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.radio and .music domain suffix fans looking to ICANN meeting in San Francisco

The global non-profit in charge of domain names is meeting in San Francisco next month, and I know of at least two radio related groups that will be watching the event closely. One is dotradio and the other is dotMusic. Both want the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to green light two new top level domains, not surprisingly:  .radio and .music.

This would add those worthy suffixes to the already extant 280 top level domain extensions. These include country code extensions like .ca and .fr and generic TLDs like .com, .org, .net, and .info.

Right now ICANN is working its way through the complex process of deciding how to approve applicants. You can read the latest application guidebook here, which goes through the tricky process of considering “community” objections to proposed gTLDs.

Unfortunately, the whole business is loaded with politics. The Recording Industry Association of America, for example, wants ICANN to make it easier to object to gTLDs that they think could be used for illegal file sharing (like .music?).

Then there’s the US Department of Commerce’s insistence that any nation be able to veto a proposed gTLD. That’s an even bigger can of worms, but I don’t think there’s really any valid objection to either of these proposed suffixes. There may be concerns with the specific proposals, but both are well known generic categories, and letting companies, radio stations, and community groups use .radio would really heighten the genre’s presence on the global cyberspace map.

The ICANN Board has resolved that it “it intends to progress toward launching the New gTLD Program, as close as practically possible to the form as set out in the Proposed Final Applicant Guidebook” at its San Francisco meeting. The Board will meet on March 18.


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