RIAA Threatening ICANN About .music; Claiming It Will Be Used To Infringe

from the when-you're-an-organization-of-lawyers... dept

Oh look, the RIAA is overreacting yet again -- and doing so the only way it knows how: by rolling out the legal threats. This time it's threatening ICANN over its new top level domain program, which allows all sorts of new TLDs to be registered -- including planned proposals for a .music domain. But the RIAA isn't happy about this, because:
We are concerned that a music themed gTLD will be used to enable wide scale copyright and trademark infringement.
I'm sort of at a loss how the specific TLD makes any difference whatsoever in enabling infringement. A website's a website, no matter what the TLD is. How will having a new TLD enable any more infringement at all? It seems like the real goal of this is (of course) to get ICANN to act as a copyright cop for any such TLD. Just as the RIAA has sought to make copyright cops out of ISPs, the government and other third parties, now it's seeking help from ICANN, who hopefully knows better. So it suggests that it would like to "work with ICANN... to ensure this type of malicious behavior does not occur."

And, of course, in typical RIAA fashion, if ICANN says no, the RIAA plans to go legal:
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.
I'd love to see the RIAA try to "escalate the issue further." What's it going to do? Is any court really going to go so far as to say that just because something that has not yet been created, and might possibly in some weird stretch of the imagination be used for infringement, that ICANN has to block it?

Filed Under: domains, icann, music, riaa, tlds, top level domains
Companies: icann, riaa

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  1. icon
    Karl (profile), 21 Jan 2011 @ 4:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Response by .music domain initiative: Roussos


    I will be writing you in private, but I thought I'd reply here in the comments as well.

    Perhaps Google or Apple is the savior of the music industry but unfortunately it seems that over the last decade, this has not happened while billions have been earned piggybacking the music community.

    You're not going to get very far with this attitude - not with me, nor with any artists here on Techdirt. If Apple and Google have made money from music, it's not by "piggybacking" off the music community, it's by adding value to the music. Those sorts of accusations are made almost exclusively by record industry executives, who failed at creating that added value on their own, and now want a piece of the pie without having to actually do any work. It's the record labels who are "piggybacking" off of Apple and Google.

    Now, there's absolutely nothing wrong with taking control of your online presence, or breaking out of proprietary restrictions. But getting brownie points by attacking successful buisnesses is a terrible idea, in my opinion. It shouldn't have been on that list at all, and especially not at #1.

    We will not allow the exclusion of legitimate small bands or music bloggers.

    That is good to hear. I am sort of curous how you will handle this, though. I will write you for the details.

    The benefit of the .MUSIC we are championing is that it will serve as a trusted badge with policies that outlaw piracy and cybersquatting.

    Fighting cybersquatting is A-OK by me. But outlawing "piracy" is problematic, to say the least. Would Negativland get a TLD? How about Girl Talk? What about DJ's who post their sets online? All of these people have been called "pirates" by the music industry. I'm also curious how you could tell a "legitimate" music blogger from an "illegitimate" one - especially since record labels, and for that matter ICE, can't seem to tell the difference themselves.

    Furthermore, there's been a lot of nonsense thrown about in the industry (especially from RIAA clients or ASCAP) about "piracy." For instance, claiming that Creative Commons is "against copyright," or that terrestrial radio is "a kind of piracy." I would not want to support (or indeed have anything to do with) a mindset like this.

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