ICANN ICANN Email List Archives


<<< Chronological Index >>>    <<< Thread Index >>>

Response by .MUSIC on the Expression of Interest initiative for new gTLDs (Final Version)

  • To: eoi-new-gtlds@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Response by .MUSIC on the Expression of Interest initiative for new gTLDs (Final Version)
  • From: Constantine Giorgio Roussos <costa@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 27 Nov 2009 16:34:07 -0800

The .music gTLD initiative is powered by Music.us, a multi-stakeholder
community led by musicians, bands, artists, producers, engineers, managers,
record labels, publishers, promoters, performance rights organizations,
government music export offices & arts councils, industry associations,
non-profit organizations, music societies, broadcasters, DJs, podcasters,
studios, retailers, music conferences & expos, digital aggregators, digital
stores, instrument & music software manufacturers, distributors, educational
universities & institutions, music educators, researchers, music
consultants, researchers, music lawyers, journalists, writers, music
community websites and other music industry professionals.

The demand for the .music gTLD powered by Music.us can be quantified in mere
numbers: We have amassed nearly 1,000,000 signatures on our Music.us site
and over 400,000 followers on Twitter and Myspace alone, supporting the
.music initiative which is comprised of:

   -  Launching the .music gTLD
   -  Supporting our 23-point initiative for the global music industry
   -  Representing multiple stakeholder interests represented by our
   rotating Board
   -  Providing innovation via our 360-degree commercial platform powered by
   Music.us to help the music community monetize on their works/services, fight
   piracy and connect with other .music members and music fans.

In response to the Expressions of Interest proposal by ICANN:

1)     How do we ensure that participation in the EOI accurately represents
the level of interest?

Oral interest claims hold no legal or financial implication and represents
the biggest hurdle for ICANN in regards to determining how many new gTLDs
will be applied for and launched. ICANN’s approach on this important issue
has been one of pure guesswork and ineffective economic studies. Economic
studies can help but do not offer the most concrete form of evidence for
interest. The reality of new ventures in business is that only the market
can determine if a company is successful or not.

With that said, the only way to figure out the true representation of the
number of applications and corresponding strings is to require applicants to
put down at least $50,000 or the proposed ICANN full amount of $185,000 per
gTLD string applied for. There might be concessions for some non-profit
entities or less-financially privileged groups in regards to the fee. If the
string they are applying for is similar but in a different language (gTLD
IDN of their Latin-based string), then the additional fee is significantly
reduced since the application still is the same, with only the language of
the translated string changing.

 For someone to participate there must be an incentive to do so. This means
participation is mandatory as well as binding. The fee must be consistent
with ICANN’s goal of requiring serious entities with financial backing to
manage new TLDs.

  2)     Should only those who participate in the EOI be eligible to
participate in the first round when the program officially launches?

Yes. Only the serious entities should be allowed to participate in the
round. If the EOI is optional, there is no incentive to participate. Also
there must only be one round not two because participants will choose to
opt-out of the first and only participate in the second if the first round
is not binding.

3)     Should a deposit be required for participation in the EOI?

Yes. The fee should be consistent with ICANN’s $185,000 application fee. The
full price will accurately correspond to the exact number of applications.
However, a $50,000 deposit can be sufficient to provide ICANN with accurate
information about the number of applicants and strings.

Choosing lower fees will invite frivolous bids as well as provide with ICANN
inaccurate numbers as well as a plethora applicants that are not committed
entirely to the process and new gTLDs. Serious, competent and committed
applicants will have no problem giving a deposit if they know there is
progress being made in the whole gTLD process and it benefits both ICANN and
the applicants in general.

4)     If there is a fee, under what circumstances should there be refund?

Refunds should be given by ICANN if the entire application process is
abandoned by a certain date. In the case of 2-character IDNs, there should
be a refund if ICANN chooses not to go with 2-character IDN gTLDs. Examples
of .music translated in multiple languages that result in 2-character string
gTLDs include Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

If ICANN makes 2-character IDN gTLDs invalid, then a refund should be made
for the corresponding applied-for strings.

5)     What information should be collected from EOI participants?

The information collected should be as accurate, simple and measureable as
possible. Our recommendation:

   - The string
   - The applying entity
   - Contact info
   - Application type:

o    Standard e.g .web

o    Geographic e.g .nyc

o    Single-stakeholder community e.g .gay

o    Multiple-stakeholder community e.g .music

It is important that disclosure of all information is made public for all to
see. This will identify potential trademark abuse, enable accurate economic
studies, allow for early conflict resolution, and identify possibly public
order issues.

6)     Must the responder commit to go live within a certain time of

This is a case by case scenario, especially for brand name gTLDs. However,
if the extension is a generic and is of general public interest then a
commitment to launch must be made.

7)     What are the implications for potential changes to the Applicant
Guidebook after the EOI participation closes?

The advantages of the EOI is that it will provide ICANN with the relevant
information it needs to improve upon issues such timing and costs associated
with the gTLD launch as well as overarching issues such as stability and
root scaling.

Solving the overarching issues in the future applicant guidebook, that are
regarded as the missing components, will have no bearing to the level of
interest from applicants since those issues are beyond the control of any

For example:

*Economic Demand*

There is economic demand for .music, which is highlighted by the support of
multi-stakeholder community groups, musicians and the Internet community
at-large. Our .music initiative petition has reached 1 million signatures
and we have amassed over 400,000 followers across social media sites such as
Twitter, Myspace and Facebook alone. Under the same token, the demand for
other gTLD strings reflects the interest of other niche interest groups that
would like to be represented on the Internet.

Today’s Internet users identify themselves via email addresses, domain names
as well as selecting vanity names on websites they associate themselves
with. For example, on Twitter, users identify themselves with a @name tag.
Other examples include Facebook.com and Myspace.com, which enable their
users to select their own name to represent their unique identity and URL on
the web. The same scenario will apply to the introduction of new gTLDs:
users will register their corresponding name under the gTLD that would best
represent them. User choice, competition and economic demand is what new
gTLDs are all about.

*Root Scaling*

The EOI is perfect in determining the number of serious applicants. ICANN
must seek measurable statistics that is reliable and consistent with the
ICANN fee: $185,000. Lowering the deposit amount will invite a bad sample
size that will statistically be significant enough to give incorrect
measurement assumptions. Root scaling will have no effect on applicant’s
propensity to apply for new gTLDs.

*Registry/Registrar Vertical Integration*

With or without registry/registrar separation, all applicants will still go
for their applications. Regulations currently state that there is
separation. That is a moot point. Registry/Registrar Vertical Integration
change will have no effect on applicant’s propensity to apply for new gTLDs.


As a musician, rights holder and entrepreneur, I strongly believe in
intellectual capital protections and safeguards. This is also a core focus
of the Fight Piracy Organization which I am a part of.  We do not think any
decisions to protect intellectual capital will change anyone's opinion on
applying. I believe some of the mechanisms proposed are effective.
Furthermore, additional steps will be made by gTLD applicants to notify
known brand trademark holders to further protect their trademarks.
Applicants know who the key players are in their corresponding industry and
would be in their best interest to get those key players to use their gTLD
string. Any trademark safeguarding policy changes will have no effect on
applicant’s propensity to apply for new gTLDs.

*Malicious Conduct*

Malicious conduct is one aspect that again has no bearing to applicants.
Restrictive communities that control the pool of applicants via verification
mechanisms can reduce this kind of behavior to minimal levels. The .music
initiative will implement mechanisms to prevent this kind of behavior and we
believe all applicants will diligently focus on preventing this kind of
behavior. We believe the percentage increase of malicious/fraudulent
behavior will be negligible if any. Any malicious conduct policy changes
will have no effect on an applicant’s propensity to apply for new gTLDs.

Any argument that future applicants can not measure whether to apply to the
EOI now because the DAG is not finalized essentially states that such
prospective applicants are not TLD competent. All remaining issues have been
excessively addressed and publically debated at several ICANN meetings and
other events.

8)     What are the potential risks associated with the EOI?

The primary benefit of the EOI is to reduce risk and provide ICANN with
information that can be used to address risks such as root scaling,
inaccurate economic studies, trademark infringement and public order. Also
it can enable objecting parties to initiate discussions and reach amicable

The integrity of the Internet is at stake here and ICANN needs to address
issues in a pragmatic and accurate manner, devoid of guesswork. The EOI also
eliminates the notion of “stealth” non-brand applicants that have been in
hiding and have not reached out, listened nor addressed their respective
communities in a public and transparent manner. gTLDs should not be treated
like premium domains that are exclusively reserved for auction, where
applicants show up in the last second to put their bid in. Open competition
is enhanced by the EOI, which is consistent with the ICANN policy-making
process of transparency and publically available information.

The risk that can arise from the EOI is one of timing. Anti-gTLD supporters
can say that, again, more time is needed as well as accuse EOI applicants of
putting themselves in an advantageous position. The problem with that
argument is that ICANN’s plan for the “introduction for new gTLDs” was part
of the strategy which goes back to September 2004 (

Five years have gone by, during which many have invested money, time and
efforts to participate in the ICANN process and provide the relevant
information to multiple-stakeholder groups. ICANN itself conducted major
interviews which included ex-ICANN CEO and Presedent’s statements to French
newspaper Les Echos on June 23rd, 2008: "Apart from the .com, .net or .org,
the 1.3 billion web users will be able from early 2009 to acquire generic
addresses by lodging common words such as .love, .hate or .city or proper
names." The date given was early 2009 and now we are one month away from

ICANN also has gone to considerable outreach efforts to publicize new gTLDs
such as their ad in the Economist in January 2009 on page 155, where ICANN
publically gave a timeline: "In the second half of 2009, ICANN is planning
to open up a process that could create more names at the top level." An
additional timeline of Q1, 2010 was presented as well that was once again
abandoned by ICANN (

In retrospect, it is reasonable to say that all gTLD applicants expected to
have their applications already processed given the timelines provided by
ICANN. The risk of other applicants coming late in to the process and
claiming that they were not given a reasonable time-frame to apply within
the EOI framework is flawed because time was one element in this process
that has been abused. Since the ICANN Paris meeting in June 2008, the gTLD
process was of public knowledge and widely broadcasted across all media.


We believe it is time that a commitment is made by ICANN with an EOI process
that facilitates the whole gTLD application process by moving it forward
effectively. In a cost-benefit analysis, there are no compelling arguments
that an EOI brings about significant costs. Some may claim there is a risk
that the DAG is yet to be finalized without the overarching issues addressed
and an EOI is hence not useful or feasible. However, the expectations on the
remaining overarching issues are publically known, debated and their
resolution will have no impact upon prospective applicants’ likelihood to
apply for new gTLDs. The advantages outweigh the costs significantly.

Taking a broader perspective, the ICANN Board unanimously voted for the
implementation of the Fast Track ccTLD IDNs without addressing any
overarching issues that currently overshadow the gTLD process. It would seem
like unequal treatment (resulting in competitive disadvantages to the gTLD
community) from ICANN if the gTLD process is not moved forward in a similar
manner. In fact, the Fast Track process included a similar call for
expressions of interest which helped form and finalize it. In addition,
despite extensive discussions, the issues in the Fast Track process remained
unresolved and no community consensus was reached. However, the ICANN Board
decided to make final decisions on the issues, and voted to launch the
process in order to address the community need for IDN ccTLDs. The solution
made was not 100% perfect, but was still launched in a careful manner with a
review mechanism and a ICANN Board resolution specifying that any future
revisions would need ICANN Board approval. The same should apply for the
remaining issues in the gTLD process.

The community will not reach consensus on these remaining overarching
issues, and hence a Board decision is necessary to enable the launch of the
process and in that way at least address the need for more gTLDs in the
global community. Revision and review mechanisms can be built into the
process, with ICANN Board oversight and the EOI will help ICANN Staff to be
operationally prepared for receiving the initial round of applications.

I hope ICANN can join me and other applicants so that we can move forward
and introduce the new Internet landscape,


Constantine Roussos

CEO & Founder



468 N. Camden Drive, Suite 123

Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Tel: +1 310 460 4745

Fax: +1 213 688 8900

19 Mesolongiou St

Limassol 3032, Cyprus

Tel: +357 25 374000

Fax: +357 25363193

*Social Media:*

   - Twitter - @musicextension <http://www.twitter.com/musicextension> &
   other .music accounts <http://twitter.com/#list/musicextension/music>
   - Myspace - Myspace.com/musicextension<http://www.myspace.com/musicextension>
   - Facebook Group: .music on Facebook <http://www.musicfacebook.com/>
   - LinkedIn: .music on LinkedIn<http://www.linkedin.com/in/constantineroussos>

Attachment: .music-eoi.pdf
Description: Adobe PDF document

<<< Chronological Index >>>    <<< Thread Index >>>

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Cookies Policy