back to article Music fans not welcome in RIAA-backed .music

The Recording Industry Association of America and other music industry groups are backing a proposal for a highly regulated ".music" top-level domain. If its .music is approved by ICANN, the domains will be limited to members of accredited music industry associations and will be regularly patrolled for copyright infringement …


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  1. William Boyle

    Parity please!

    Does that mean we can also have a .pirate TLD that only allows free media as well?

    1. El Zed

      Arrrr, that brings back memories me hearty!

      For about five years, back in the early/mid '90s I was the owner/opirator/main culprit behind an alternative DNS system, the TLD pirate was the first new one to go in, so the whole scheme was christened one boozy Friday night 'The PNS'.

      All my machines were in the domain pugwash.pirate (At that time, 270 or so split across three sites in three countries), some other domains had one host, others hundreds. It couldn't last forever, we were running this mainly on company/Uni networks.

      Sometime around late 96 - early 97, a bunch of humourless greybeards found out about my little experiment, blocked inbound port 53 to the machine I was using as one of the 'root' servers at the place I was currently employed. I was duly keel hauled, they then proceeded to inform the places the other 'root' servers were being 'hosted' about our little scheme, and that was the end of it.

      Number of people directly involved at the end: 7-8 at various locations around the globe running the servers and maintaining the zone files, indirectly, well, let's just say a fair number of systems were using our DNS servers (a lot, without knowing it), and it was a large spike in traffic to my server and an analysis of the traffic to the 'official' server which showed several departmental subnets hadn't made any sort of DNS lookup for several months (it was years, actually) that one of the greybeards spotted which lead to the downfall of the whole thing.

      Was fun while it lasted though..I probably still have the QIC-120 backup of all the last zone files etc in a box in the loft along with what little remains of that period of my life (it may have escaped the cull of tapes I had about a decade ago, I turned a number of them into 'bird scarers'), pity I gave away the last operational drive I had which could read these tapes six years ago.

      Some days, I miss all this sort of crap..alas my Cutlass is now rusty, and I've given up C.

  2. the-it-slayer

    *slaps forehead with hand*

    Well, it seems like a last ditch attempt for RIAA to have some control over content over the internet. However, going doing this route will make the management company for the domain's concerned life pretty easy when limiting to authorised companies/individuals.

    Anyway, when will RIAA learn that not everyone is involved in the pirating game for laughs? Tsk tsk eh.

  3. Dotter

    No worries, I'm sure the pirates/blogs with links to music downloads will be happy with .com will everyone using them.

    1. IPatentedItSoIOwnIt

      Ur Joking aren't you?

      .com is the most toxic domain going these days. Merely owning a .com domain and using a quote from a movie or humming a lyric is enough to get you extradited to the US!

  4. heyrick Silver badge


    This is working on the potentially flawed assumption that fans, pirates, etc *WANT* a .music domain...

  5. DJGM

    More appropriate top-level domains . . .

    . . . for these particular organizations:





    .gof***yourselves (with the actual word not the asterisks)


    The longer ones maybe invalid on ICANN's systems, but they all reflect what most people think of these nasty, corporate, screw the people organistaions.

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot


      They're usually black and have a pall bearer walking in front, no need to make them more obvious by "paininting" them!

      1. DJGM

        You're obviously not a Brit . . .

        . . . it's nowt to do with hearses being painted or paininted.

        The .paininthearse one breaks down as "dot pain in the arse".

        1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

          I thought it was pain in'th ears, e?

    2. Gannon (J.) Dick

      Paint ?

      LOL, I had to slow down and read it again too. It didn't the first time

  6. jai

    i don't get it

    So i can see how this TLD will be great for musicians and labels and publishers and whatnot.

    But do they assume that the general public is only going to look for music on .music and won't look anywhere else?

    It's not going to stop pirating. But I guess it will stop someone setting up a site to look like an official one and perhaps phish for people's details?

    1. (AMPC) Anonymous and mostly paranoid coward

      Perhaps the auction loser can register .muzak, instead

      I like this scenario better: Music industry gets the .music TLD and no one goes there, therefore kerflop!!

      This does open up all sorts of NEW and COOL music TLD possibilities. I mean think about it: .pop, .rock, .punk, .grunge, .garage., .techno, .disco, .indie...etc. are they taken yet?

      A quick look at the ICANN page says no.

      My guess is the music industry can only conceive of one hierarchical level/domain (!= total control, BTW). So this could be the "technological" solution to their current supply problem. With luck they will also register.bland, .pap, .cover and any other applicable TLDs as they wil surely need them. No time to "wallow in the mire" (sorry, Jim).

      The music and media industry might even learn how the internet works and perhaps abandon their folly. Or even funnier, they might try to make new .TLD registrations illegal after claiming ownership of all genre labels (to save money, coz gTLD reg is expensive). Or perhaps they will all just fade away like a flash-in-the-pan single (complete with canned laughter)

      Could be fun.

    2. Martin 47

      I suspect the long term game here is that the public will only be allowed to download music from a .music address, everywhere else will be classed as a pirate site

  7. Eddie Edwards

    So musicians can't have .music domains? Interesting concept.

    1. dotdavid
      Thumb Up


      .musicdistributioncartel would be more appropriate.

      1. b0llchit Silver badge

        More to the point

        .mafiaa domain would be more appropriate. However, the chances are that Italian thugs will sue the hell out of them...

      2. JEDIDIAH

        Indeed Indeed

        Just call it .riaa

        1. Fr. Ted Crilly Silver badge

          come come now, thats a bit .dia

    2. Just Thinking

      If musicians had .music domains they might start selling their tracks direct without going through a label. Or even giving music away for free to build up a fan base for their gigs.

      That's piracy (at least, the RIAA probably think so).

    3. Christoph

      Industry Only

      Yes, it's not aimed at the pirates, it's aimed at the music industry's worst enemies - the artists who are stealing royalties from the industry by selling their music directly.

      They unfortunately have to have some artists still, but they had it all nicely arranged so they could allow them only the minimum trickle of money, and pay even that many years later.

      After all, it's well known that starving artists produce the best art, so they were helping art by keeping the artists starving.

      And now those same artists are setting up their own sites, recording and producing their own music, and selling direct to the public. Obviously this must be stopped.

      Look out for the US government being ordered to bring in new laws that any site not in the new domain can be shut down at will with no evidence.

    4. Chika

      Indeed. In fact, the media companies backing all of this probably do more to screw the artists, especially new artists, than any so-called pirate out there, and that's before we even get to the twisted method they have of dividing the takings! What you need to remember is that the Recording Industry Arse of America mostly represents the record companies; a bunch of money-grubbing middle men who sit between the talent and the audience and skim the profit off both sides. These are the *real* pirates, not the people these corporate bullies regularly point the finger at.

      Instead of continually griping and shaking their fists, not to mention attempting to coerce the various gubbermints to introduce various laws, some of which verge on the suppression of personal freedoms and human rights, they should consider that the days of the LP are over and start producing a pricing and distribution structure that people will be happy with. It's the only way that will stop the mainstream abuse of "copyright" (I believe that nothing will completely eradicate it) and the only way that will stop the protests.

      In other words, whether the RIAA likes it or not, the Internet is here. Deal.

      1. LaeMing

        @"These are the real Pirates"

        No, the correct historical term for that group is "Robber Barrons".

  8. Dazed and Confused

    Building a lightning conductor?

    The RIAA setting up their own TLD sounds a bit like the Benjamin Franklin's kite flying hobby.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I was thinking exactly that, imagine the lulz for the first group to manage to tack on a 'hidden' file sharing site to an official site.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It must be hard to keep your head out of your own arse

    when you have political clout

  10. davescafe

    Recording Industry Ass. of America

    What happened to "Recording Industry Ass. of America"?

  11. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Looks likely to be a cold and lonely set of domains

  12. Graham Marsden

    What a great idea....

    ... after all, it's easier to type .music than it is to type .prepackagedbanaltediuouslowestcommondenominatormanufacturedpap

    1. oldredlion


      it should be .muzak, rather than .music

  13. JeffA

    This will be very usefull

    This will make it much easier to find the hosts to hit with DOS attacks.

    Another brilliant idea from the group that not only missed the boat in the digital age but had no idea there was even a boat to miss.

  14. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Yes, RIAA!

    Go to that domain and never come back!

    Hope you will quietly wilt away in a small circle of mutual mental masturbators among the magnificent virtual desolation...

  15. Haku

    That's ok, let them have their little TLD.

    We've got the rest ot the internet to play in.

    And it means we can add *.music to our browser blocking.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Another Mickey Mouse TLD to either block or ignore —just like .biz, .info, .me etc.

      1. Euripides Pants

        Looks like \.music will be added to my Squid blocklist

  16. Not Elvis


    Perhaps they should restrict that domain access to only coalition members. That should cut down on piracy and serve their purpose. Better yet, maybe they can band together and build their own internet so none of those beastly sharers and pirates can get to legitimate music.

    Serves em right!

  17. MissingSecurity

    Nothing Screams attack me...

    Like a TLD for a group of people nobody likes.

  18. Bob 18

    The idea of a place that's guaranteed full of legal music is a good one. But I don't like the way they restrict it to industry association members. The RIAA is increasingly irrelevant in the age of the Internet. Musicians who decline to be a part of the association should still be able to participate in the .music TLD.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      The RIAA don't want to become irrelevant. That's the point.

      Presumably they are the organisation stumping up the silly money to pay ICANN for the .music TLD, thus as they would own it they can of course do whatever they want.

      Doesn't mean anyone will go there.

      What they appear to have missed it that refusing to accept musicians makes it very clear that they have never had any intention of assisting musicians and other content creators, preferring instead to ensure ancient history stays in copyright.

      They also became irrelevant a long time ago - but like any trade association, they live on subscriptions from their members and will do anything at all to keep them.

  19. Eduard Coli

    What a bunch of *s

    What a power grab.

    If they want to exclude the public from owning names in this TLD let them build their own Internet as the one they want to do this on is paid for by us.

  20. ratfox
    Thumb Up

    I hope it costs them a lot of money

    And I wish them as much success as the .name TLD.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      $185,000 to ICANN.

      It's well published.

      I think they should go for it - there's no better way to prove that ".brand" gTLDs are completely useless.

  21. Keep Refrigerated

    deny from .music

    So the MAFIAA's next big war on abstracts is going to be when people register .musak or .musician or .musical etc... After all, only authorised music comes from .music.

    Actually I love the stupidity in this. I wouldn't be surprised if it's borne out of their idiotic thinking that == Internet and so they're going to prevent Google from having a .music domain and thus are setting up their own 'internet' in doing so.

    It's going to be dead quicker than MySpace.

  22. James O'Brien

    International Federation of Phonographic Industries

    Am I the only one who read that as International Federation of Pornographic Industries?

    /give the black hat there I didn't have a coat

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


      You are not. But let's not insult pornographers, at least, they are respected professionals...

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Hey, .music is better than the RIAA's other ideas....

    Top rejected RIAA domain ideas.....






  24. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    ...and media-player devices that only work with the .music domain. By law.

    And then they won't even -need- copyright.

    They will, however, need detection software on your phone to prevent you from singing to a friend or loved one, and in general to detect harmonious sounds accidentally produced by technological devices - Kraftwerk's "Autobahn" comes to mind - and indeed bird song.

  25. kain preacher

    Nah the domain should be .211


    SECTION 211-215

    211. Robbery is the felonious taking of personal property in the

    possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and

    against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear.

  26. Lance 3

    Set a few things straight

    "If its .music is approved by ICANN, the domains will be limited to members of accredited music industry associations and will be regularly patrolled for copyright infringement."

    Regularly patrolled? They will just demand that ISP's and others do the patrolling for them and not the RIAA actually doing it. It will be just like what they want done today with SOPA.

    The real pirates are the RIAA. Every music CD sold, they collect a royalty on. Every standalone CD burner, they collect a royalty on. They collect royalties when a song is played on the radio, they collect it if yo have a satellite subscription. If Amazon, Google, iTunes, etc, sell a song, they make at least $0.66 and they did nothing to actually earn that money. The artists see very little of the money; for every $1,000 the RIAA collects the actual band only sees about $23 of it. Out of that $23 they have to pay all the band members, their manager, lawyer, etc. When it is recording time, the band needs to pay for that as well.

  27. Joe User

    "the domains will be limited to members of accredited music industry associations"

    All of them saying "Hurray for us!" and patting each other on the back.

    What a bunch of tossers....

  28. Anonymous Noel Coward

    Looks like it'll be easier to DDoS them now.

  29. Nya

    And here we are in 2025...

    and everything is departmentalised into .music .tv .xxx .game .whatever and then the large corps all get together once again and decide that piracy again still isn't under control, so all those not departmentalised must be blocked by isp's blah blah silliness. Of course though, with the "industry" associations running these TLD's it does just "coincidently" mean they pocket a huge wedge off usage fees as well at having control over the web without having to do any work.

    Not saying it's what they are aiming for, but stepping back and thinking about it, sure sounds like this is the long term goal they are all striving for to "bring the internet into order" :(

  30. Winkypop Silver badge

    Gosh Batman

    These guys really are that stupid.

  31. Nanners

    Thanks for killing music aholes

    You will be remember as the organization that killed music. What a legacy. What the RIAA doesn't seem to understand is that everyone can and does make music of their own now. These "musicians" (actors/dancers/ poducers and everything but...) have very little to offer us anymore accept the occasional nip flash or up the skirt shot. Reduced to whores just as they wanted it obviously.

  32. Infernoz Bronze badge

    .music is nonsense, it should something like .zombiemusic

    Those monopolists at the RIAA are back by an idiotic anti-capitalists state issued privilege which is complete anti-capitalist nonsense, especially now, thus are zombies (based on a dead-end business model) propped up by the state, so any name they use or sponsor should rightly include the word zombie.

    So called pirates are not thieves, but rather _living_ people who recognise the absurdity of this state interference so treat it with due disrespect, just as more sensible authors, artists and businesses are now!

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    What a bunch of knob goblins.

    ...I really don't know that there's that much more to say; the RIAA has performed the remarkable feat of, like Newt Gingrich, silencing further criticism via a history of depravity: when the RIAA does evil, it has invariably already committed some similar evil. Ergo, the latest infraction is no longer newsworthy.

    ...except to the Reg - and for that, I salute you. Since there is no 'salute' icon, I pick 'thumbs up'.

    (Note: I do not mean that the RIAA has committed *every possible evil in the world*. For instance, it has not required that everyone own a lava lamp, or created a misinformation campaign designed to cause people to use apostrophe's incorrectly. I refer to its own sphere of operations.)

    1. Juan Inamillion

      to use apostrophe's incorrectly

      I see what you did there...



  34. steogede

    Crux of the problem

    >>The Recording Industry Association of America and other music industry groups are backing a proposal for a highly regulated ".music" top-level domain.

    The crux of the problem with the RIAA and their partners is that they think they own all music. Why don't they register .air and .water whilst they are at it. As others have already said, .riaa or .mafiaa would be much more fitting.

  35. skellious

    What happened to El Reg's normal abbreviation?

    El Reg normally refers to the "Recording Industry Ass. Of America." A very appropriate abbreviation, I think.

  36. andy, bacup

    If they want to be taken seriously...

    ...why not a highly regulated ".bullshit" top-level domain?

  37. Derek Currie

    IOW: Corporate Oligarchy Members ONLY

    “It’s not open to everyone,” Styll said. “You’d have to join an organisation.”

    Customer peasants be damned, those pirating rabble of the InterTubes. This exclusive club is only for the new ROYALTY, we your Corporate Overlords. Bow and scrape before us, you shabby little peons you. :-P

  38. Ray Simard

    I remain convinced that... awful lot of this thrashing comes down to basic human passion for control and domination...ego, power and supremacy. The legal and moral justification of combating piracy is one thing; the visceral drive behind the energy and effort being thrown into one scheme after another-look at that cockamamie idea at

    for just one recent example (yes, the link is misspelled) is another.

    Notice the RIAAss, MPAAss, the studios rarely talk about what they truly consider their financial losses. Down deep, that's not what really matters.

    I think they are so infuriated by the very idea of people trading in their product in ways beyond their control that they crave the emotional satisfaction of watching them squirm, standing tall and powerful over the cowering figure of a(n alleged) file-sharer, beating their figurative chests and reveling in the ego-orgasms of their victories, not for true moral or financial justice. Look back over the history of the "John Doe" lawsuit blitzkriegs, attempts to hoodwink some file-sharers (and innocents afraid of being tagged as otherwise) to pay "settlements" by credit card on a website, one thing after another-not to mention their amazement when their darling accomplishment, the DMCA, failed to halt file-sharing in its tracks, and it's hard to conclude otherwise.

    Put two moral, if not legal, criminals side by side: someone with a few dozen unauthorized items on his computer and then a row of corporate giants eager to inflict fear and pain for their gratification-who is the worse?

    If they want to get this TLD-something they can totally control-fine (though I have a general dislike of these niche TLDs, but that's another matter). What will they say when they can't show that it's put another dime on their own balance sheets-much less those of the artists in whose interest (HA!) they claim to be acting?

  39. TimeMaster T

    ready for it ...

    >cat /etc/hosts

    ... .music



  40. NRT

    Long term, it may be worse.

    Once .music is established and is the main place to go to buy music, expect to hear the licensing groups start pressing the labels to stop selling on any of the other domains.

    This will, of course, be done to avoid "confusing the poor consumers". However look at what may happen if they succeed.

    1. All "legal" music is now on .music

    2. Any music not there must be "Illegal".

    3. Threaten to take down any site with music on it that is not on the gTLD. No need for any nasty expensive court hearings the site is, by definition, a pirate one.

    Am I being unduly cynical here?


  41. Chris 228

    I have no issues with music domains

    There is no reason to not control copyright protected works so this is a good idea as far as I am concerned. I'm sure pirates may disagree but who cares what they believe?

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


      Copyright and control are two different things.

      Somehow, the holders of the former decided that it should automatically entitle them to the latter. Like saying that if I sell you a refrigerator that gives me automatic right to enter your house anytime I want.

      The sad thing is - many people seem to be unable to understand that distinction...

  42. Mikel


    XX Censored.

  43. Tim Bates

    I'm OK with it.

    As long as they are required to assign records for their members public IPs pointing back to their appropriate .music domain, not any other TLD.

    Will make blocking their systems from accessing mine far easier that way. Just drop any access matching a .music address. Not because I'm into pirating stuff, but because I don't want their systems checking up on mine to see if I've been naughty (which I think we all know they already do).

  44. Crisp

    This is great

    How will this affect the music I hear when I'm watching bands live?

    1. LaeMing
      Black Helicopters

      If the band isn't under a RIAA affiliate label,

      they will be arrested for music piracy?

  45. L1feless

    Ok so let's make...

    A deal. The RIAA and all of their idiot followers cna have .music domain but only if they have to let go of all other affiliated domains as well.

    Now that is all settled....let's all block the .music domain....Ahh the sweet sound of silence.

    1. LaeMing

      More like

      the sweet sound of music - real music!

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