What is .music?
.music is a proposed top-level domain (TLD) that we envision to be a unique and identifying Internet home for millions of artists, musicians, songwriters, and their support teams.
What is a TLD?
The last word to the right of the dot in a domain name is known as the “top level’ of the domain. (Current examples include “.com”, “.net”, and “.org”). The.music TLD will offer the music community a new online address that specifically serves music creators and the ecosystem that supports them; one that promotes music, but also nurtures and sustains the art within a safe namespace totally identified with music.
Why did Far Further apply for the .music TLD?
In short, we love music and “music people.” Our application for .music is a natural and inherent extension of our desire to serve all members of the music community through a trusted namespace that respects their rights as creators. We hope you agree they have as much right as anyone to earn a fair living from the fruits of their labors. While new technologies have played a central role in increasing the global availability of diverse musical traditions in recent years, we have yet to fully tap into the power of that same technology to sustain and nurture music, musical creators, and their audiences. The current choices in TLDs have not offered a space where music can be safeguarded, sustained and enjoyed for the benefit of creators and consumers alike. We want to change that with a new .music namespace. We believe that if there is to be a new .music Top Level Domain, then it needs to be connected to the community it represents, rather than in the control of an entity that just views TLDs as valuable internet real estate.
Are there other applicants for .music ?
Yes. Currently, there are eight applicants for this particular TLD. However, none of them are as closely aligned as we are with the interests of artists, musicians, songwriters and the music community in general. Furthermore, none of the other applicants have the level of support and endorsement from the global music community that Far Further has. It’s humbling, but the most representative, credible, diverse and sizeable music organizations in the world have placed their trust and support in Far Further and embraced our application exclusively.
What are the guiding principles of .music?
We have adopted and support the overarching values, rights and objectives of the International Music Council. The International Music Council (IMC), 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. The International Music Council’s “five music rights” provide a simple and effective cornerstone for our values-driven mission:The right for or all children and adults
Who is Far Further and what is the relationship to .music LLC?
Our application for .music is listed under the legal name of .music LLC, which is a subsidiary of Far Further LLC. We are a small, experienced team of music and domain name professionals.
How is Far Further funded and operated?
Far Further is funded by private investors who share our interest in serving the global music community. That said, we want to be very clear about that fact that Far Further and its subsidiaries are not owned, funded or controlled by any of its supporting community members.
Why is Far Further’s application for the .music TLD designated as a “community”, rather than a standard application?
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which is the governing body for Internet domains, established a provision that TLDs that are operated for the benefit of clearly delineated communities, may receive preference over “standard” applications for the same name. Community-based TLD applicants are required to provide written endorsements in support of their application from one or more institutions representing the community. ICANN also requires community-based TLDs to have registration and use policies that support the community-based intent of the TLD. We made the decision early on to file a “community” application rather than a “standard” one. Our rationale was simple: .music should be operated by the community, for the community and from within the community. If .music is not designated as a community by ICANN, it could simply be auctioned off to the highest bidder; one who may have no ties to the music community nor share its common values. Therefore, to ensure that .music would be responsive to the needs of music creators and operated in the best interest of the global music community, it was logical and strategic that our application be designated as “community” rather than “standard.”
Community applications have to meet a very high bar in order to obtain priority. How is Far Further prepared?
Although ICANN has made it very difficult for an applicant to score high in a “community priority” evaluation, achieving such a score greatly increases the likelihood that the “community” applicant will be awarded the top-level domain name. In addition, prior to submitting its application, Far Further spent years working with representatives from within the worldwide music community to develop policies for creative rights protections and membership requirements that not only serve the common interest of the global music community and meet ICANN’s guidelines, but also are balanced with the needs of the internet user and music lover. Of the numerous companies that participated in the formulation of policies to protect music creators’ intellectual property rights, Far Further was chosen by the music community to be the organization to submit a .music application on its behalf. Far Further has additionally received the endorsement of a broad, international group of music-related organizations. These include the International Music Council, which in partnership with UNESCO represents over 150 national music councils and more than a thousand music organizations. Endorsers also include the International Musician’s Union, music educator’s organizations, musical instrument manufacturers, international music distributors, music rights and licensing organizations, and other organizations representing both commercial and non-commercial stakeholders in the music community.
Can another .music applicant claim it has support from a different set of music organizations and therefore also file a community-based application?
Yes. However, Far Further’s .music application is unique in the breadth and depth and magnitude of its global representation and support. Our support organizations are also clearly delineated and pre-existing. These are areas that are critical in meeting key aspects of ICANN’s community support criteria.
What happens to Far Further’s .music application should it fail to achieve the minimum number of points from ICANN required for “Community Priority”?
Far Further does not expect this to occur but in such a case, Far Further’s application would continue to move forward as a “standard” application but would retain all the aspects of its requirements as a community application. It would be in competition with the other standard applicants and would continue to enjoy the support and access to the millions of members within the global music community.
If Far Further were to be awarded the .music TLD, can anyone and everyone register a .music domain name?
No, not everyone. One of ICANN’s guidelines for community applications is that there must be a mechanism for delineation of the community, which restricts registrations to members of the community. Therefore, under the registration and acceptable-use policies of a .music community-based TLD, only members of the music community can register .music domain names. The best way to meet these guidelines is to require potential registrants to have a relationship with an organization that is a recognized part of the music community (and that respects creative rights). So to register for a .music address, you will need to identify the music organization to which you belong. The .music address will be available to all artists, musicians, songwriters and others within the world-wide music community at any level. All that is needed is an affiliation with any one of over a thousand organizations worldwide, and a commitment not to infringe on the intellectual property rights of others. Any member of an accredited music community organization qualifies under ICANN’s guidelines. Many well-established, accredited music organizations offer free memberships.
Does one have to join, or pay to join, one of the supporting organizations in order to register a .music domain name?
No way. In fact, in most instances, potential registrants for a .music address are already affiliated with one or more organizations by virtue of their existing community relationships. It’s imperative to our mission to make sure that there are many music community organizations that are open and free to join for all aspiring artists, musicians, songwriters, and “DIYers” in fact, for all who are actively participating within the music community. We will work to make sure they are accessible from anywhere on the planet. Our fundamental goals are aimed at helping to foster future generations of music creators through education, and the developmental opportunities available to them through engagement with the global music community at large and its diverse spectrum of members. There are over a thousand organizations around the world that would qualify a person or entity to register a .music address.
Will an application for a specific .music address, e.g. trumpetsolos.music, have to be approved by any of these organizations?
No. The music community’s Policy Advisory Board will be overseeing the general policies for registration, use, and distribution of the TLD, but it will not “approve” specific second level domain name registrations.
The Far Further team has experience in the music business, but what about the technical aspects of running a domain?
Far Further has engaged an experienced registry operations team that has actually launched several domain name extensions and this team will be advising the company on the technical and operation aspects of running a registry. The technical back-end, or “shared registry services,” is being provided by Neustar, which also manages registry services to .us, .biz, .co, and others. Neustar’s technical capabilities and secure operating environment makes it an ideal partner for .music. In fact, Neustar was chosen by more TLD applicants than any other back-end registry provider.