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RIAA backs .music new gTLD bid

Kevin Murphy, February 7, 2012, 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.

DomainIncite PRO subscribers can read more about it here.

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ICANN board seat up for reelection

Kevin Murphy, February 3, 2012, Domain Policy

ICANN’s Address Supporting Organization has kicked off an election for one of its two official representatives on the ICANN board of directors.

Director Ray Plzak sees his three-year term come to an end in June. He’s standing for reelection, but has competition from three other candidates.

The ASO represents the oft-overlooked IP address side of the ICANN house. Its members belong to the five Regional Internet Registries that are responsible for doling out IP space.

In this election, all four candidates are from ARIN, the North American RIR community: Plzak, Eric Brunner-Williams, Martin Levy and William Manning.

The winner will be selected by the ASO’s ruling Address Council in May. Until April 19, the ASO wants public comments on the candidates.

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Verisign: our DNS was not hacked

Kevin Murphy, February 3, 2012, Domain Tech

Verisign today reiterated that the recently revealed 2010 security breaches on its corporate network did not affect its production domain name system services.

In a statement, Verisign said:

After a thorough analysis of the attacks, Verisign stated in 2011, and reaffirms, that we do not believe that the operational integrity of the Domain Name System (DNS) was compromised.

We have a number of security mechanisms deployed in our network to ensure the integrity of the zone files we publish. In 2005, Verisign engineered real-time validation systems that were designed to detect and mitigate both internal and external attacks that might attempt to compromise the integrity of the DNS.

The statement followed several news reports that covered the hacks and speculated about the mayhem that could ensue if Verisign’s root or .com zone systems were ever breached.

The information the company has released so far suggests that the attacks were probably against back-office targets, such as user desktops, rather than its sensitive network operations centers.

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New gTLD applications briefly vanish after glitch

Kevin Murphy, February 2, 2012, Domain Tech

A software glitch in ICANN’s TLD Application System was apparently to blame for a number of “disappearing” new generic top-level domain applications today.

At about 4pm UTC today, two Neustar executives tweeted that some applications, among them the company’s own .neustar dot-brand application, had vanished from their TAS accounts.

TAS is the web-based application, presented as a series of questions, which applicants must use to file and pay for their new gTLD applications.

Several other applicants were also believed to be affected.

It took about two hours for ICANN to sort the problem out.

A spokesperson later said: “A display issue occurred in TAS, it has been corrected. All data is now visible & no information was lost.”

It’s the second technical problem to be reported in TAS this week.

On Tuesday, consultant Fairwinds Partners reported that some applicants had problems filling out their TAS profiles, preventing them from completing their applications.

Frankly, I’d be more surprised if this kind of thing didn’t happen.

TAS is brand new custom-built software, and as anyone who’s ever written software will tell you, no amount of testing can substitute for production use when it comes to finding bugs.

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.sas could be the first contested dot-brand gTLD

Kevin Murphy, February 2, 2012, Domain Registries

Scandinavian Airlines System Group is to apply to ICANN for a generic top-level domain, .sas, in what could turn out to be the first example of a contested dot-brand.

The company has agreed to explain its thinking during The Top Level, a conference happening in London later this month.

The agenda for the meeting states that SAS will deliver a presentation entitled: “SAS: Why we made the strategic decision to apply”.

Linn Drivdal Mellbye of conference organizer CloudNames, the Norwegian registry services provider, confirmed in a tweet minutes ago that the sought-after gTLD is .sas.

The string “SAS” has multiple meanings.

Indeed, for about three minutes this post originally stated — wrongly — that the applicant giving the presentation was the North Carolina software giant SAS Institute.

If the American SAS also applies for .sas, it may have to fight it out with the airline at an auction.

SAS — the Scandinavian one — becomes the second dot-brand applicant to come out in as many days, following StarHub’s news yesterday.

The company is based in Stockholm and employs about 25,000 people.

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