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Australian Sex Party’s Fiona Patten: ICM Quite Frightening

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Australia- from www.heraldsun.com.au – AUSTRALIAN businesses must pay more than $400 million to a US company to block porn sites from hijacking their brands on the new .xxx domain.

And they have less than 45 days to do it.

Australian Sex Party Convenor Fiona Patten slammed the .xxx “red light district” as corporate extortion, opposed by both the adult industry and governments worldwide.

“Effectively the ICM Registry is selling off other people’s trademarks,” she said.

“It’s a pretty brilliant money-making venture.”

Triple-X domain names officially went on sale last week for US$199 ($191).

The scheme means unscrupulous buyers can cash in on the reputation of Aussie businesses by snapping up a domain in their name – for example, harveynorman.xxx.

Ms Patten, describing the registry’s control as “quite frightening”, said a private company for the first time could decide the content on an organisation’s website.

Australia has more than two million actively trading businesses, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Non-adult businesses have up until October 28 to apply to prevent their trademark from being registered.

The ICM Registry told news.com.au it worked closely with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to make .xxx domains a reality.

“Whilst, we agree the non adult industry brand holders probably wish the .xxx did not exist, they have been largely very impressed by the measures we have taken to deter and prevent any ‘cyber squatting’”, said Stuart Lawley, chief executive of the ICM Registry.

“Unlike every other new Top Level Domain, (our system) does not include any annual fee after the initial processing fee.”

Toys R Us is one big name business which will fork out the cash to protect their brand.

“We are very aware of this issue and are applying for this application with regards to all of our websites,” a spokesperson said.

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