The Global Music Community
*DotMusic has received over 1000 Letters of Support. These supporting organizations are some of the organizations that have supported DotMusic.
The .MUSIC community-based top-level domain initiative is an all-inclusive effort for the entire global music community. These include musicians, artists, bands, songwriters, 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 fans and street teams and other music industry professionals.
Since launching its public community-based communication outreach campaign in 2008 – the only one by any .music applicant – DotMusic considered feedback from a diverse range of music constituent types from both the global music industry and and at-large music community. By employing a “bottom-up” policy development approach the .MUSIC initiative ensured that all music stakeholders had a voice in the development of the community-based .music top-level domain extension and its policies. On the same token, .MUSIC will encompass a governance structure employing a multi-stakeholder, rotating board, with fair and equal representation.
The Music Community Defined
The advent of the internet has shifted the way the Music Community interacts and has affected how the Community operates in profound ways. As a result of Internet the Community has become more organic and decentralized with millions of people sharing music than ever before and engaging with the Community. This was a salient shift away from the centralized and highly controlled way in which the market for music once operated.
In effect, this marked the birth of the Community in the truest sense of the word, shifting away from monopolized power structures by creating a truly networked Community of music makers connected to their fans in a more direct manner (Direct-to-Fan). There were three salient developments that followed:
- The music market experienced much more product diversity (see Chris Anderson’s Long Tail at: http://wired.com/wired/archive/12.10/tail.html) since music makes and music lovers could now interact with each other without the ‘forced’ mediation of parties who benefitted from the filtering process that they kept in place.
- Copyright law was instantly outdated, prompting a major legislative overhaul in the US (for more info go to http://www.loc.gov/crb/proceedings/2006-3/ and http://www.loc.gov/crb/proceedings/2006-3/riaa-ex-o-103-dp.pdf). In effect, this marked a weaker appropriability regime, which benefits the Community but not parties who want to monopolize the means of appropriation.
- The evaluation/selection process of music itself is now much more democratized; the days are over when the DJs and VJs at the major broadcasting stations were the single voice that mattered in how music was valued. Today the Internet is a massive space for evaluation by the masses.
The Community’s engagement, interactions and operations have changed significantly as a direct result of the advent of the Internet in an environment where the collective Community voice rather than the voice of the few are now able to make a difference that matters in music, its distribution and consumption.
Process and Rationale Used in Arriving at the Expression of Support
The DotMusic Mission is to:
- create a trusted, safe online haven for music consumption & licensing;
- establish a safe home on the Internet for Music Community members regardless of locale or size;
- protect intellectual property and fight piracy;
- support musicians’ welfare, rights and fair compensation;
- promote music and the arts, cultural diversity & music education, and
- follow a multi-stakeholder approach of fair representation of all types of global music constituents, including a rotating regional Advisory Committee Board working in the Community’s best interest, including both reaching commercial and non-commercial stakeholders.
To be aligned with its Mission, DotMusic has focused on expressions of support that cover an all-inclusive global, balanced and multi-stakeholder representation of the Community that collectively represents the majority of the recognized Community by size. The size of the Music Community relates to the total number of constituents represented or covered by the recognized institutions, federations, associations, organizations, coalitions or any other music entities that have expressed letters of support or non-opposition.
DotMusic’s Mission, rationale and bottom-up, all inclusive multi-stakeholder process in obtaining expressed support has been conducted and executed to eliminate the likelihood of material detriment to the rights or legitimate interests of a significant portion of the Community to which .MUSIC may be explicitly or implicitly targeted. DotMusic’s Mission, support rationale and process has also taken into consideration objectives relating to competition, innovation and enhanced safeguards in intellectual property protection, security and safety, which are consistent with not only ICANN’s Affirmation of Commitments but also the Basic Principles of the “vital importance of transparency, openness and non-discrimination” expressed by the WIPO-led International Music Registry (with participants including music stakeholder groups RIAA, IFPI, SCAPR, ACTRA, SAMRO, IRSC, ECAD and CIAM).
The process by which DotMusic has received its support is through its global communication outreach campaign. Pursuant to its Mission, DotMusic has been conducting extensive outreach to the Community since 2008 to brand itself and its mission to convey the benefits of .MUSIC and requesting Community support letters. Since 2008 DotMusic has led Music Community efforts to the ICANN community through dedicated participation at ICANN meetings and other DNS/new TLD related events.
DotMusic has been a strong Music Community supporter and participant as demonstrated in its ongoing efforts to build a sustainable TLD with policies dedicated to match the needs of the Community using a multi-stakeholder model, while ensuring it is implemented in a manner fulfilling DNS and ICANN technical, political and legal requirements.
DotMusic has publicly branded itself in an open, transparent and accessible manner through differentiated .MUSIC-related sites, social media, online marketing and through tens of thousands of web discussions/media mentions. Over 1,500,000 have signed the .MUSIC Initiative petition; over 5 million have liked/followed DotMusic in popular social media sites; and a significant number of leading mCMOs have signed support/interest letters.
The total support expressions of a majority of the Music Community vary and are far-reaching under DotMusic’s multi-stakeholder model. They are diverse and balanced, covering:
- Industry and Commerce
- Digital and Technology
- Non-Commercial and Cultural
The Definition of the global music Community
According to the CPE Guidelines:
“With respect to “Delineation” and “Extension,” it should be noted that a community can consist of… a logical alliance of communities …of a similar nature… provided the requisite awareness and recognition of the community is at hand among the members.”(ICANN Applicant Guidebook (AGB), CPE Final Guidelines, P.4 and P.6)
The global music Community definition in the Application is:
“A strictly delineated and organized community of individuals, organizations and business, a logical alliance of communities of similar nature that relate to music.” (See Application, 20a)
According to the Application:
“The global Music Community includes both commercial and non-commercial stakeholders.” (See Application, 18a)
“Following a multi-stakeholder approach of fair representation of all types of global music constituents, including a rotating regional Advisory Committee Board working in the Community’s best interest.” (See Application, 18a)
“…a multi-stakeholder model of neutral, equal and fair representation deterring anti-trust⁄anti-competitive practices.”
“.music will be run in an all-inclusive manner serving the global Community as a critical public resource benefiting and empowering all constituents in a non-discriminatory and fair manner irrespective of size, locale or commercial⁄non-commercial status.“(Application, 18b ii)
The global music Community as defined is organized as a logical alliance of communities of similar nature relating to music, each with documented evidence of community-related activities that may include other roles or functions as well as clear and straightforward memberships with requisite awareness and recognition from members. According to CPE Guidelines, elements of straightforward membership definitions that qualify include:
“fees, skill and/or accreditation-requirements, privileges or benefits entitled to members, certifications aligned with community goals etc.” (AGB CPE Final Guidelines, Delineation, Page 4).
Community member Eligibility can include a clear, straightforward membership with a:
“Music Community Member Organization (MCMO) for registrants with demonstrated MCMO memberships” (See Application, 20e)
The Community defined has “multiple”, “relevant and/or recognized” institutions/organizations that “invoke a formal membership” with members who “correspond to” a “majority of the overall community addressed.”
The Community must adhere to the Mission as defined in the Application and be aligned with the Purpose of the string.
.music-Accreditation Requirements for MCMOs
To qualify as a MCMO, the clearly delineated and organized Community organization applying must fulfill all these requirements and qualifications (These requirements were predominantly based on the AGB Community Priority Evaluation Guidelines criteria):
- Clear delineation: The Community organization must have clear and straightforward membership and the requisite awareness and recognition from those members. The following non-exhaustive list denotes elements of straightforward membership definitions: fees, skill and/or accreditation-requirements, privileges or benefits entitled to members, certifications aligned with community goals etc;
- Organized: The Community organization must administer its members with documented evidence of community activities;
- Community organization must relate to music in a non-tangential or non-peripheral manner;
- Membership aligns with the Nexus of the Community and the String, which is explicitly relevant to music. Any tangential or implicit associations with the Nexus of the Community and the String will not be regarded as a delineated membership since it would be considered unclear, dispersed or unbound. Such an unclear, dispersed or unbound tangential relationship would not constitute a qualifying membership of an accredited MCMO and would be ineligible for registration;
- Community organization activities are aligned with the .MUSIC Mission and Purpose;
- Total membership is of non-negligible size;
- Total membership geographic dispersion is either international or national (i.e. organizations with merely local memberships do not qualify);
- Forward-looking longevity: Membership pursuits are of a lasting, non-transient nature (i.e. will continue to exist in the future);
- Membership activities must strongly associate to music e.g. be involved in the legal production and/or the distribution and/or the promotion of music (i.e. related to music); and
- The Community organization’s functions must legally comply with the string’s regulated sector in relation to copyright and clearly abide to the sector’s clearly, delineated systems to ensure fair compensation and proper allocation of royalties to Community rights holders.
A music organization can apply to become a .MUSIC-accredited MCMO and must show it fulfills MCMO qualification requirements. DotMusic expects that more MCMOs will be added to the list of .music-accredited MCMOs, including Music Community organizations with overlapping memberships with the current MCMO list. MCMOs can apply to join by submitting a complete MCMO Application to firstname.lastname@example.org (For Application form visit: http://music.us/DotMusic_Music_Community_MCMO_Application.pdf).
The definition of the Community is “a strictly delineated and organized community of individuals, organizations and business, a logical alliance of communities of similar nature that relate to music.”
DotMusic’s definition of the Community represents a majority of the Community with a requisite awareness of the Community. As mentioned in the Application:
“registrants will be verified using Community-organized, unified “criteria taken from holistic perspective with due regard of Community particularities” that “invoke a formal membership” (Application Answer to Question 20a).