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.music applicant caught using bogus Wikipedia page

Kevin Murphy, August 10, 2015, 13:50:37 (UTC), Domain Registries

DotMusic Limited, the .music applicant founded by Constantine Roussos, is using a highly suspicious Wikipedia page in its attempt to win the .music contention set.

The applicant and many supporters have been citing the Wikipedia “music community” page in support of DotMusic’s ongoing Community Priority Evaluation, despite the fact that the page draws text, without citation, from DotMusic’s own application.

The Wikipedia page was created October 21, 2014, just two weeks after rival .music applicant Far Further spectacularly failed in its own Community Priority Evaluation bid.

In March this year, DotMusic cited (pdf) a November 26 version of the Wikipedia page in whole in a controversial application change request.

Three of its supporters (Jeunesses Musicales International, International Society of Music Education, and International Federation of Musicians) have cited the Wikipedia article in DotMusic-drafted letters sent to ICANN.

An early version of the sign-and-submit form letter DotMusic is encouraging supporters to send to ICANN included the Wikipedia reference (this one, for example) but it appears to have been removed from form comments sent after the end of July.

Its web site currently says that its definition of “music community” is “confirmed by Wikipedia”.

In fact, the Wikipedia page pulls lots of its language from DotMusic’s 2012 new gTLD application, as represented in the table below.

WikipediaDotMusic
Music community is defined as a logical alliance of interdependent communities that are related to music,  The Community is a strictly delineated and organized community of individuals, organizations and business, a “logical alliance of communities of a similar nature (“COMMUNITY”)”
The music community shares a cohesive and interconnected structure of artistic expression, with diverse subcultures and socio-economic interactions between music creators, their value chain, distribution channel and fans subscribing to common ideals.  The Community and the .MUSIC string share a core value system of artistic expression with diverse, niche subcultures and socio-economic interactions between music creators, their value chain, distribution channel, and ultimately engaging fans as well as other music constituents subscribing to common ideals.
Under such structured context music consumption becomes possible regardless whether the transaction is commercial and non-commercialUnder such structured context music consumption becomes possible regardless whether the transaction is commercial and non-commercial

The phrase “logical alliance” originates in the ICANN Applicant Guidebook, as part of the CPE rules.

But that still leaves two sentences that appear to have been only lightly edited after being taken wholesale from the DotMusic application.

The Wikipedia page does not refer to domain names or ICANN, nor does it cite DotMusic as a source, despite the fact (per a Google search) that phrases such as “socio-economic interactions between music creators” have only ever appeared in .music’s application.

That’s unusual, because the citations in the article, many of which are to weighty, barely comprehensible scholarly works, give the impression of a well-researched and well-sourced piece.

Only one Wikipedia editor, known by the handle Dr. Blofeld, has contributed anything of substance to the page. Three others have provided cosmetic edits.

While a prolific editor since 2006, the closest he had previously come to writing an article about music were his contributions to a page about a green Versace dress once worn by singer Jennifer Lopez, according to Blofeld’s user page.

He seems to be much more interested in nature, architecture and film (including James Bond films, naturally).

On wonders why he had the sudden urge to scratch-build a 375-word article about the “music community”, having evidently read a dozen academic works on the topic, that fails to cite DotMusic’s application as the source of some of the text.

In summary, the evidence points towards the article being created solely for the purpose of assisting DotMusic towards a CPE victory that would save it the seven-figure sum .music is likely to fetch if it goes to auction.

There are eight applicants for .music in total.

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Comments (25)

  1. tom barrett says:

    I don’t see how this page is more suspect than any other page on wikipedia. they all have to start with one writer.

  2. Kevin,

    This is a new low for you but comes to no surprise seeing that a big portion of your advertisers being our .MUSIC competing applicants that pay a lot of your bills.

    For starters, looking at the history of the entry (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Music_community&action=history), it is clear that these Wikipedia writers are prolific and have made submissions and edited the entry (and thousands of others), which is common practice. Just like anyone in the world can change the entry, anyone in the world can reference it.

    Seems clear to the readers that you have a clear agenda against community applicants and any reader can see that you are being influenced by those who pay your bills.

    We expected last minute obstruction from our competitors (many of whom are your advertisers and pay your bills) and yourself (yes, you are that predictable mate because of your history attacking us at every chance).

    ICANN and the EIU are intelligent enough to know about the predictable obstruction pattern. I can predict with certainty it is coming in the next 72 hours or so. Stay tuned because all this (even your post) is calculated raised in the eleventh hour to obstruct our worthy work.

    Perhaps criticize our application, our policies and the level of support we have? That would be constructive.

    However, your readers are getting it. They can read between the lines.

    In your previous attack against me you said we employed “dirty tricks” (http://domainincite.com/18389-dirty-tricks-claimed-in-music-fight) which obviously were false allegations. The ICANN reconsideration determination on the “dirty tricks” attack vindicated us and exposed the complainant, a competing .MUSIC applicant (https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/determination-15-6-Music-llc-06may15-en.pdf, May 6th, 2015). But where was the follow up from you? Nowhere to be seen. I wonder why? Your readers may be wondering Kevin.

    I understand you do not believe there is music community, even though we amassed the largest coalition of organizations ever assembled to support a music cause, which is not a story good to break into your blog because it is a worthy story.
    Our community application has supporting organizations with members that represent over 95% of music consumed globally. If you deny that there is a delineated music community then I urge you to try an experiment: do not listen to any music that is related to our supporting organizations. You will have a limited choice. I would argue, you will have no choices. That paint a picture? Denying the existence of an entire sector is laughable but I am not the one paying your bills. However, my initiative always seems to help increase your page views 🙂 Any attacks on us = more views for your one-sided blog.

    In terms of the existence of the music community, we have used countless references in our application, describing the relationship of the string with the music community: H. Hoegh-Guldberg and R. Letts ( Statistical Framework for the Music Sector, 2005), the U.K Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS 2001), Michael Chanan (Short History of Recording and its Effects on Music, 1995) and Peter Martland (Business History of the Gramophone Company Ltd (1887-1918), 1992), F. Fabbri (Theory of Musical Genres, Popular Music Perspectives, 1981), J. Toynbee (Making Popular Music: Musicians, Creativity & Institutions, 2000), A. North, & D. Hargreaves (Liking for Musical Styles, Music Scientae,1997), F. Pachet (Representing Musical Genre: A State of the Art, Journal of New Music Research, 2003).

    If you go to Amazon.com (a competitor for .MUSIC) and search for “music community” (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=music+community). Amazon search returns nearly 30,000 results.

    Perhaps all those Amazon references and books were also written solely to assist us in passing CPE as well? It is truly getting desperate.

    Next time you email me, I suggest you wait a few hours so I can respond (and you know I always respond). Your readers know this is a desperate move and part of the eleventh hour obstruction campaign that just began against our Application just as our CPE evaluation begins.

    You are earning your pay from your advertisers but your readers are smarter than that.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      I’m sure DI readers would be delighted to hear you deny for the record that DotMusic had a hand in creating the Wikipedia page.

      Can you also explain why the Wikipedia page uses text from your application without citation?

      Can you explain why it uses text from the CPE portion of the Applicant Guidebook?

      Can you explain why the “music community” you say exists did not merit a Wikipedia page until shortly before you were due to file your CPE?

      I’m going to ignore the personal attacks on my ethics, primarily because I genuinely have no clue whether any of DI’s advertisers have applied for .music or not and I can’t be bothered to look it up.

      • Kevin,

        You are entitled to your own personal opinion that the music community does not exist. It follows the rhetoric of those competitors bidding for .MUSIC as non-community applications. Why would they apply for .MUSIC if there was no music community?

        Who would actually register .music or associate themselves with the .MUSIC string? This is a very important question. The answer is the music community addressed, not a casual, peripheral consumer that happens to like music. In other words they would have the requisite awareness that they belong to the community. You would not qualify since you do not have the requisite awareness of it. Others do though. That is where our eligibility is quite specific mandating this requisite awareness of the community.

        There are many documents that we have posted about the “music community,” which include posts to ICANN and to the EIU specifically which are public. We actually did many position papers in 2013 (when CPE Guidelines were being “amended” after the AGB was made). You can check the ICANN CPE page for that. and the web Those position papers can be found on Google. We also have thousands of public statements via our social media as well.

        The fact that some chose to post to Wikipedia is a positive affirmation of what we are doing, but does not define or limit us. The fact that the post went through many Wikipedia prolific writers shows some sort of reasonable confirmation of acceptance that our definition is on the right track. Also, the Wikipedia history reveals that the entry was created about a year or so ago. This is far from shortly before going into CPE (which is now, nearly a year later).

        Clearly our definition was crafted by us, distributed all over the web and later accepted by many as a reasonable definition. We have been pretty vocal and public about the existence of the music community and how it is defined or addressed. Seems the general public agrees there is a community for music. The definition might evolve slightly but it does exist.

        Also it is safe to say that we have a majority of supporting organizations that constitute the music sector if you prefer that word (unless you want to deny that as well). Actually, it is the largest support for any TLD in the New gTLD Program. That merits consideration because the music community addressed wants the TLD to be run responsibly and with music-tailored policies.

        You have read or seen or heard our very public discussions and position papers on why and how the “community exists.” I did not see you dispute ICANN and GAC when they agreed that “music” was a regulated, delineated sector and passed many resolutions on the topic (See https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/bm/briefing-materials-2-05feb14-en.pdf, Pg.3). We will continue to state the obvious that the music community exists and continue provide a diverse set of evidence that would reasonably point to that.

        Judge our application on its merits. Whether a Wikipedia entry exists or not, we strongly believe (as do many) that the “music community” exists (sounds silly denying it) and
        our community application was written with extensive feedback from the music community.

        Just to be clear, we have developed the .MUSIC Mission, definition and Registration Policies from feedback collected during a global, public outreach campaign launched in 2008. During this time the music community was engaged (via events, meetings, social media etc) with us to shape the .MUSIC mission, definition and policies. DotMusic has participated in hundreds of international music/domain events (http://music.us/events) and continues to engage music community members. One can safely conclude that the community application is by the community for the community.

        If you believe our initiative is not authentic and not worthy then you are entitled to your personal opinion. We are here to set the story straight. My team and myself have always been approachable and keen to meaningful discussions. Obstructing us though is a serious issue which we do not take lightly.

        P.S. I am pretty sure you know who the .MUSIC applicants are. The only initiative that has more mentions than us on your blog is DCA, which you took personally because you were accused of a conspiracy against them. Seems you are quite passionate about us not passing CPE and that there is no music community. Even though you say you “genuinely have no clue whether any of DI’s advertisers have applied for .music or not and can’t be bothered to look it up” while you do bother to write a specific attack piece that analyzes words from our application, including quoting specific words from specific sections of our extensive website), I will take you at your word that you are not serving the interests of some of your advertisers or our competitors. However, I do think posting an attack story against us while collecting advertising dollars from our .MUSIC competitors is a conflict of interest. Any reasonable reader will see that.

        • Kevin Murphy says:

          Costa,

          One of the problems with having journalistic ethics is that sometimes you have to write bad things about people you like.

          Please note that I am not arguing against your CPE. I’m arguing against the validity of the Wikipedia article that you’ve been throwing around as a source for months.

          No, the Wikipedia page did not go through “many Wikipedia prolific writers”.

          As I explained in the original post, it was written entirely by one guy — Dr Blofeld. The three other editors — each of whom has a single edit — did not change the text of the article. They just made cosmetic changes to the page.

          This is a matter of public record that anyone can check out to verify for themselves: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Music_community&action=history

          Blofed wrote the article, and he is the one who cited the 13 mostly academic sources to back up the statements he was making.

          Anyone who had read all of those texts, some of which are extremely dense — the work of renowned music scholars and evidently written for a limited audience of academics — would surely not need to quote DotMusic’s new gTLD application to prove the existence of a “music community”, especially as parts of that application are written almost entirely with the CPE in mind.

          Looking through Blofeld’s Wikipedia record, I don’t believe for a second he has read any of this stuff.

          But I note from your application that somebody at DotMusic has read some of that stuff.

          And if the “music community” is such a big deal, why did it not get the recognition of the Wikipedia editor community until after the only other “Community” .music application had failed CPE?

          If Blofeld was an objective third party, who wrote his article after Far Further was crucified in CPE, why would he quote from the subjective applicant that is arguing in favor of the existence of a “music community” and not from the objective CPE panel that had already concluded it does not exist?

          In my view, he’s either a supporter of DotMusic, or he was encouraged to write the article by a supporter of DotMusic or DotMusic itself.

          Either way, it was dishonest of DotMusic to cite Wikipedia on multiple occasions as a neutral third-party source when it should have been extremely obvious that the article being cited looked a lot more like astroturf.

          Anyway, I note that you have not yet directly denied being involved in the Wikipedia article.

          I urge you to do so.

          Kevin

    • John Berryhill says:
        “I urge you to try an experiment: do not listen to any music that is related to our supporting organizations…”

        This one is kinda catchy…

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBgMeunuviE

  3. Rubens Kuhl says:

    Wasn’t Dr. Blofeld who wrote a position paper in favor of .music community delineation ? I couldn’t fight right away who was it.

  4. Kevin,

    Our application references many authors that are experts on the music community. Our application’s content, including the association of .music and its relationship with the community were taken from works of published authors, experts and studies (such as from government ministries of culture). It is entirely possible that many of those experts have influenced a lot of the writings on the topic of music community, not just ours.

    We referenced all the authors and experts that we quoted in our application to corroborate some of our statements pertaining to the existence of the music community. I am surprised your piece does not give credit to those we quoted in our application.

    The authors that we referenced are:

    Hoegh-Guldberg and R. Letts (Statistical Framework for the Music Sector, 2005)

    U.K Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS 2001), Creative Industries Mapping Study)

    Michael Chanan (Short History of Recording and its Effects on Music, 1995)

    Peter Martland (Business History of the Gramophone Company Ltd (1887-1918), 1992)

    F. Fabbri (Theory of Musical Genres, Popular Music Perspectives, 1981)

    J. Toynbee (Making Popular Music: Musicians, Creativity & Institutions, 2000)

    A. North, & D. Hargreaves (Liking for Musical Styles, Music Scientae,1997)

    F. Pachet (Representing Musical Genre: A State of the Art, Journal of New Music Research, 2003)

    R. Burnett (International Music Industry, 1996)

    P. Gronow (International History of the Recording Industry, 1998)

    M. Talbot (Business of Music, 2002)

    P. Tschmuck (Creativity & Innovation in the Music Industry, Institute of Culture Management & Culture Science, 2006)

    See our application at: https://gtldresult.icann.org/application-result/applicationstatus/applicationdetails:downloadapplication/1392?t:ac=1392

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      Were you involved in any way in the creation of the “music community” Wikipedia page?

      You have no obligation whatsoever to answer this question.

      But I’ve asked you four times and you have not answered.

      If you don’t answer, I’m sure DI readers will notice.

      As you’ve observed above, DI readers are super smart.

      • Kevin,

        A few soundbytes on the Wikipedia page is quite consistent with some words from our application and our position papers (which were heavily referenced with authors/experts — hundreds of citations actually).

        To answer your question: I did not create the Wikipedia page. No-one from my team did either. It is clear that others have agreed with some of our contributions and advocacy on the existence of the music community. As you know we have advocated for support to serve the community with music-tailored policies that are meaningful and our outreach campaign has been quite extensive and supported by many.

        Such support though is discounted by you and competitors (including the competitor that we know supplied you with this information) to fit the their story that there is no such thing as a delineated music community (with members having the requisite awareness of it) so .MUSIC is auctioned out to the highest bidder.

        Experts would differ with such an opinion though. ICANN and GAC both agree with their resolutions/advice that “music” is a sensitive, regulated sector. This Wikipedia page has remained live for over a year, so anyone on this planet had time to edit it. Some made changes over the year. We did not. But we do agree with a portion of it because parts of it is based on our referenced authors/experts that we quoted in our application.

        This ongoing pattern of obstruction against community-applicants seems to have reached new levels. Seems quite self-serving that this comes up at the eve of our evaluation when the post was around since last year? We know this info to you came from a particular .MUSIC competitor and you have not denied that. That said, we will continue to serve the music community (and its existence) in the best way that we can.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      I don’t doubt that your application has massive amounts of support Costa.

      I don’t think I’ve ever recently written anything doubting you. Correct me if I’m wrong.

      Obviously, some significant parts of your support only emerged after Far Further CPE failed and organizations who had previously objected to DotMusic decided that you were the lesser of eight evils.

      But who’s counting? Not me, obviously.

      (Links available on request)

      • Kevin,

        Thanks for at least acknowledging the massive support and not doubting our initiative. It has worthy intentions and is trying to serve a specific meaningful purpose.

        Any support we received was earned through our music community consensus-driven application as well as our reiterated commitments to the music community which we clarified beyond question as you may know.

        Yes, you are right about the opposition withdrawals and big portion of Far Further’s supporters supporting us as well. It speaks volumes. It was certainly not because it is the lesser of 8 evils. It was because we had consensus-based music-tailored policies that serve the interests of the community.

        You can check out the comparison of the .MUSIC applications to see how we differ and what music-tailored policies we specifically have: http://music.us/comparison.pdf

        Thank you.

        • Kevin Murphy says:

          I think you arranged that Wikipedia article and I think you’re lying about it. I’m sorry, mate, I just can’t imagine another way it could have happened and you haven’t given me a plausible alternative. Sorry. Please tell me if I’m wrong and how I’m wrong.

          • Kevin,

            My team and I wrote a detailed piece and analysis on the “music community” that was provided to ICANN in 2013 with nearly 100 citations (which predated Far Further’s CPE evaluation). See: http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/cpe/guidelines-comment-dotmusic-07sep13-en.pdf

            This is public on ICANN’s CPE page: http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/cpe

            No need for the name calling Kevin. Anyone can create or edit a Wikipedia page. Fact is I did not create it, but without a doubt it was influenced. It is clear that the research we presented in our application in 2012, our “music community” position paper submission to ICANN in 2013 and our entire public outreach (See http://music.us/events) is consistent: there is a delineated music (industry) community. We have been very vocal about this. GAC and ICANN agree that music is a sensitive regulated sector and this is set in stone in the New gTLD Program via resolutions.

            What I find fascinating is the timing of this post and also how some of our competitors have “conveniently” used this page you wrote a few days ago in their opposition obstruction (http://www.donuts.domains/images/pdfs/music-CPE-comment-Aug2015.pdf, Pg. 34) which had a deadline yesterday.

            Seems like a coincidence right? The obstruction never ends against community applicants. It is a shame because the intent of the New gTLD Program was to give priority to authentic communities. No-one can deny that the .MUSIC community application of supporters is not authentic and does not constitute a majority of the community as defined. It is silly to have arguments that there is no music community but I respect your opinion.

  5. Gamaliel says:

    Is there a link to the 2012 application somewhere? Or am I dense and I just missed it.

  6. Scott Bibby says:

    Kevin,

    You talk about journalistic ethics.

    This is now under discussion at:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Jimbo_Wales#.22.music_applicant_caught_using_bogus_Wikipedia_page.22

    You have stated here that “Dr Blofeld” has acted in a way that is not only corrupt but also goes against the rules and norm of that Wikipedia community.

    The problem with this is that you have provided absolutely zero evidence to support that insinuation. And if what Constantine Roussos noted about your site advertisers is true, then you could have a big legal problem on your hands.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      Interesting, thanks for the link.

      The evidence that Blofeld quoted the DotMusic application is in the original blog post. Look at the table.

      I see from your link that he’s denying ever having heard of DotMusic or knowing what a new gTLD application is.

      Yet he used two sentences from the application without attribution in his article.

      If there’s an innocent explanation for that, I’d love to hear it and will be happy to correct anything I’ve got wrong.

  7. Paul Stahura says:

    Constantine, of course I am biased, since Donuts is an applicant, but I agree with Kevin. My belief is while you may not have personally written that article, you did have it written, and solely to commercially benefit your .music TLD application. Also, like Kevin, happy to change my belief on this if proven incorrect.

    Despite the existence of a wikipedia article, a worldwide music “community” does not exist, and even if it did, it’s not known by the word “music.” Again, if there were a community, you do not represent it. I believe all the letters and any support you received based on manufactured “community” evidence such as this wikipedia article should be discarded.

    I’ll pose two issues, one of which I believe I can address:
    1. Why doesn’t the wikipedia author “Blofeld” make his or her true identity known? (imo, its highly likely that person is reading this comment) The answer, I think, is because we’d then be able to connect that person to you beyond simply showing that the article content is quoted nearly verbatim from your TLD application, content that appears nowhere else on the Internet. I believe their identity will come out anyway when lawsuits and discovery start, so why not come clean now?

    2. To use of the word “music”…please tell us who is NOT in your definition of this so-called community. You say this community exists and includes all manner of persons and companies, from large multi-national corporations to pan flute hole drillers to Petruta Kupper Einsamer Hirte to fans of Petruta Kupper Einsamer Hirte (like myself). It seems to me that if you are part of any community, you would be aware that you were. For example, I am a Catholic. I know I am, I know the pope represents that community, I know the term was invented by early members of the community centuries ago, and I know we refer to ourselves as “Catholic.” Your claimed community has none of these attributes. You did not coin the word “music” (nor did anyone in your claimed community) and the people in this purported community do not call themselves “music.” (“I am a music” said no one, ever.) Most are unaware they’re in such a community (like myself), and they do not claim you represent them in any matter, particularly as it relates to music. Please name one person who is NOT part of the community as you try to define it. Please be specific and avoid the temptation of answering by saying something like, “those that are not in it are not in it.”

    • Rubens Kuhl says:

      The “I’m a ” is an interesting test, and so far it worked with 3 of the approved CPEs (hotel, radio, spa) but not with 1 (eco). Continuing with your religious example, buddhists might prefer .buddhism to .buddhist; perhaps even .buddha or having both. They certainly can’t say “I’m Buddhism”, but in the same way I can relate to a musician preferring .music to .musician, I think buddhists will also prefer .buddhism. CPE involves many criteria so passing this one is not sufficient for either DotMusic Limited or Far Further to pass CPE, but I don’t see this test as defining in the process.

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