CANOGA PARK, Calif.—In his July 8, 2010 post on XBIZ.net, ICM Registry Chairman and CEO Stuart Lawley posted, "IFFOR will be tasked with setting policies for .XXX. Details can be found on www.iffor.org. This is an independent entity from ICM and will be funded through contract with ICM to the tune of $10 per registration per year."
Let's explore how "independent" IFFOR is from ICM.
According to its bylaws, IFFOR's Board of Directors will "have one or more members, the number thereof to be determined from time to time by resolution of the Board of Directors." The Bylaws go on to state, "The Board of Directors will initially consist of the person named as director in the certificate of incorporation or elected by the incorporator of the corporation." That person is Stuart Lawley. The bylaws also ensure that ICM will have a standing position on the board that cannot be removed by a vote of the other Board members. The bylaws also state that the ICM representative is ex-officio Chairman of the IFFOR Board. Therefore, Stuart Lawley is Chair of the IFFOR Board. Moreover, there are NO members from the adult entertainment industry on the IFFOR Board.
It is important to understand that the IFFOR Board is the governing body and the IFFOR Policy Council acts only in an advisory role. Numerous adult industry professionals have contacted me stating that they had been approached by ICM about a position on the policy council - none of those individuals accepted a position on the IFFOR Policy Council. There are five "adult" seats on a nine-seat council. The initial impression is that the adult community will have a majority and therefore a guiding force on the council.
According to the IFFOR bylaws [.pdf], the make-up of the Policy Council consists of:
- One Free Expression Expert selected by the Free Expression Stakeholder Group
- One Child Safety Expert selected by the Child Advocacy Stakeholder Group
- One Privacy and Security Expert selected by the Privacy and Security Stakeholder Group
- Five Members from the Stakeholder Group, Three selected by the stakeholder group and two selected by the Board
- One person appointed by ICM.
For the first year, the entire Policy Council will be selected by the IFFOR Board, with Lawley as Chairman. Moreover, the constituency groups Lawley has chosen will thereafter choose their representatives. When asked why ICM would not allow the adult stakeholder community ( the adult entertainment industry) to elect all five positions, Lawley replied that he did not want the "haters" to take over the Board.
I'm guessing the "haters" Mr. Lawley referred to is the majority of the adult industry, i.e. those in opposition to the .XXX sTLD. Interestingly enough, four of the five individuals representing the adult community are attorneys—I wonder if it was too difficult to find actual adult business owners to join their cause? I think it also important to mention that one of the members of the Policy Council is an attorney hired by ICM.
ICM wants the industry (and the world) to believe that IFFOR is separate from ICM and that the adult industry will have influence over IFFOR Policy. But, according to IFFOR bylaws, after the Policy Council decides on a policy, the IFFOR Board has veto power over that decision. AND… after the IFFOR Board considers the policy, ICM has veto power over that decision.
Explain again please how the adult industry has ANY real influence whatsoever in this process? Keep in mind that all .XXX sites and sites they link to will be monitored by an automated third party entity for compliance with regulations developed by IFFOR.
Let's face it, ICM is pulling all the stings, and the rest are just figureheads. ICM will continue to do what it has been doing, looking out for the best interests of ICM alone—not child protection—not consumers—and CERTAINLY NOT the best interests of the adult entertainment community.