Earlier today, ICANN took a decision to not approve the .xxx in the top-level domain zone.
The application was proposed by the ICM Registry.
This is from the official press-release:
The application has received much public comment and detailed discussion by the ICANN Board.
Reflecting the diversity of views this application has generated, the Board discussion at today’s meeting focused on the criteria for the sTLD, especially for sponsorship, and the terms of the contract proposed by ICM, including compliance issues related to key terms associated with public policy concerns.
ICM had proposed additional terms in response to issues raised by ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee, particularly at ICANN’s meeting in Wellington in March. http:// www.icann.org/announcements/announcement1-18apr06.htm
ICANN’s Board voted 9 to 5 against the proposed agreement. Votes in favor of the proposed .XXX Registry Agreement were cast by the following Board Members: Veni Markovski, Susan Crawford, Peter Dengate Thrush, Joichi Ito, and Mouhamet Diop. Directors who voted against the approval were Vint Cerf (Chairman), Alejandro Pisanty (Vice-Chairman), Raimundo Beca, Demi Getschko, Hagen Hultzsch, Njeri Rionge, Vanda Scartezini, Paul Twomey (President and CEO), and Hualin Qian.
There will be many comments on that topic. Some of them can be found at this address. You can also listen to the press conference, given by ICANN President and CEO Paul Twomey at this address on my blog (better save the file on your computer, and listen then, as the quality will be better), or download it from the UK at this address.
Whatever the decision, now this is the Board decision, and I stay behind it.
My explanation for my vote is as follows:
I think there should be more new TLDs. Many more.
I believe my vote was not on the controversial issue about content (and ICANN should not deal with content), but on the simple issue if the agreement is good to be accepted. I also wrote on April 22nd in this blog that ICM at least are trying to prevent harmful content reaching our children. I prefer that, than just saying, “.xxx is bad, abolish it”. OK, we did that. Now what?
I don’t believe governments, at the current moment, and with the current by-laws, have more weight on the ICANN Board than anyone else of the stake holders. I hope that our decision will not be interpreted as governments dictating ICANN what to do. If the community believes that should happen, then we need a change in the by-laws.
I think ICM tried to respond to the concerns of everyone – they listened to us, to the community, to the religious groups, to the governments, to the GAC, to whoever else wanted to say something. And they accepted all proposals, remarks, and suggestions to be included in the agreement.
In conclusion: I want to see ICANN taking real positions on the new TLD, and not waste another five years in searching reasons for not approving a single new TLD. Running away from the problems will not help ICANN, will not help the ICANN community, and will not help the Internet users.
P.S. Here’s what another director, Susan Crawford, says about the decision. See her blog, headline “A low point“.