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RIAA backs .music new gTLD bid

Kevin Murphy, February 7, 2012, 11:33:31 (UTC), Domain Registries

The Recording Industry Association of America has picked a side. It’s supporting Far Further’s application for the .music generic top-level domain, according to the company.

The RIAA is one of over a dozen music industry groups that are currently listed as supporters of the Far Further bid.

Among them is the influential International Federation of Phonographic Industries and The Recording Academy, which hands out the Grammys.

The support was hard won, according to Far Further president John Styll.

“The RIAA put together a loose coalition of organizations from sectors from around the world and ran a pretty intensive RFI process,” he said.

The company beat off competition from several other respondents and received word that the RIAA would support its .music application a few months ago, he said.

It’s been clear for some time that any .music applicant that does not have the backing of the RIAA will very likely get beaten up by the notoriously protective organization instead.

The RIAA wrote to the US Department of Commerce last August to demand that any music-themed gTLD should implement “heightened security measures” to prevent copyright infringement.

And that’s pretty much what Far Further has promised.

Its .music would be restricted, along the same lines as gTLDs such a .pro, to card-carrying members of what the company calls “accredited Global Music Community Members”.

“It’s not open to everyone,” Styll said. “You’d have to join an organization.”

Amateur bands would have to be members of an accredited songwriters association to get a .music address, for example.

In addition, the content of .music web sites would be policed in a similar way to .xxx or .cat, with regular spidering to ensure the content does not break the rules.

“We’re definitely looking at content, and besides the vetting process, in the registrant agreement there’ll be a warrant you’re not going to violate anyone’s intellectual property rights,” said Styll.

“We’re retaining the right to conduct searches,” he said. “If we find evidence of infringing activity we’ll give you the opportunity to correct that, or we can take down the site.”

Far Further is not the only known .music applicant, of course.

Constantine Roussos of Music.us and MyTLD has been passionately campaigning for the gTLD for years, and his enthusiasm has not waned even if his chances have.

“We’re still going after .music,” he confirmed yesterday. He added that he expects it to be a two-horse race, given these recent developments.

Make no mistake, with backing from the RIAA and other influential industry groups Far Further is now the runaway favorite in the battle for .music. Roussos has quite a fight on his hands.

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Comments (8)

  1. I am quite excited for this battle and it will be a long and drawn one. I quite disagree about the “runaway favorite” comment. Just because the RIAA has “loosely” supported an American candidate means nothing especially if you look at the fact they they need to meet “community” status to win. I am sure we all know where this is headed and Kevin is right. It will be a long and expensive process. We have planned far ahead for this outcome and we have our global community to back us up and financial resources to go as far as it takes us to win. This will be a long, drawn out and expensive marathon. I have to admit, I am looking forward to this battle and we will come strong and swinging when the time is right. People can certainly read between the lines in regards to what this all means for the global music community. It will be interesting who the at-large music community will favor and why.

    • Tom G says:

      You had to have known all along this would be hotly contested and you have worked hard in preparation. Sincere Best Wishes for you in your endeavor,

      • Thanks Tom! I appreciate it.

        Creativity is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration.

        Keep in mind that we vetted the same Coalition. These Intellectual Property measures “stated” by Far Further were spearheaded by us and developed by us in working in conjunction with the RIAA and other music constituents before the .MUSIC RFI was even engaged but we will leave that story for a rainy day.

        We all know the background to this story and we can figure out where this will be heading. Nothing too shocking and all that transpired was expected.

        I love the irony in the the copyright and intellectual protection statements made by Far Further for .music. Yes, stealing others intellectual property and trade secrets is bad, so be careful for what you wish for :)

        As Alexander Graham Bell quotes: “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”

        We are ready to strike and it will be an avalanche and something to look out for. It is just a timing issue. Stay tuned.

  2. theo says:

    Looks like Constantine is gonna face a serious battle. Seems he is prepared though :D

    G’luck !

  3. Kate Hutchinson says:

    Having heard Constantine speak about the project and the community support, I wouldn’t say the opposition is the “favorite.” I wish Constantine the best of luck, he has a great team, a great campaign, and a lot of innovative ideas, plus a solid business plan.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      Far Further is the favorite for two major reasons:

      1) I don’t think either applicant will pass the CPE, but if either does it will be the one with RIAA backing.

      2) GAC objections.

      • I agree with you about the difficulty of passing the CPE at this moment. Should be a fascinating battle to say the least.

        In regards to GAC objections I see the situation being the opposite, unless you are referring the U.S GAC representative calling myself and my 7-year Initiative “pirates”. I think there is enough evidence out there (and more that has not been exposed) that would show otherwise which is what I find ironic and amusing at the same time.

        That said, I will respectfully disagree with Kevin since he does not really know what is really happening behind the scenes. We have no doubt that this will be a long and expensive journey and certainly have our legal team ready to take whatever measures required to at least bring out the truth to the surface. Then ICANN and the music community can make a determination.

        Transparency, multi-stakeholder, openness, innovation and competition. Need I say more? We will be moving forward with our Initiative and taking it all the way, however long this takes and certainly the truth will be exposed and then constituents can make up their mind. Underdog or not, front-running or not, the public opinion can look at the facts and object if they see foul play or something that actually deters competition and innovation. Good to know nearly all of public opinion is on my side on this. Should be a fun ride :)

  4. Paul Hands says:

    The basic idea is flawed.

    Having a .music TLD will do exactly zero to curb piracy – the pirates just won’t use it.

    This whole thing is a waste of time and money. What’s needed is for dinosaur organisations like the RIAA to join the 21st century, and innovate, not legislate.

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