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Part Four: IFFOR Separate from ICM and Representative of the Adult Industry?… Bullshit!

Part Four: IFFOR Separate from ICM and Representative of the Adult Industry?… Bullshit!

March 4, 2011
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What's Wrong with .XXX - Part Four

Part four of a five-part series meant to help educate the adult industry about the dangers of .XXX sTLD

By Diane Duke, Free Speech Coalition Executive Director

IFFOR Separate from ICM and Representative of the Adult Industry?… Bullshit!

IFFOR as an entity independent from ICM Registry:

In his July 8, 2010 post on XBIZ.net, ICM Registry Chairman and CEO Stuart Lawley posted, "IFFOR will be tasked with setting policies for .XXX. Details can be found on www.iffor.org. This is an independent entity from ICM and will be funded through contract with ICM to the tune of $10 per registration per year"… There's that $10 again.

Let's explore how "independent" IFFOR is from ICM.

According to its bylaws, IFFOR's Board of Directors will "have one or more members, the number thereof to be determined from time to time by resolution of the Board of Directors." The Bylaws go on to state, "The Board of Directors will initially consist of the person named as director in the certificate of incorporation or elected by the incorporator of the corporation." That person is Stuart Lawley. The bylaws also ensure that ICM will have a standing position on the board that cannot be removed by a vote of the other Board members. Moreover, the bylaws also state that the ICM representative is ex officio Chairman of the IFFOR Board.

To recap, according to IFFOR's Bylaws:

  • Initially, IFFOR will have one Board member, ICM's Chairman and CEO, Stuart Lawley
  • The remaining Board members will be selected by the initial Board of Directors, Stuart Lawley
  • The ICM position on the board is the only position guaranteed on the board without term limits that cannot be removed under any circumstances by the Board.
  • IFFOR's Board Chair and ICM's Board Chair are one in the same, Stuart Lawley who will preside over all IFFOR Board meetings

This doesn't sound independent to us.

IFFOR Policy Council

According to the IFFOR bylaws, the Policy Council's role is to:

(i)Foster communication between the responsible global online community (the "Sponsored Community") and other internet stakeholders;
(ii) Protect Free Expression rights as defined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights; and
(iii) Promote the development and adoption of responsible business practices designed to combat child pornography, facilitate user control and parental control regarding access to online entertainment, and protect the privacy, security, and consumer rights of consenting consumers of adult online adult goods and services (Policy Goals).

In addition, the "Council" will be responsible for developing a program, including selection criteria and procedures, by which a portion of IFFOR's revenues will be distributed in furtherance of the policy goals (the "Grants Program"), and for selecting recipients of such funds.

To recap, according to IFFOR's Bylaws:

  • IFFOR's policy goals address only the issues of child pornography, user and parental control of access and consumer protection
  • The "Grants Program" funds only the furtherance of the "Policy Goals"
  • Therefore the "Grants Funding" goes to fund only issues related to child pornography, user and parental control of access and consumer protection
  • The "Grants Program" is funded by from a portion of the $10 per domain name tagged to fund IFFOR less IFFOR's overhead.

In his July 8 2010 post on XBIZ.net, Stuart Lawley wrote:

With annual operating costs of approximately $500,000 per year, substantial monies will be available for IFFOR to donate, sponsor and fund whatever initiatives it feels appropriate. We envisage a range of initiatives being considered, including but not limited to: health and safety of Adult Industry workers, legal challenges facing the industry such as 2257, piracy, counterfeiting, onerous legislation etc, labeling initiatives, combating child abuse, parental awareness etc.

In other words, the health and safety of adult industry workers, legal challenges facing the industry such as 2257, piracy, counterfeiting, onerous legislation etc, labeling initiatives or any other support promised to the industry using funds from IFFOR, clearly would not be in support of IFFOR's stated "Policy Goals," and therefore would be in direct conflict with IFFOR's Bylaws.

Policy Council Make-up

Numerous adult industry professionals have contacted me stating that they had been approached by ICM about a position on the council. We have been told that there will be 5 seats on a 9-seat council. The impression being given is that the adult community will have a majority and therefore a guiding force on the council. According to the IFFOR bylaws (http://iffor.org/docs/iffor-bylaws-26jul10-en.pdf), the make-up of the Policy Council consists of:

  • One Free Expression Expert selected by the Free Expression Stakeholder Group
  • One Child Safety Expert selected by the Child Advocacy Stakeholder Group
  • One Privacy and Security Expert selected by the Privacy and Security Stakeholder Group
  • Five Members from the Stakeholder Group, Three selected by the stakeholder group and two selected by the Board
  • One person appointed by ICM

When asked which child safety, free expression, privacy and security groups ICM has approached, however, Lawley would not provide an answer. Moreover, for the first year the entire Policy Council will be selected by the IFFOR Board, with Lawley as Chairman. Moreover, the constituency groups Lawley has chosen will thereafter choose their representatives. AND… according to the bylaws, after the Policy Council decides on a policy, the IFFOR Board has veto power. AND… after the IFFOR Board considers the policy, ICM has veto power. Explain again please how the adult industry has ANY real influence whatsoever in this process? Let's face it, ICM is pulling all the stings, and the rest are just figureheads.

When asked why ICM would not allow the adult stakeholder community to elect all five positions, Lawley replied that he did not want the "haters" to take over the Board. WTF? Stuart Lawley and ICM want the industry (and the world) to believe that IFFOR is separate from ICM and that the adult industry will have influence over IFFOR Policy.

But we've read the bylaws, and we know that's just…Bullshit!

The Free Speech Coalition is the national trade organization to the adult entertainment industry. Its mission is to lead, protect and support the growth and well-being of the adult entertainment community.


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