media, but not copied, in whole or in part, without prior permission. It’s also good karma, and good ethics, to give source credit when sharing. Thanks.

4 Comments

Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Monday Morning Quick Tip, New Media, Uncategorized

4 responses to “Monday Morning Quick Tip – Is Your Horsebiz Website In Danger Of Becoming A Porn Portal?

  1. Val

    Lisa,
    Thank you so much for this information. We are now in the process of protecting our website: http://rsnc.us/. Keep up the great work!

    • Thanks, Val, for your comment. I especially appreciate it because while I’ve been aware of this pending change for months, I hadn’t seen it addressed anywhere else in the equine media. Since we’re now in the period for action, I wanted to get the information out into the industry.

      I don’t want to worry folks unnecessarily, but it’s something to be aware of and take action if you deem it necessary, as your organization is doing. Thanks for reading! LK

  2. Glad you found our blog post useful, any questions on .XXX please do feel free to get in touch and we’d be happy to help!

    Certainly an interesting use of the .XXX tld by PETA!

    • Thanks for your message! Yes, I thought your post had some very good, clear tips about the domain ordering process and just what will happen as a result. Thanks for the offer to help out on Qs, if any come up that I think are in your ballpark I will certainly get in touch. LK

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