Far Further has come out as the second company to say it plans to apply to ICANN for the .music top-level domain.
It’s also, I believe, the first applicant to reveal that it has partnered with Demand Media registrar eNom for its back-end registry services.
The new company is headed by former Warner Music record producer Loren Balman, CEO, and former music journalist John Styll, president. Former PIR chief Alexa Raad of Architelos is advising.
Far Further says its .music will “provide the global music community a secure identifying Internet address that supports the promotion of music, the protection of intellectual property rights, and the advancement of global access to music education.”
It’s my belief that the successful .music applicant will be the one that can secure the support of organizations such as the Recording Industry Association of America and its overseas counterparts.
The RIAA’s concerns about piracy spreading through .music domains, however misplaced, suggest that any other applicant is likely to find itself on the receiving end of objections, if not lawsuits.
Support from such organizations would also be critical to any bid that plans to invoke a Community Priority Evaluation — a trump card that well-supported applications can play in the ICANN process.
Perhaps the most interesting revelation about Far Further is the company’s selection of eNom, and its Shared Registry System, as its back-end technology services provider.
eNom is of course the world’s second-largest domain name registrar, with over 11 million domains under management, but it has yet to enter the registry services market.
There’s still a bit of a question mark over eNom’s ability to pass ICANN’s background checks, due to its UDRP losses, but this may not be a problem if it is merely the back-end provider, rather than the applicant itself.