.Music Domains Coming Soon For Artists

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Videos by American Songwriter

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, better known as ICANN, passed a ruling on Monday that will significantly change the face of the Internet. The international governing body has announced it will be accepting new web domain suffixes.

Since January 1985, when the .com domain was founded, over 95 million .com domains have been registered, while the Internet has also clocked in nearly 10 million .orgs and 14 million .nets, according to the Domain Tools website. There are 21 top-level generic international domains (.edu, .mil, .gov) as well as 290 country domains, such as .fr (France) and .uk (United Kingdom).

The move could pave the way for companies to create their own domains, such as .fender or .apple. Instead of an Internet user having to type in “fender.com,” they may just visit “telecaster.fender” or “ipad.apple.” Other new domains might be created in regards to industry or category, such as .sport or .bank.

The .music domain name has been on the industry’s radar for some time, with notable lobbying done on the part of an entrepreneur named Constantine Roussos, who first began his crusade for .music in 2001 and has since formed a company, dotMusic, to further the effort.

Though while Roussos’ idea for .music would seem to be a boon for the music industry, it has been met with some concern by major groups such as ASCAP, RIAA and A2IM. These groups have expressed the need for an official approval system for artists who want a .music domain, in order to prevent fraud and piracy in an industry already wracked with problems. Last February, Roussos posted an open letter in response to these fears on Billboard.

While opening up the floodgates on domain name suffixes could spell trouble for the already chaotic Internet, it may also empower artists who don’t control their own domain names, as well as companies wishing to better control their own trademarks.

In many ways, MySpace seemed to be the .music of the Internet throughout the ’00s, though in recent years many artists have decamped to services like Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, SoundCloud, and Tumblr to promote their music.

Now that .music looks to become a reality, artists will have to decide whether to register their name under the new suffix, such as bobdylan.music, and how the new entity will be managed and marketed alongside with their official .com site and any other social media and web publishing platforms.

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