After eight years of contention, on March 31, 2011, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN") approved the creation of .XXX as a sponsored top level domain name for the adult entertainment industry. ICANN's approval of .XXX is separate and apart from its proposal to allow the launch of an unlimited number of new gTLDs beginning next year.
The .XXX domain extension raises important concerns for brand owners outside the adult entertainment industry. An unwanted association with pornography can tarnish a brand's image among its customers. There are proactive and defensive steps brand owners can take to make sure their important brands do not become .XXX domain names.