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.XXX gets green light: Porn -- and Scotland -- get dedicated domain names

An online red light district has got the green light to turn the Web blue with .XXX domain names

An online red light district has got the green light after the body that hands out Web addresses changed its mind about domain names ending in .XXX. Scotland is also set to benefit from its own domain name.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has re-opened negotiations with domain name registrars ICM over a registry for Web site addresses dedicated to pornography. ICM applied for the .XXX domain in 2004 and was rejected by ICANN in 2007, after religious types with steam coming out of their ears refused to condone porn.

ICANN reckons it isn't in the business of making moral decisions, so voted in favour of returning to the .XXX domain after an independent review panel overturned the original rejection. If the .XXX domain name goes ahead, ICM will sell the smutty addresses for $60 (£40) a pop. With over 100,000 porn barons already pre-registering their interest, ICM looks to have one heck of a money shot lined up.

The advantage of the .XXX domain should be that parents can filter the blue URLs to stop innocent eyes from seeing things they shouldn't. Kids will have to go back to finding filth on railway sidings, like we had to. ICM has also pledged to fund child-protection initiatives and issue domain buyers with a code of conduct to prevent littl'uns getting an eyeful.

At the same time, ICANN also moved towards more non-Latin, non-English Web addresses. Chinese script country codes for China, Taiwan and Hong Kong were approved. .scot is also in the pipeline for Scotland. Anyone starting a Web site of Scottish-themed porn will be spoiled for choice!