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TLD type Niche TLD
Status proposed

.music is a proposed top-level domain names (TLD) dedicated for the use of music dissemination and appreciation. It is one of the most highly contested new gTLDs, with 8 competitive applications in contention.


  1. .MUSIC (DotMusic Limited) (Community Priority Application)
  2. Far Further (.music LLC) (Community Priority Application)
  3. Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd. (Entertainment Names Inc.) - This applicant submitted a Public Interest Commitment, which can be downloaded here.
  4. Google (Charleston Road Registry Inc.)
  5. Radix (DotMusic Inc.), one of 31 applications filed by the company
  6. Famous Four Media (dot Music Limited), one of 57 applications filed by the company. This applicant submitted a Public Interest Commitment, which can be downloaded here.
  7. Donuts (Victor Cross) - This applicant submitted a Public Interest Commitment, which can be downloaded here.
  8. Amazon[1]

.MUSIC / Dot Music Limited[edit]

This application for .music is a community priority application and was applied for by .MUSIC under the legal name of DotMusic Limited. CGR E-Commerce Ltd is part of the Roussos Group of Companies (RGC) and parent company of DotMusic Limited.[2] RCG was founded in 1975 in Limassol, Cyprus and is one of the leading land and development companies in the country. .MUSIC is headed by Constantine Roussos. In 2005 he launched the .MUSIC (music.us) website to gather support via a petition to ICANN to approve the .music TLD for the global music community. His initiative was supported by members of the music community including bands, musicians, companies, professionals, organizations and many others. Based on the .MUSIC website, the .MUSIC Initiative gathered more than 1.5 million signatures for the petition. The .MUSIC Initiative objectives include:[3][4]

  • Music Education
  • Fight Against Piracy to Protect Trademarks and Music Intellectual Capital
  • Promoting Arts and Global Music
  • Innovation in Music and Internet Space
  • Promote Competition

The .MUSIC Initiative also gathered support from different social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Myspace. The .MUSIC Myspace page has almost 4.3 million friends or followers.[5] MUSIC has also received endorsement of support from a federation of nearly 70 governments and arts councils, an international association of music information centers from over 30 countries, music coalitions from different regions, music export offices, major and independent music digital distributors, a diverse range of music associations and others.[6] Aside from Roussos, Tina Dam, Robert Singerman, David Hazan, Paul Zamek, Ken Abdo, Bob Donnelly and John Simson comprise the Leadership Team of .MUSIC Initiative. The team plans to operate the .music TLD using the multi-stakeholder approach and a portion of the revenue generated from the .music TLD registrations will be donated to selected non-profit music organizations. Registrations will be restricted to .MUSIC-accredited Community Member Organizations (MCMOs).[7] The company chose Afilias to provide back-end registry services.[8]

Far Further/.Music LLC[edit]

Far Further was founded by music professionals [9] with the objective to unite the global music industry and to provide a secure domain space for the industry, with a mission [10] to promote music, protect intellectual property rights and to help advance music education through the .music TLD. Their application for .music is a community priority application and was applied for under the legal name of .music LLC, which is a subsidiary of Far Further LLC. They have adopted the values, rights and objectives of the International Music Council, as their Guiding Principles. The International Music Council (IMC),[10] founded in 1949 by UNESCO, is the world's largest network of organizations, institutions and individuals working in the field of music. It promotes musical diversity, access to the art of music for all and unites more than a thousand organizations and 200 million persons in some 150 countries worldwide in building peace and understanding among peoples of all cultures and heritage who are eager to develop and share knowledge and experience on diverse aspects of musical life. Of the numerous companies that participated in the formulation of policies to protect music creators’ intellectual property rights. Far Further has additionally received the endorsement of over 50 international music-related organizations, including International Musician's Union, Recording Industry Association of America, International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and the International Music Council, which in partnership with UNESCO represents over 150 national music councils and more than a thousand music organizations.

The company chose Neustar to provide back-end registry services. The .music TLD will be restricted and registrants will be qualified via association with a number of supporting organizations.[11][12]

TLDH and LHL Bid[edit]

On March 23, 2012, Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd. and LHL TLD Investment Partners signed a partnership agreement to apply for the .music TLD. Minds + Machines will provide the back-end registry solutions for the company. In a press release, TLDH CEO Antony Van Couvering said, “We’re thrilled to be working with leading music artists and professionals. This partnership brings financial weight and industry expertise to the table and confirms the value which we see in .music.”[13]


Amazon's application was issued a GAC Early Warning from the representative of Australia and GAC Chair, Heather Dryden. The warning system is noted as a strong recommendation on behalf of national governments to the ICANN Board that a given TLD application should be denied as it stands. Applicants are encouraged to work with objecting GAC members.[14]

The warning states that the applicant is "seeking exclusive access to a common generic string .. that relates to a broad market sector," which Ms. Dryden notes could have unintended consequences and a negative impact on competition.[15]


Radix received a GAC Early Warning as an entire applicant, where each one of the applicants was flagged by the U.S. Government. This seems to be the only time a portfolio applicant had all of their applications warned. The issue does not deal with the technical capabilities or thematic content of their applications, but rather the inclusion of an email address associated with the US' Federal Bureau of Investigation. It seems that Radix included correspondence with this address as a recommendation with each of their applications.[16]

Community Applications[edit]

There are 2 community priority applicants: DotMusic / CGR E-Commerce Ltd and .music LLC (Far Further).

The dot Music initiative (DotMusic / CGR E-Commerce Ltd) was started by Constantine Roussos in 2005. He launched the dotMusic (music.us) website dedicated to gathering support via a petition to ICANN to approve the .music TLD for the global music industry. His initiative was supported by members of the music industry including bands, musicians, companies, professionals and many others. Based on the dotMusic website, Roussos' initiative gathered more than 1.5 million signatures for the petition.[3][4] Organizations it counts among its supporters include: International Federation of Arts Councils & Culture Agencies (IFACCA), American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), National Association of Recording Manufacturers (NARM).[17]

The other community applicant is Far Further (.music LLC). Many of its executives are also members of music organizations and associations, and the applicant claims that "there are forty-two (42) clearly delineated, organized and pre-existing music community organizations that have provided individual written statements of support. This level of global music community representation is referred to as the Charter Member Organizations of the Global Music Community (GMC). Collectively they represent over 4 million individual members within more than 1,000 associations in over 150 countries...Potential domain registrants must be members of or affiliated with at least one Member Organization of the Global Music Community."[18]


Legal Rights Objections[edit]

An official Legal Rights Objection was filed by DotMusic Limited against .music applicants since DotMusic Limited had registered trademarks for ".music" and "dotmusic" in nearly 30 countries.[19]

A Legal Rights Objection, as defined by the ICANN approved mediator, WIPO, is when, "third parties may file a formal objection to an application on several grounds, including, for trademark owners and Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) [..] When such an objection is filed, an independent panel (comprised of one or three experts) will determine whether the applicant’s potential use of the applied-for gTLD would be likely to infringe [..] the objector’s existing trademark, or IGO name or acronym."[20]

Community Objections[edit]

The American Association of Independent Music and DotMusic filed community objections against Google, dot Music Limited, Dotmusic Inc., Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd., and Donuts on the basis that they applied as open registries without enhanced safeguards or sufficient eligibility restrictions to protect music-related intellectual property and prevent music piracy. The American Association of Independent Music also filed a Community Objection against Amazon because of its application's exclusive-access registry policies and discriminatory registration eligibility criteria that restricted registrations solely for Amazon and its affiliates. The International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies and DotMusic also filed a community objection against Far Further because of its application's exclusive-access registry policies and discriminatory registration eligibility criteria that restricted registrations solely for Far Further and its affiliates.[21] The objections against both Amazon's and Far Further's applications were based on their exclusive-access registration policies which ignored the ICANN Registry Agreement which required that new gTLD registries to be subject to the requirements of Specification 11 mandating that a TLD Registry must provide non-discriminatory access to registry services to all ICANN accredited registrars that enter into and are in compliance with the registry-registrar agreement for the TLD.[22] In February 2014 ICANN passed Resolutions for the new gTLD Program and followed Government Advisory Committee advice to mandate specific enhanced safeguards[23] and to prohibit applicants from operating a new gTLD as an exclusive-access registry for a TLD based on a generic term.[24]