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RIAA Thinks .Music Domains Will Be Piracy Havens

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The RIAA is lowering it's horns and taking the .music initiative head-on. Even though the .music domain extension hasn't seen the light of day yet, the RIAA is already challenging ICANN to ensure that, if approved, this top-level domain won't be used to encourage music piracy. The RIAA would like to work closely with ICANN and others to "ensure that best practices are developed and used to ensure this type of malicious behavior does not occur." 

As you may know, entrepreneur Constantine Roussos has championed the .music initiative for years. What does he have to say about this? "Unfortunately copyright infringement and cybersquatting is a reality, especially in the music space," Roussos commented. "Malicious conduct is of primary concern here."

He says that the RIAA has brought up "legitimate points that we echo in regards to malicious conduct, accountability, and transparency." In other words, Roussos sees RIAA's side in this ordeal and understands their fears. But, as the RIAA is known for, they sign-off their warning shot to ICANN on a rather unpleasant note:

"We strongly urge you to take these concerns seriously… we prefer a practical solution to these issues, and hope to avoid the need to escalate the issue further."

This barely veiled threat comes by way of RIAA deputy general counsel Victoria Sheckler. Referencing the "massive copyright infringement battle" they've fought in the years, she says their fear is justified. The RIAA isn't taking any chances.

As many will point out, while websites like is a real concern, .music domain or no domain, music piracy will march on regardless.

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  1. I already know of like 6 sites that have been seized and shutdown by the government and RIAA so they are definitely serious about this…and with good reason..but the music industry needs to change and catch up with i think their money would be better spent on catching up on the NET then on seizing and shutting down sites

  2. Exactly – if the RIAA continues to alienate music fans from the music, they will ultimately loose out in the end. I already have NO respect for them considering none of their lawsuit monies went to any actually bands – I see them as another greedy organization.
    I would rather see bands selling their own music and more outlets for music – physically. Bands already loose a large deal of their money to corporations – and it’s a shame.

  3. Thanks Kyle for the article about .music and all the concerns that we have in regards to safely and responsibly launching the .music top-level domain extension for the music community.
    Our policies in regards to .music domains will be focused on outlawing copyright infringement. Our policies will go beyond what ICANN requires and the standard norm for domain name registrations thus far.
    The .music domain extension will be a community-based initiative with stringent policies in regards to registration rules. Only members of approved .music Community Member Organizations (CMOs) will be able to register a .music address. CMOs will include .music-accredited Trade Organizations, Government Agencies/Export Offices, Music Educational Institutions, Digital Aggregators and Music Communities. It will not be open to the general public like a .COM.
    We invite these types of organizations to become .music Community Member Organizations, who will serve as gatekeepers to protect .music from malicious conduct. These CMOs will be assigned a validating ID that will be given to their members to use in order to register a .music domain.
    You can email us at community (at) if you are an organization interested in becoming a .music accredited CMO. We will be at Midem, New Music Seminar, Digital Music Forum East and SXSW as well. Contact us via our website if you have questions or interest.
    Constantine Roussos
    .music Domain Initiative

  4. @musicextension by insisting that only those who are part of a CMO can register a .music domain you are excluding small bands and music bloggers who have no need to associate with any CMOs. This is a great shame and smacks of record label politics.

  5. Hey Tim,
    We will not allow the exclusion of legitimate small bands or music bloggers. The policies for small bands and music bloggers will be incorporated. We also have been deveoping policies surrounding .music fan websites as well. We will not being excluding members of the at-large music community and a process will be in place to validate themselves and register a .music domain. The CMOs will be diverse.
    The .music community will be highly inclusive for music constituents. It is so inclusive for the music community that we are also working towards International Domain Names for .music to facilitate the music community from regions with languages in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Hindi etc.
    In other words, we will be vying for the internalization of the music space on the Internet. The .music initiative will cater to the needs of a culturally-diverse global music community. Besides English/Latin, .MUSIC will also be translated and launched in 8 other languages, including French (.musique), Germanic (.musik), Hindi, Russian (.музыка), Japanese (音楽), Korean (음악), Arabic and Chinese (.音乐).
    Check for more info. Our goal is truly innovate the space and keep it exclusive to the music community and not cybersquatters or pirates.
    We are committed to our original mission of adding value to the music community, bring new innovation, facilitate collaboration as well as make the TLD truly internationalized. Win-win is the objective and unity in vision and execution. For that all constituents will benefit by participating and engage positively for the greater good of the industry. In actuality, the exclusion of members of the music community is exactly what we are striving against.
    Thank you for allowing me to expand upon your comment. It is a very important issue that you posed and highly critical for making .music a success and a safe launch.
    Constantine Roussos
    .music domain initiative

  6. While I applaud your vision, I fear that your mindset and goals will either create a community that actual “music fans” have no interest in being a part of… or worse, create an alternate music community that functions outside and in spite of the sanctioned .MUSIC sites.
    Without the music lovers respect, you have nothing. That being said, I truly hope my fears are unfounded.

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