In Brief

First porn website with .xxx suffix goes live

Casting.xxx, which is definitely not safe for work, ushers in a new era for the internet

Pornographic film being shot by Steve Hirsch's Vivid production company

More than 10 years after the idea of a .xxx domain name for 'adult' websites was proposed, the first site carrying the suffix has gone live, ahead of the domain's official launch in December.

Casting.xxx is the first porn site to use the suffix, created earlier this year by ICANN, the body that oversees the web. Tech website The Register reports that although the domain manager, ICM Registry, has been running a site called about.xxx for several months, casting.xxx is the first one to live up to the 'xxx' billing.

Initial reviews were positive. AVN, the adult industry trade journal, described casting.xxx as "a hardcore European amateur site" and said it had "debuted well". Internet blog Domain Incite said it featured "a handful of streaming videos" and rather needlessly pointed out that it is not safe for work.

Although the .xxx domain goes on general release in late 2011, ICM has set up a 'founders programme' that will see around 1,500 domains distributed to some 35 publishers, who have paid for the privilege of being the first to use the .xxx domain. Apparently casting.xxx is registered to the Really Useful Company, based in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

An ICM spokesman said: "The early founders are excited to get their new .xxx sites live as soon as possible." He also pointed out that the equivalent .com site was not adult oriented. "Webmasters have clearly spotted some great opportunities for new revenues."

The idea of a .xxx domain has been controversial and faced opposition from both sides of the pornography debate. The adult industry is worried that the new domain will lead to over regulation and make censorship easier while anti-pornography groups fear it will make porn easier to access for internet users and create a "one stop shop".

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