The long-awaited .music gTLD finally has a set of launch dates, but it looks like actually registering and keeping hold of a name is going to be painful, especially for domain investors.
DotMusic has filed its registry launch plans with ICANN, kicking off with a two-month sunrise period on September 11. General availability seems to be slated for April 9 next year.
Before the floodgates open, there’s going to be a “Community Organization Phase” from October 16 to March 10. Judging by registry policy documents, this phase looks like an extended sunrise for “music community” members that may not necessarily qualify for regular sunrise.
It looks like applying during this phase will be free, but there will be auctions for contested names.
At all stages including GA, it looks like people will be able to register .music names as usual via registrars, but then DotMusic will carry out a post-registration check that the registrant has sufficiently high musical street cred and the name closely matches their brand.
It will delete registrations that fail to meet these criteria. Indeed, it does not consider names truly “registered” until they have past these verification checks.
The registry has come up with something called a “Music Score” — I don’t know whether that’s an intentional pun — to determine whether a registrant is eligible for a .music domain.
It’s not really clear whether this is a numerical score with a pass/fail threshold, but calculating it requires the registrant to submit evidence of intellectual property, awards, social media activity, streams, and so on — 73 categories in total.
Registrants also have to demonstrate a nexus to their domain, so Napalm Death couldn’t register justinbieber.music, for example.
These verifications will be handled by a third-party company called ID.music (the domain does not currently resolve) which is also based in DotMusic’s home nation of Cyprus.
If all of this palaver isn’t enough to deter casual registrants and domainers, there’s a strict prohibition on “domain warehousing”. The policy states “the buying and holding of MTLD domain names as assets for resale, especially in bulk is prohibited”.
Record companies will be able to register their acts in bulk, if they’re approved by DotMusic, but domainers are not welcome.
The policy also bans privacy/proxy services.
The post Domainers not welcome as .music readies September launch first appeared on Domain Incite.