opinion

Now What? Video of .XXX Seminar at Phoenix Forum

Diane Duke

Footage From 2011 Phoenix Forum "Dot-XXX - What Next" Seminar. from Sssh.com Original Films on Vimeo.

Well, here it is – the much anticipated video of the “.XXX – Now What?” seminar that was presented at webmaster trade conference The Phoenix Forum, on April 2. As you’ll see, the discussion was “lively,” to say the least – or down right hostile, especially after ICM Registry’s Vaughn Liley seemed unable to adequately answer questions posed by a packed house of adult webmasters.

The confusion expressed over .XXX and its IFFOR regulatory board’s policies and bylaws by webmasters and ICM’s representatives is remarkable, considering the nearly decade-long push by ICM to get the “sponsored” Top Level Domain approved by domain regulator ICANN.

It also is important to note that The Phoenix Forum is a long-established, well-attended adult online trade conference – with reported record attendance this year – it should be assumed that the majority of U.S. adult online business owners were either at the conference or had company representatives there. If the hostility and confusion expressed at this seminar represents the opinions of a cross-section of the U.S. adult online community, how is it possible for ICM Registry to claim that the .XXX domain is supported by this community?

Clearly, the concerns over online ghetto-ization, censorship, unnecessary fees, potential regulatory issues, cyber-squatting, payment processing, and trademark infringement – just to name a few – are hugely threatening to all adult online businesses.

Forty-four minutes into the video, Liley refers to the mainstream media reports following the approval of .XXX on March 18 at the ICANN 40 Conference in San Francisco, and specifically, the reports on the Indian government’s announcement that they will be the first to block the .XXX domain. Liley implies that the media coverage .XXX has received will lead to increased traffic for webmasters (combined with a marketing campaign financed by ICM). But what he fails to elaborate on is that much of the news following the approval of .XXX was negative – at best, referring to .XXX as “unnecessary” with many media analysts implying that the domain scheme amounts to nothing more than a money grab (FSC has links to many articles stating as such in publications like Forbes, Bloomberg, Huffington Post, etc.).

Later in the video, around 1:39, Liley is questioned about the potential for ICM to spider content on .XXX sites (and .coms that are linked to .XXX addresses) and other authentication verification procedures. His reply prompts catcalls of “liar” and “criminal” from the audience.

The panel was moderated by Wasteland.com founder Colin Rowntree. Representatives for pro-.XXX interests were ICM Liley and GEC Media’s Gregory Dumas. Representing the anti-.XXX side were Pink Visual’s Allison Vivas, FSC Board member and journalist Tom Hymes and FSC Board Chair and attorney Jeffrey Douglas. Mikandi’s Chris Lewicki, Wildline’s Chris Miller and CCBill’s Ron Caldwell also sat on the panel.

We suggest that you use headphones to listen to this video, due to the poor acoustics of the seminar venue.

Special thanks to videographer and adult webmaster Lloyd Brown for recording this important event, as well as Colin Rowntree for making this video available.

All adult businesses have an online presence at this point, so this is an important issue for the whole industry, from online content providers to adult online retail sites to payment processors; we encourage you to watch and judge for yourself.

In related news: ICANN and ICM Registry finalized the contract for the .XXX domain on April Fool’s Day. How appropriate.

FSC’s advice to adult online businesses? Stay .COM – just say “NO” to .XXX – jc

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