Ongoing Battle over the new .Music Domain Extension

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Critics continue to argue over the new domain name extensions that will be available in January 2012. The most recent battle is with the potential creation of the .music top-level domain name. The music industry recently announced their concerns with the new extension. However, instead of simply complaining online, the industry is bringing their concerns to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) which is part of the Department of Commerce.

New Regulations

ICANN is the current organization that administers the domain extensions process under contract from the NTIA. Therefore, any new regulations set by the NTIA must be followed by ICANN in the U.S. market.

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Newly Proposed Rules

The new rules proposed by the music industry would require ICANN to document how the proposed extension has receive support from relevant stakeholders and can safely be supported by the global public interest prior to introducing new domain names. In early 2011, music industry groups such as the RIAA, ASCAP and A2IM sent a let to ICANN listing their concerns regarding the domain name change.

Initial Concerns of the Music Industry

Their main apprehension was the lack of direct control over who could register a .music extension. The industry does not want unlawful online music services to acquire a .music extension. Since the sharing of illegal music across the Internet is a current issue, an illegal website acquiring a .music domain name extension could significantly affect revenues within the industry.

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Reiterating Concerns

This same group of advocates recently reiterated their trepidations to the NTIA to support the agency’s proposal to enforce stricter measures for the purchase of any new domain extension. The group released a statement informing the public that they do not feel as if ICANN has adequately address all concerns raised by relevant parties with regards to the sale and launch of new global top-level domains.

Awarding of the Domain Extensions

Also, the organizations want to be clear that they do not have an issue with the .music domain. Instead their concern is how the extensions are being awarded. The heart of the issue relates to who owns music online. There are many music companies that allegedly operate on the Internet outside the confines of the rules.

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Small battles such as that with .music domain name extension are beginning to pop up across the globe as the launch of new top-level domains approaches. Hopefully ICANN can address all issues to ensure a streamlined launch.

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