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RIAA Threatens ICANN Over Music-Themed gTLD Standards 174

Posted by Soulskill
from the same-old-song-and-dance dept.
think_nix writes "A letter to ICANN (PDF) from Victoria Sheckler, Deputy General Counsel for the RIAA, demands modifications to the future implementation of the .music gTLD, threatening to 'escalate the issue' if certain concerns about 'wide scale copyright and trademark infringement' are not addressed by ICANN in compliance with the RIAA. 'Under the current proposed standard, we fear that we will have no realistic ability to object if a pirate chooses to hijack a music themed gTLD to enable wide scale copyright infringement of our works,' Sheckler said."
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RIAA Threatens ICANN Over Music-Themed gTLD Standards

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  • by funkatron (912521) on Friday January 21, 2011 @02:20PM (#34956260)
    According to their lies they should have gone bankrupt by now. Maybe this year they can finally fuck off?
    • According to their lies they should have gone bankrupt by now.

      Maybe they're just folding the numbers together and calling it the US national debt? It would explain a lot of things...

    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday January 21, 2011 @02:45PM (#34956724) Homepage Journal

      Lies is right. From TFA:

      1. String Confusion. The sought after gTLD is "confusingly similar to an existing one, or one making its way through the application stage.
      2. Legal Rights. The applied-gTLD somehow "infringes" on the rights of the protesting group.
      3. Morality and Public Order. The proposed gTLD is "contrary to generally accepted legal norms of morality." One guesses that the gTLDs '.extortion' or '.kickstraydogs' would fall under this rubric.
      4. Community Objection. "There is substantial opposition to the gTLD application from a significant portion of the community to which the gTLD string may be explicitly or implicitly targeted." See '.lawyerssuck' or '.justinbieberfansmustdie.'

      1. .music is close to .info? Who do these lying assholes think they're fooling?
      2. TFA pegged it. How in the world could it infringe on their rights? What rights, in fact? They act as if nobody but the RIAA is allowed to write, perform, or record music.
      3. "Legal norms of morality?" legal != moral, moral !=legal, immoral != illegal, illegal != immoral. There's nothing immoral about smoking marijuana, but its posession is against the law. There is little that is more immoral than adultery, yet it is legal in most jurisdictions.
      4. What community? Most musicians are not RIAA members, and in fact almost every musician I know personally hates the RIAA's guts.

      And Jesus H. Christ, who is the RIAA to preach to anybody about morality? Satan himself has better morals.

      • by AndrewNeo (979708)

        They act as if nobody but the RIAA is allowed to write, perform, or record music.

        Woah woah woah WOAH woah. Hold on now, let's not say anything crazy.

      • by TheSpoom (715771)

        2. Legal Rights. The applied-gTLD somehow "infringes" on the rights of the protesting group.

        See, that's it right there. They're claiming ownership of the word 'music'.

        • by rtb61 (674572)

          What is really silly about all this. IPv6 is going to make a huge mess out of the whole domain naming system, trillions of IP addresses, without any way of establishing meaningful recallable names for all those addresses. Under the current domain naming system you would have to resort to alphabet scramble of say 50 or more characters to even just start to look at names for a substantial portion of all of people on the planet.

          Contrary to what the legal idiots at the RIAA think, the domain naming system is

      • by binkzz (779594)
        > "generally accepted legal norms of morality."

        Wat?
    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday January 21, 2011 @02:47PM (#34956762) Homepage

      Are you at all familiar with the accounting practices rampant in the recording and film industries?

      They typically keep at least 3 sets of books - 1 for the royalty payments (which will invariably state that the actual content earned nothing so nobody with net royalties earns a dime), 1 for the tax collectors (which will invariably state that the company owes no taxes), and 1 for the stockholders (which will show the massive profits they're making). That the math has never added up hasn't stopped the very small number of big conglomerates so far.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Jason Levine (196982)

      My theory regarding their "losses from piracy" has always been that they decide they should earn X billion dollars a year. Then they earn Y billion dollars during the year, where Y is less than X. Obviously, by RIAA-reasoning, piracy costs then (X - Y) billion dollars. Of course, they set X so high that there is no way they can attain it and they dismiss all other factors such as a bad economy, poor music selection, rise of indie titles, competition from other entertainment sources (e.g. video games, DVD

      • My theory is that they get a surveying agency to calculate approximatly how many music tracks are downloaded illegally during a year (Including people watching music videos on youtube, and regardless of if the music is RIAA-member-owned or not) and then multiply it by the retail value of a higher-priced CD.
      • The only problem with that theory is that they keep making record profits (altough not necessarily on CDs). So how do they decide on X?
    • by funkatron (912521) on Friday January 21, 2011 @03:31PM (#34957516)
      To the funny moderator: I meant it, you insensitive clod.
    • by clodney (778910)

      Maybe they aren't lying as much as you assume - for the last 2 weeks, the #1 selling album has set new records for being the lowest selling #1 of all time.

      More than anything I think it illustrates the demise of the album compared to single song sales, but the market is going down.

    • Boo fucking hoo.

  • by NReitzel (77941) on Friday January 21, 2011 @02:22PM (#34956286) Homepage

    Isn't this akin to the DEA informing a grocery store that they can't have a parking lot, because a lot of drug deals are taking place there at night?

    • Thanks! (Score:4, Funny)

      by xMrFishx (1956084) on Friday January 21, 2011 @02:26PM (#34956356)
      Oh hey thanks for your information about the parking lot, I used to buy my drugs at the chemist, where there was a limited selection. Now I can get the drugs I want from this source without the hassle of getting them through proper channels.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      More like the Home Owner's Association, or the PTA, than the DEA, I would think.
      • Im thinking more like a group of the girlscout mom's who sell cookies in the parking lot once a year, but ya...
    • by mysidia (191772)

      Isn't this akin to the DEA informing a grocery store that they can't have a parking lot, because a lot of drug deals are taking place there at night?

      No... at least the DEA is part of the government.

      This is akin to the MADD threatening real estate developers that they cannot offer land for sale on a street named "Bar Street", without addressing certain concerns, or they will escalate (probably to a zoning authority), because there is a chance that some business developers might have bars built on the

    • by spun (1352) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {yranoituloverevol}> on Friday January 21, 2011 @02:43PM (#34956674) Journal

      Not really. I don't think the RIAA is concerned about piracy on .music gTLDs. They appear to be more concerned that they will not have as much control over domain names as they would like. They object to three specific things: "Ultra high standards for community objection," which means it will be more difficult for them to stop things they consider to be cybersquatting; "Lack of transparency" means they will not be able to easily figure out who owns what domain name, and who to sue; and "Malicious Conduct" which means that they suspect people might do things on the .music gTLD that they do on other parts of the Internet, like pirate music. They seem to want to force ICANN to be their unpaid police force, or to do their thinking for them and come up with a technical solution that protects their interests.

      Basically, I believe RIAA wants to control anything remotely related to music. The idea of a huge new marketplace of independent music scares the crap out of them. I think they want ICANN to basically say, "The RIAA owns .music. If you want to put music of any sort on the Internet, talk to the RIAA." And I want to date supermodels, plural. Come on, RIAA, you are thinking too small. Take getting paid for doing nothing to the next step and force everyone with ears to pay a music tax directly to you. After all, if they have ears, they might hear some music without paying you for it, and we can't have that.

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        I think they're more concerned that someone is going to get the shit.music domain before they do.

    • Isn't this akin to the DEA informing a grocery store that they can't have a parking lot, because a lot of drug deals are taking place there at night?

      Worse, it's akin to suing the yellow pages for potentially listing the grocery store (even though it's not even printed yet).

    • I wonder what happened to good 'ol "Go Fuck Yourself". Someone needs to relate this message to the RIAA and the MPAA.
      • refer them to the response given in the case of Arkell V Pressdram.

        This should be interesting - you can normally only achieve in the courts that which isn't actually supported by law if you have sufficient resources to browbeat the other side into backing down, or bamboozle the judge. How does the RIAA propose to do this against what is essentially an arms-length agency of the US government? (unless they plan to lobby the government for ICANN not to be given the funding it needs to defend itself - which is

    • No, it's more like Phizer informing a grocery store that they can't have a parking lot, because a lot of drug deals are taking place there at night.

    • by moortak (1273582)
      The way drug seizure laws are these days that isn't much a stretch. Only in this case it would be more like Narcotics Anonymous handling the ban. despite their ability to ruin lives and write laws the RIAA isn't a government agency, yet.
  • Stupid? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nemyst (1383049) on Friday January 21, 2011 @02:27PM (#34956372) Homepage

    You'd be pretty stupid to paint yourself in a corner like that, as a pirate. That's akin to the .xxx TLD that'd make porn sites way too easy to filter.

    I don't think .music would be used for much pirating. Plus, even if it does, it would've happened WITHOUT it anyways... The RIAA is apparently trying to piss off everyone they can. I don't get it.

    • Re:Stupid? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MartinSchou (1360093) on Friday January 21, 2011 @02:40PM (#34956612)

      Well, if ICANN had a sense of humour, they'd just refuse to register any music related domain names. Period. Nothing that could even remotely be associated with any of the RIAA companies, their subsidiaries, their artists or employees.

      I mean - to avoid lawsuits.

      • Re:Stupid? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by plover (150551) * on Friday January 21, 2011 @03:10PM (#34957180) Homepage Journal

        So ICANN should issue a .riaa gTLD, and give the RIAA the authority to be the regsitrar.

        Then everyone business and and ISP on the planet could block .riaa resolution, keeping us safe from being subjected to lawsuits for infringing their rights by looking at their content.

        Brilliant!

        • Then everyone business and and ISP on the planet could block .riaa resolution, keeping us safe from permanent hearing damage by hearing their content.

          FTFY.

      • Certainly, you're not implying that anything remotely related to music be refused!

        With a tld of ".music" everything becomes a music related domain.

        Shitty (not related) becomes shitty.music (related)
        Elevator (not related) becomes elevator.music (related)
        Rock (not necessarily related) becomes rock.music (related)

        I'd love to see ICANN tell them to f-off and immediately prevent registration of riaa.music as well as domains related to any artist represented by the RIAA.

        • by idontgno (624372)

          But "chin.music"* would be a baseball domain!

          *Not to be confused with "chin.music.cn", which would in fact be a music-related domain in china for the various musicians whose names are Chin.

    • Re:Stupid? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 21, 2011 @02:42PM (#34956648)

      That's akin to the .xxx TLD that'd make porn sites way too easy to filter.

      As someone who's done business with porn sites, they're all about it. Porn sites want to be filtered by libraries, schools, parents, etc. because it lessens the hassle and negative image they have to deal with while not seriously effecting their business (very few people in any of those situations buy porn instead of looking at free stuff). Heck, most of them voluntarily add tags to help filtering programs know to filter them.

      P.S. going to company mandated sexual harassment sensitivity training being done by an outside consultant is a riot when a number of the "rules" they tell us to follow would prevent us from doing work. The trainer eventually just blanked over, stopped taking questions, and read from her script pretending like no one had asked anything.

      • True for the majority of porn sites. But there is a portion, funded by ads, malware or scams, which just want to get as many viewers as possible. As these sites are more visible (They arn't afraid to use search engine manipulation, spam or indiscriminate advertising), they tend to get most of the attention.
    • by jammer170 (895458)
      Honestly, I don't think has to do with piracy at all (or at least very little). What the RIAA and associated organizations are worried about is a single identifier that can be used to find, promote, and distribute legal music that isn't under their complete control. As more and more artists are moving away from pursuing a record label contract, the RIAA has less power. If they have basically the right to knock any website off the domain they choose (in an effort to "protect the consumers from pirates" or wh
    • >The RIAA is apparently trying to piss off everyone they can. I don't get it.

      Is it RIAA or their lawyers pushing this? Who stands to gain money atm.

    • by TheLink (130905)

      Wouldn't a .xxx TLD be helpful for those looking for porn? Don't see how that would be like painting yourself into a corner.

      Of course what happens to most such domains is they end up being link-spam sites.

      Many years ago I personally proposed the reservation of .here for private local use, similar to the way the RFC1918 addresses are reserved. I thought it was a much better idea than the .biz and .info that were being proposed at the time (which were just "yet another .com" and hence added rather little valu

      • by British (51765)

        This is ICANN. They made/proposed TLDs nobody had any interest in, and refuse TLDS people wanted(.xxx for adult sites, etc) for no real reason. I'm starting to think it's just a front for selling more domain names. How is that .biz TLD workin' out for you?

    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday January 21, 2011 @02:50PM (#34956816) Journal

      The RIAA is apparently trying to piss off everyone they can. I don't get it.

      Dear Everybody,

      You're not us. So that means you're either a pirate or a pirate pretending to be a consumer. That includes ICANN. That includes the Vatican. That includes OPEC. That includes the United States Government.

      You want to use the word "music?" We can assure you, only if you pay royalties to us and right now all we see is people profiting off of our artist's copyrighted works (i.e. all music) that we broke our backs locking down with crippling contracts.

      Remember our motto: "If you're not us, you're against us."

      No, that wasn't a typo. We're sick of making weak individuals our enemies -- it's time we pick on someone our own size.

      Notes, scales, chords, percussion, etc. It's only a matter of time before we own those words and what they represent.

      The RIAA

      P.S. Resistance is futile.

    • by sorak (246725)

      You don't think The Pirate Bay would have the balls to buy thepiratebay.music?

  • What?

    • Apparently the RIAA has a yearly summit to decide the most ungodly drop-stupid way they can think of to piss off the rest of the planet.

      Their other idea (have agents walk around handing out random invoices to everyone they catch humming a tune in public) apparently never made it past the focus groups. Probably because everyone would tell them to fuck off or something...

  • The RIAA group wants to make it easier to block TLDs from being enacted by simply saying 'this effects us' without showing any actual proof.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by McTickles (1812316)

      effects = affects... know the difference people...

      • The Language [IAA] defines the difference as $4M for incorrect usage of the English language. Please pay yesterday, thanks - LIAA.
      • by Abstrackt (609015)

        Good luck effecting that change...

        (I swear I'm not trolling, that statement was grammatically correct!)

      • by Bob9113 (14996)

        effects = affects... know the difference people...

        The fact that most people don't know how to use those two words correctly in all situations is strongly (1:1) correlated to the fact that most people don't know how to use those two words correctly in all situations. If your comment included an explanation of the distinction that is so important to you, it might actually help remedy the problem. And in the process, you would be promoted from useless sanctimonious douchebag to useful sanctimonious douchebag.

      • effects = affects... know the difference people...

        To be fair, the RIAA did seem to have materialize consequent to ICANN's actions. Maybe this situation did "effect" them. :-P

    • what the fuck does it matter if it affects them?
  • Is this "responsibly" as defined by the dictionary or by RIAA's cracked logic?

    Responsible organizations like RIAA sue their customers, repeatedly, as a deterrent, against non-customers...

    • Who cares. There more they twist the screws, the more people say F-U and do as they please. These folks are a temper tantrum throwing child. The common response to these are to walk off and ignore them or slap the sh*t out of 'em. Either way, what difference does it make. Let them squawk, they'll get their dues.
  • Why this one? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Friday January 21, 2011 @02:29PM (#34956424)

    How exactly is any one TLD more or less capable of being used by pirates than any other?

    • How exactly is any one TLD more or less capable of being used by pirates than any other?

      Because it's about music, which, as they keep reminding us, was clearly entirely an invention of the RIAA.

    • I think, what they want is preferential treatment when requesting domains. i.e You request www.elvis.music then ICANN checks with the RIAA (since they own all music ever created) and RIAA says "No!!! Elvis is copyrighted!!!" Then you point out that your name is Elvis and you play piano. RIAA says "Tough, we've owned your name since before you were born, go suck it..." etc...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why can't all the crazy morons in the world who go on shooting sprees atleast shot the right people? EVERYONE in the RIAA would be a good start.

  • "Dear ICANN.
    We think we should control the .music TLD and get all the money we can from it. Our lawyers think we can make a quick buck renting domains at this TLD at 80 cents an hour to anyone wishing to have a website to share some music that we might think we own. If we don't.... well, who cares.
    This will surely help our fight against piracy.

    Regards,
    MAFIAA "
  • by bugi (8479) on Friday January 21, 2011 @02:32PM (#34956486)

    There's an easy solution to this. Give them their own .riaa gtld and let them ghettoize it however they like.

    That can be the official newspeak channel for angry out of touch distributors, and the rest of us can get on with appreciating music for its aesthetic value.

    • by TheL0ser (1955440)

      There's an easy solution to this. Give them their own .riaa gtld and let them ghettoize it however they like.

      Please let this happen. So many people would block it so fast it would probably make a sonic boom or three.

    • It'd be easier to blackhole, anyway. Think we can talk 'em into it?

    • by dAzED1 (33635)
      yeah, great policy - give a tld to every whining, annoying group out there.
  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday January 21, 2011 @02:33PM (#34956496)
    The RIAA wants special considerations for rights holders that no other business or perons on the Internet has today and wants to limit criticisms under the guise of morality. For example if I want to register JustinBieber.sucksballs the RIAA wants to make it easier to challenge it because of the use of "JustinBieber" and they don't like the suffix for morality reasons. The first part of the objection may be partially valid, however in the context of parody and criticism, it should be allowable. The second part they object because of community standards like morality. I have no doubt though that they would object to JustinBieber.terriblemusician and JustinBieber.isnotverygood. The best counter case I have to this is when someone registered the Did Glen Beck rape and murder a young girl in 1990 case. The courts allowed the domain and shot down all of Glen Beck's objections.
    • Re:My understaning (Score:5, Informative)

      by careysub (976506) on Friday January 21, 2011 @03:09PM (#34957168)

      The RIAA wants special considerations for rights holders that no other business or perons on the Internet has today and wants to limit criticisms under the guise of morality...

      17 USC 1008, Section 1004 imposes a 3% tax on blank music CDs since 1998, even though making copies of music for your own use is legal, and the music industry did just fine with no tax on analog media supporting them. Once they got a taste of having a special tax in which the proceeds flow directly to private for-profit businesses they have been eager to extend this "business model."

      You may have seen proposals being floated by the RIAA for some sort of Internet tax to replace their "lost" revenues (compared to their all-time high banner year of 1999). This idea does not seem to have gotten traction yet, but the more Congress resembles the U.S. Chamber of Commerce the more likely they are to dust this one off again.

      Yessiree - protecting private intellectual property is best done through tax-supported corporate welfare.

    • Re:special (Score:4, Funny)

      by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Friday January 21, 2011 @03:24PM (#34957396) Journal

      Someone has gotta find a way to pit the RIAA against the TSA.

  • by kabloom (755503) on Friday January 21, 2011 @02:36PM (#34956546) Homepage

    I'm surprised that the RIAA is more worried about piracy than having their domains bought up by speculators who will charge them millions of dollars for the names of their bands.

    • by jambarama (784670)
      Thanks to the UDRP and ACPA, that isn't really a problem.

      ICANN's UDRP simply requires a showing that the domain name is confusing similar (or identical) to a third party's mark, the registrant has no legitimate interests in the name, and the name is being used in bad faith. There is a lot that goes into showing & rebutting these steps, but that's the gist. UDRP isn't the law of a single country, so it governs disputes covering most TLD (it is mandatory by contract). The remedy is transferal of dom
  • linti eikejjrlzlljrjoaja
    rjaejrjarueiduivhsoi jsdofosjfeojfee !
    jfeifje !

    WOOOSH!
    riaa!

  • There are lots and lots of bands and musicians that don't sign with RIAA members. (i.e. MOST of them)
    There are lots of music categories that have nothing to do with RIAA.

    These people piss me off.

    1. 1. RIAA gets full control the .music TLD
    2. 2. RIAA then starts requiring companies who legally distribute RIAA music online, to do it only through a *.music domain.
    3. 3. RIAA can then be sure that any RIAA music offered for download from any other TLD (such as .com, .net, etc) is being distributed illegally.
    4. 4. RIAA can now more easily identify people who share their music in a way they don't like. You know those people -- there are millions of them and they're just as bad as those Somalis who attack ships with
    • by speedlaw (878924)
      Remember the HDMI port on the back of your computers and TVs. The "industry" got the whole world (USian) to require these special connectors for HD content so you can't easily make a copy. They now control anyone who makes an HDMI connector without the requisite encryption (HDCP, the reason my TV resets every time I change a channel) and you can't make HDMI as you need to be licensed. Same idea here.
  • Music industry as a whole can go screw themselves, I'm not giving them any more money and not paying attention to them until some measure of sanity is restored and I can listen to music without a legal Damocles sword dangling above our collective heads.
  • namely the .ratfukr domain

  • by v1 (525388) on Friday January 21, 2011 @03:33PM (#34957548) Homepage Journal

    Under the current proposed standard, we fear that we will have no realistic ability to object if a pirate chooses to hijack a music themed gTLD to enable wide scale copyright infringement of our works

    They appear to be under the mistaken assumption (dilution) that it's the world's job to make sure they obtain maximum profits.

  • Only buy music directly from the artists. It solves the entire problem.

  • At least on the outset, it might make it easier for artists to market themselves. The easier it is to market themselves, the less there is a need for the RIAA.

    I don't see this domain as an opportunity for piracy or copyright infringement. I think pirates already know where to get the material.

    I do see this as an opportunity for artists that are not signed onto RIAA labels to get a bit more exposure. I would think it easier to search on search engines for .music domains and finding new artists. An example se

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