Wednesday, January 19, 2011

RIAA forgets it doesn't own internet, words like 'music'

There's proposals moving to create a whole bunch more top level domains - the gTLD, which will create the opportunity to have website addresses that end in things like .soccer, .music and .etc.

While most people are convinced this will prove to be every bit as much a success as the .me and .name endeavours, it's caused panic in the offices of the RIAA, whose 'something new' alarm sounded:

Now the RIAA’s Deputy General Counsel, Victoria Sheckler, on behalf of it and a coalition of 15 national and international trade associations representing songwriters, recording artists, music publishers, record labels, and royalty collection societies, has sent a letter to ICANN expressing concern over the creation of any music themed TLDs.

“Our overriding concern is to ensure that any music themed gTLD is used productively and responsibly, and is not a means to facilitate copyright or trademark infringement,” she writes.
The flap has been caused by ICANN changing the requirements of harm that have to be demonstrated before it will intervene in misuse of a gTLD - now, you have to demonstrate harm would be caused to your special interest group and the internet in general. Hitherto, ICANN have only required evidence of harm in a community named by the complainant.

It's another piece of missing the point completely - if there's stuff on the internet that the music industry wishes wasn't there, does it matter if it's at or And where does the RIAA get the impression that its remit - looking after the interests of a few American corporations - includes being in charge of how words relating to music are used internationally?

It'd serve the RIAA right if they end up creating a world where there's a .pirate domain.