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.XXX Domain Names Go On Sale

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From today, registered trademark and brand holders will be able to secure .xxx domain names in a bid to fend off cyber-squatters.

Back in March the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) finally gave the go-ahead for the creation of the top-level domain suffix, .xxx, for the porn industry.

For the next 50 days, the ICM Registry, which is charged with doling out the .xxx domain name, will allow brands, such as Microsoft or Coca-Cola, to claim their .xxx web address. After that, ICM Registry will open up the domain exclusively to the adult industry for 17 days before finally making them available to the general public.

 ICM Registry .xxx

Prior to opening up the .xxx domain to the general public, thousands of celebrities and politicians have had their names permanently banned from the new domain.

4,000 celebrities have had their .xxx website address blocked by the ICM Registry with famous names like Beyonce, Angelia Jolie and the less likely MargaretThatcher.xxx all being permanently blocked. The ICM Registry has not revealed the full list of celebrities which are protected or what the criteria for inclusion on the list is.

Overall, the company has reserved some 15,000 "dot triple-X" domain names on the request of international governments and child protection agencies.

Stuart Lawley, the chief executive of ICM Registry, said: "There's a prohibition on anyone registering a first or last name that doesn't belong to them."

Brands looking to claim their .xxx address will have to pay around $200, a one-off fee, unlike other top-level domains which charge around $50 per year to maintain rights to a URL.

During the preregistration period, the ICM Registry received 900,000 “expressions of interest” for 650,000 domain names.

The .xxx web addresses are due to go live on 6 December.

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