For years there have been a few efforts underway to try to create a .music top level domain. While I'm not totally convinced such a TLD really is needed, it's been interesting to watch the RIAA's allergic reaction to the general idea. About a year ago, we wrote about how the RIAA was complaining that any such TLD might (gasp!) be used to infringe
, and arguing that ICANN shouldn't allow it unless it was completely locked down. Apparently, the RIAA has now found the plan it likes, siding with a company called Far Further on its bid to run .music
, and going against the company that has fought the hardest for .music... a company called dotMusic. If you want to understand why the RIAA is now endorsing Far Further's proposal, it's pretty simple:
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 other words, it goes against
the reality we know today, which is that new technologies are allowing anyone to become a musician. Instead, it's based on the obsolete notion that only those in a special club are "really" musicians. What you end up with is exactly what the RIAA wants: a system where it gets to "accredit" musicians. In other words, a system where gatekeepers still matter. Of course, what they don't realize is that if .music uses such a system, it almost immediately becomes irrelevant, and sets itself up as an exclusionary club in an era when such things aren't necessary