"The approval grants ICM Registry’s .XXX web suffix with the same rights as .com, .net, .co, .uk and other TLDs," the statement said.
"The only difference being that as a sponsored TLD, .XXX domain names will only be available to the adult entertainment industry. The contract will require anyone registering a .XXX domain to complete an application process endorsed and overseen by the International Foundation for Online Responsibility (IFFOR)."
Lawley said the introduction of .XXX provides numerous benefits for consumers who wish to browse adult entertainment sites. Such benefits include reassurance they are more protected from the risk of viruses, identity theft, credit card fraud and inadvertent exposure to child abuse images. It will also provide individuals and parents who wish to avoid adult entertainment sites the opportunity to filter out unwanted .XXX material, he said.
Lawley said the benefits of .XXX for online adult providers also include predictable revenue streams, greater customer retention and the chance to take a proactive and responsible approach to their web presence.
“ICANN’s decision to give .XXX final approval is a landmark moment for the Internet," he said.
"For the first time there will be a clearly defined web address for adult entertainment, out of the reach of minors and as free as possible from fraud or malicious computer viruses.
“We believe consumers will be more prepared to make purchases on .XXX sites, safe in the knowledge their payments will be secure. Tens of thousands of adult entertainment website owners recognize the business benefits of .XXX and have already applied to pre-reserve over 200,000 .XXX domains.”
.XXX will be regulated by IFFOR, an independent non-profit entity made up of a seven-person Policy Council, including a child protection representative, a privacy and security expert, free-speech advocates and adult entertainment industry leaders. It will be funded primarily by $10 (USD) annually from every .XXX domain registered.
“Today’s announcement means IFFOR will be able to contribute programs to make a difference in protecting children online," IFFOR director Clyde Beattie said.
"In addition, we will be able to establish a forum for the online adult entertainment community to communicate and proactively respond to the needs and concerns of the broader Internet community.”
ICM Registry will offer current intellectual property owners the opportunity to reserve relevant domain names before going to the open market.