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Porn stars are set to rally against the proposed .xxx top-level domain name outside the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) public meeting in San Francisco next week.

The Free Speech Coalition (FSC), a porn trade group, has called a press conference and rally outside the Westin St Francis Hotel in Union Square at 12.30pm, 17 March.

FSC president Diane Duke has invited "all industry professionals and supporters of the adult entertainment community" to show up to the protest.

The organisation believes .xxx will harm the adult entertainment business. It believes the domain invites censorship and blocking, and that the proposed registry operator, ICM Registry, sees dollar signs but does not have the best interests of the industry in mind.

ICM has previously stated its belief that the FSC is a California-centric organisation that does not represent the interests of porn webmasters worldwide. Thousands of people have pre-applied for over 200,000 .xxx domains.

In a series of blog posts over the last week, Duke has coined a new slogan: ".XXX is bullshit!"

ICM has been campaigning for the right to run .xxx for about a decade. Its current application has been moving through ICANN for the last seven years. Millions of dollars have been spent, mainly by ICM's president, British multimillionaire businessman Stuart Lawley.

The company recently hired M&C Saatchi, the noted ad agency, to come up with the slogan "Let's be adult about it".

Resistance to .xxx has been so fierce, from Christian groups as well as the porn business, that ICANN has had to create entirely new appeal and review mechanisms for processing the application.

The last such mechanism is a consultation with its Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), which is due to take place at the ICANN meeting next week.

The GAC, which represents dozens of international governments, formally objects to .xxx based on the public policy views of a minority of its members, but ICANN has indicated that it intends to overrule it, an unprecedented move.

The FSC knows the cards are stacked against it, and so is also considering a lawsuit against ICANN and/or ICM, and seeks an injunction to prevent the .xxx domain going live.

Barring an intervention from governments, the rally may prove to be a fruitless gesture. El Reg will of course provide coverage direct from the scene next Thursday regardless, and will endeavour to provide as many photographs as possible. ®

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