What’s in an (internet) name? Well, plenty according to the various music industry factions who are lobbying the Internet Corporation For Assigned Names & Numbers () for new internet domain names such as .music, .tickets and .radio.
Icann tells the BBC that it has received a total of 1,930 requests for new suffixes and it will reveal later today exactly who has applied for what.
Among the generic top-level domains (gTLDs) requests expected to be announced are .music, .radio and .tickets, with competition for all expected to be fierce. The .MUSIC organisation, for example, announced yesterday that it formally applied for .music, with plans to provide “a safe haven for legal music consumption and ensure monies flow to the music community – not to pirates or unlicensed websites”.
This example illustrates exactly what is at stake with these new domain names: a .music or .tickets address could be used to lend legitimacy to a site in a way that a standard .com (or .fm – the unofficial suffix for music) does not. For example, the Dot Tickets Organisation, headed by Steve Machin, wants to use the .tickets suffix for legitimate ticketing companies, leaving the touts and fraudsters to fight over .coms.
Fair enough, you might think. But given the ongoing battle about internet freedom, allowing any one group – with all its vested interests – to assign these suffixes could prove highly controversial. Should ticket resale sites, for example, which are perfectly legal if loathed by many in the live music industry, be allowed a .ticket suffix?
Or how about Far Further, a domain marketing and development company that has the support of the RIAA in its pursuit of the .music suffix? The RIAA’s aggressive stance on piracy has proved nothing if not controversial among the tech community – allowing the organisation to preside over .music suffix would be tantamount to war in some quarters.
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