The 10 year anniversary of .XXX- A look back at the first porn extension

A decade ago on this day ICANN approved the .xxx extension. Stuart Lawley and his ICM Registry realized a dream. The controversial extension that found resistance from all sides including, adult performers and studios, they had concerns that adult or xxx rated content could eventually be relegated to only the .xxx extension. Countries and continents were not happy.

Mainstream celebrities had to worry about defensive registrations. Now some like Beyonce got their name blocked or reserved, others like Brandy did not.

Brad Pitt reserved, Ryan Reynolds not reserved.

Some sports celebrities like Jennie Finch and Hope Solo were not on the reserved list. But two of the most famous pornstars of all time were reserved. Tera Patrick and Jenna Jameson.

Universities

Universities paid out to protect their names in .xxx. One example is the University of Missouri.

The University of Missouri acquired Missouri.xxx, mizzou.xxx and missouritigers.xxx . I think the Missouri purchase is interesting as being the pure geo and not representing just the school. I am sure many would like the state.xxx domain.

Missouri.xxx is currently available, Mizzou.xxx is registered until December of 2020. missouritigers.xxx is available.

The University of Illinois took the opposite approach. They registered no names. Put out a statement:

Chief information security officer Mike Corn says the school will instead threaten cyber-squatters with legal action. University lawyers will send cease-and-desist letters to anyone it feels is violating trademarks.

Numbers

In December of 2011 .XXX tweeted out, 159,351 .XXX domains sold – 55,367 in the first day!

Frank Schilling

ICM registry put out a release, part of that included mention of Frank Schilling:

Frank Schilling, owner of possibly the world’s largest portfolio of domain names, had never previously participated in any other new TLD launch. However, Schilling excitedly negotiated a deal with ICM Registry for some premium generic domain names such as live.xxx, hot.xxx and free.xxx in a seven figure deal out of the nearly $4 million that ICM Registry has received during this Founders program period. Schilling is now partnering with other notable adult companies to develop impressive new sites, ultimately contributing to the increased value of the adult eco-system.

SALES

Gay.xxx sold for $500,000 (coming soon page)

Clips4Sale Buys $700K In .XXX Domains

Mobile.xxx sold for $160,000 (does not resolve)

Tube.xxx and Tubes.xxx sells for $750,000.

Teen.xxx sold for $400,000

More Adult extensions

ICM Registry got the rights to .Sex, .Adult and .Porn. In 2014 they announced a matching program.

The Domain Matching Program will allow .XXX stakeholders to register any available directly matching second level names in .PORN or .ADULT, before those names are offered to the general public.

The Domain Matching Program will also be available to trademark owners that successfully applied during .XXX’s Sunrise B program.

The Domain Matching Program is explained in greater detail at http://www.icmregistry.com/programs/gtlds/ and http://www.icmregistry.com/about/policies/domain-matching-program/.

Acquisition

Minds and Machines (MMX) acquired ICM Registry LLC in May of 2018.

It was announced today that Minds and Machines (MMX), the respected Top Level Domain (TLD) portfolio operator that is listed on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market under symbol MMX.L, has acquired the entire ownership of ICM Registry LLC for a combination of cash and shares.

There has been increasing consolidation in the TLD operator market and ICM’s stable of highly profitable domain extensions attracted several offers from rival portfolio operators. 

Stuart Lawley, the outgoing CEO of ICM, said, “Having successfully built and sold several technology businesses throughout my career in other consolidating markets, it became clear over the last few years that ICM’s business, shareholders and employees would be best served as part of a larger group with the corresponding resources, vision, opportunities and obvious cost savings that would bring.”

ICM’s 4 TLDs will be added to MMX’s portfolio of 28 extensions, which currently have over 1.4 M registrations.

With the exception of Lawley who is leaving to pursue blockhain based Age Verification business opportunities with his new business AVSecure.com, the rest of the existing management team will remain with ICM.  Back end registry services will continue to be provided by Afilias, who has been a shareholder in ICM and will now become a sizeable and welcome shareholder in MMX going forwards.

Lawley went on to say, “I strongly believe ICM’s shareholders, customers and employees will be well served by this acquisition; MMX has a very dynamic management team.  We received 4 offers in total for the business, some all cash and others a mixture of cash and stock. After lengthy, detailed negotiations and due diligence with the interested parties, the arrangement with MMX was clearly the best fit.” 

As a sign of ICM’s confidence in MMX, post completion Stuart Lawley will become the largest shareholder in MMX with a holding just over 15% and as part of the transaction, the 5 remaining senior managers of ICM will all have meaningful stock holdings in MMX.

Read full release here

It’s been quite the decade, but with so many new gtlds in existence, .xxx seems an afterthought in 2020.

Disclosure: visiting .xxx names is certainly NSFW do not view at work or shared networks.

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