.MUSIC News

Why Open Applications for Sensitive, Music-Themed gTLDs Create Material Harm

Sensitive, open music-themed string without appropriate enhanced safeguards and pro-active policies will create material harm to the legitimate interests of the music community.

Link: Why Open Applications for Sensitive, Music-Themed gTLDs without Pro-active Enhanced Safeguards Create Material Harm


DotMusic Files Legal Rights Objections with WIPO (March 13, 2013)

DotMusic™ has filed Legal Rights Objections (LROs) with the World Intellectual Property Organization

Constantine Roussos, founder of .MUSIC, asserts: "It is clear that if ICANN grants the applied-for .MUSIC gTLD to any of these applicants it will create intended material harm to us, take unfair advantage of and unjustifiably impair the distinctive character and goodwill reputation of our .MUSIC-related trademarks and our domain-related business, as well as create an impermissible likelihood of confusion since we are commonly known and have for years traded under our globally-recognized brand marks - .MUSIC and DOTMUSIC - in both the domain and music space."

“The facts speak for themselves and we will prevail in these cases since any reasonable person would agree there would be a strong likelihood of confusion, impairment, and unfair advantage if any of these applicants are awarded the gTLD,” Roussos concludes.

The objections are valid and should be upheld since potential use of the applied-for .MUSIC gTLD by the Applicants:

(i) Takes unfair advantage of the distinctive character and reputation of DotMusic’s Marks and DotMusic’s business

(ii) Unjustifiably impairs the distinctive character and reputation of DotMusic’s Marks and DotMusic’s business

(iii) Creates an impermissible likelihood of confusion between the applied-for gTLD and DotMusic’s Marks and DotMusic’s business

The WIPO Panel should find that the identical nature of our .MUSIC Marks and the applied-for gTLD coupled with the fact that Applicants intend to use the gTLD in the same manner, through associated, relevant channels, and with the same goods and services for which DotMusic currently has its pre-existing Trademark rights, necessitates a finding in favor of DotMusic.

 

Music-Themed TLD Community Objections filed with ICC (March 13, 2013)

DotMusic™ was involved in filing 11 music-themed objections with the International Chamber of Commerce against .MUSIC applicants who have music-themed TLD applications that have a likelihood of creating material detriment to the rights or legitimate interests of the music community. Concerns included:

 

DotMusic's ICANN Public Comments on Closed TLD Applications (March 7, 2013)

http://forum.icann.org/lists/comments-closed-generic-05feb13/pdf9GOH7OQex8.pdf

 

Letters to ICANN relating to concerns over Monopoly & Closed TLD Applications

Early Warning Objections and Music-themed TLD Public Comments

Australian Government Early Warning Against Google and Amazon:

https://gacweb.icann.org/download/attachments/22938690/Music-AU-18029.pdf?version=1&modificationDate=1353430576000

Competition: Amazon EU S.àr.l. is seeking exclusive access to a common generic string (.music) that relates to a broad market sector (Application ID: 1-1316-18029).

Reason/Rationale for the Warning:
The proposed string, .music, is a common generic term relating to a market sector. Amazon EU S.à r.l. is proposing to exclude any other entities, including potential competitors, from using the TLD. Restricting common generic strings for the exclusive use of a single entity could have unintended consequences, including a negative impact on competition.

Possible Remediation steps for Applicant:
Amazon EU S.à r.l. should specify transparent criteria for third party access to the TLD. These criteria should be appropriate for the types of risk associated with the TLD, and should not set anti‐competitive or discriminatory conditions relating to access by third parties. These criteria should form part of any binding contract with ICANN, and be subject to clear compliance oversight by ICANN.

https://gacweb.icann.org/download/attachments/22938690/Song-AU-53837.pdf?version=1&modificationDate=1353433610000

Competition: Amazon EU S.àr.l. is seeking exclusive access to a common generic string (.song) that relates to a broad market sector (Application ID: 1-1317-53837)

Reason/Rationale for the Warning:
The proposed string, .song, is a common generic term relating to a market sector. Amazon EU S.à r.l. is proposing to exclude any other entities, including potential competitors, from using the TLD. Restricting common generic strings for the exclusive use of a single entity could have unintended consequences, including a negative impact on competition.

Possible Remediation steps for Applicant:
Amazon EU S.à r.l. should specify transparent criteria for third party access to the TLD. These criteria should be appropriate for the types of risk associated with the TLD, and should not set anti‐competitive or discriminatory conditions relating to access by third parties. These criteria should form part of any binding contract with ICANN, and be subject to clear compliance oversight by ICANN.

https://gacweb.icann.org/download/attachments/22938690/Tunes-AU-30761.pdf?version=1&modificationDate=1353451041000

Competition: Amazon EU S.àr.l. is seeking exclusive access to a common generic string (.tunes) that relates to a broad market sector (Application ID: 1-1317-30761).

Reason/Rationale for the Warning:
The proposed string, .tunes, is a common generic term relating to a market sector. Amazon EU S.à r.l. is proposing to exclude any other entities, including potential competitors, from using the TLD. Restricting common generic strings for the exclusive use of a single entity could have unintended consequences, including a negative impact on competition.

Possible Remediation steps for Applicant:
Amazon EU S.à r.l. should specify transparent criteria for third party access to the TLD. These criteria should be appropriate for the types of risk associated with the TLD, and should not set anti‐competitive or discriminatory conditions relating to access by third parties. These criteria should form part of any binding contract with ICANN, and be subject to clear compliance oversight by ICANN.

 

Government Early Warnings against Google:

https://gacweb.icann.org/download/attachments/22938690/App-AU-33325.pdf?version=1&modificationDate=1353381098000

https://gacweb.icann.org/download/attachments/22938690/Blog-AU-47770.pdf?version=1&modificationDate=1353381461000

https://gacweb.icann.org/download/attachments/22938690/Cloud-AU-17190.pdf?version=1&modificationDate=1353425008000

https://gacweb.icann.org/download/attachments/22938690/Search-AU-50966.pdf?version=1&modificationDate=1353432170000

For All Government Early Warnings please visit: https://gacweb.icann.org/display/gacweb/GAC+Early+Warnings

 

Other Monopoly and other Concerns Against Google and Amazon:

www.forbes.com/sites/scottcleland/2012/01/20/the-evidence-googles-systematic-theft-is-anti-competitive

Systematic theft may be the most anti-competitive and monopolistic practice in which a company can engage. Systematic theft generates an unbeatable cost advantage by avoiding the standard cost of propertied goods for which law-abiding competitors must pay. It creates an unfair, jump-the-gun, time-to-market advantage, by ignoring the rule of law standard of securing permission from property owners before use in the marketplace, a business practice that law-abiding competitors must respect. It spawns and maintains a matchless online index/inventory advantage that no honest competitor could hope to assemble. It anti-competitively undermines property-based business models which compete with Google’s free content model. Lastly, systematic theft is the ultimate predatory practice in that it unlawfully destroys the value of any innovation or creative advantage a competitor may have.

Almost by definition, theft is a quintessential deceptive and unfair business practice under the FTC’s Section 5 antitrust authority. The open question is whether or not the FTC first can recognize, and second prosecute a heretofore unprecedented pattern of predatory behavior – systematic theft for anti-competitive gain.

Last month, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt told the French Newspaper Liberation, “We do not steal,” a reprise of his June claim to the British Daily Mail that “We are a law-abiding company.” It is telling that Google feels compelled to assert what should be a given and never questioned about a major corporation. The reason is that scores of competitors consistently over several years have charged Google with the same illegal practice: theft for anti-competitive advantage. More specifically, Google has repeatedly been sued for repeatedly stealing most every form of property: trademarks, copyrights, patents, trade secrets, contact lists, and private information.

Top Patterns of Google Theft
1. Admitted Pattern of Promoting Online Piracy: A) Last August, the DOJ assessed a near-record $500m criminal penalty on Google for systematic and willful aiding and abetting of piracy of non-prescription drugs over a period of several years. The U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case said Google CEO “Larry Page knew what was going on.” B) SIGTARP, the U.S Treasury Department entity responsible for policing TARP fraud continues to investigate Google after Google “suspended advertising relationships with more than 500 Internet advertisers and agents associated with 85 alleged online mortgage fraud schemes and related deceptive advertising.” C) A BBC investigation recently exposed that Google was advertising illegal Olympic Ticket ads for the 2012 London Summer Olympics.
2. Anti-Competitive Pattern of Book Theft: In rejecting Google’s proposed book settlement as a violation of copyright, antitrust and class action law, Federal Judge Chin said Google’s proposed settlement “would give Google a significant advantage over competitors, rewarding it for wholesale copying of copyrighted works without permission.” Google continues to systematically copy books without permission from the copyright owner – over fifteen million to date — which fosters an anti-competitively comprehensive search index that no property-respecting search competitor can match.
3. Willful Pattern of Promoting YouTube Video Theft: In the Viacom vs. Google-YouTube $1b copyright infringement case pending appeal, involving the alleged willful facilitation of hundreds of thousands illegally downloaded videos, Federal Judge Stanton said: “…a jury could find that the defendants [Google-YouTube] not only were generally aware of, but welcomed copyright-infringing material being placed on their website.” The appeal will likely hinge on whether the Appeals Court rules that Google engaged in willful blindness, which would abrogate its DMCA safe harbor claim under the Supreme Court MGM vs. Grokster precedent.
4. Willful Pattern of Android Property Infringement: In the Steve Jobs biography, the late Steve Jobs called Android “a stolen product” for stealing the signature pinch and swipe innovations of the iPhone. Oracle sued sued Google for billions of dollars for “knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle’s Java-related property;” an incriminating Google email shows Google’s leadership knew they needed to license JAVA but implicitly decided to steal it.
5. Anti-Competitive Pattern of Stealing Competitors’ Signature Patented-Innovations: A) Google stole the idea and auction method for keyword advertising, the wellspring of its search advertising monopoly, from the keyword advertising inventor and patent holder, Overture, given that Google settled a patent lawsuit with Overture-Yahoo for ~$250 million in order to clear the way for Google’s 2004 IPO.  B) Skyhook Wireless sued Google for infringing several WiFi location patents that collectively enable most location-driven mobile applications. Incriminating emails indicate willful infringement by Google’s leadership. C) Last fall, Yelp complained that Google stole Yelp’s restaurant reviews without compensation in order to leapfrog Yelp with Google Places. D) PayPal recently sued Google for theft of their mobile payment trade secrets in a lawsuit against Google Wallet. E) The most recent example of this Google pattern of stealing competitors’ most valuable property is BuySafe’s patent lawsuit against Google’s Trusted Stores program.
6. Extensive Pattern of Content Theft: It is no coincidence that Google has been sued for copyright infringement by most all types of content: wire servicesnewspapersbroadcastersmovie studiosauthors, publishersvisual artistssoftware providersphotographersartistsgraphic designersillustrators, and filmmakers.
7. Extensive Pattern of Trademark Theft: Many brands have sued Google for infringing on their trademarks by selling their trademarked brands to competitors as search keyword advertising, i.e. adwords: Rosetta Stone (whose appeal is supported by friend-of-the-court briefs by: Viacom, Ford Motor Company, Carfax, Blue Destiny Records, The Media Institute, ConvaTec, Guru Denim, Monster Cable, PetMed Express and 1-800 Contacts), American Airlines, and Geico. The theft is Google effectively extorts a brand owner to buy their trademarked key word at top price in order to keep it from being used by competitors to steal business leads from trademarked brand names that consumers trust.
8. Pattern of Stealing Contact Lists: A) This week, Google admitted to being caught systematically stealing business contacts from a Kenyan business directory. B) Last year, Google admitted to stealing people’s private email lists in the FTC Google-Buzz privacy settlement where Google admitted that taking people’s private gMail contact list and incorporating them into Google Buzz without their permission was a deceptive and unfair business practice.  C) Google StreetView admitted it systematically took WiFi signals of tens of millions of household’s emails and passwords around the world, without their permission, over a period of three years, prompting investigations in 13 countries: U.S.Canada,  Germany,   France,   Switzerland,  Netherlands,  Spain,  Belgium, Czech Republic,  South KoreaJapan,  Australia,  and  Hong Kong.
In sum, it is sad that the evidence indicates systematic theft is an integral element of Google’s competitive business strategy. The evidence also indicates Google owes much of its success and rapidly spreading market dominance to the ill-gotten unbeatable competitive advantage of systematic theft of others property (trademarks, copyrights, patents, trade secrets, contact lists, private information) via at least eight distinct patterns of theft perpetrated over several years time — that collectively indicate that Google’s anti-competitive behavior is systematic, willful and strategic.

The much underappreciated key to Google’s strategy here is to deny legal discovery of incriminating information on awareness and intent behind Google’s theft, and when such information is discovered, to cover it up publicly via an aggressive pattern of urging courts to seal incriminating documents from public view. The cover-up prevents complainants and law enforcement the ability to connect-the-dots of evidence necessary to prove in court that Google’s systematic theft has been, and remains willful and strategic. The non-profit Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has documented Google’s cover-up pattern in a report called “Uncivil Secrecy.”

The sad irony here is that the company in the world which advocates most loudly for Internet openness and whose mission is to make the world’s information universally accessible, systematically seeks to deny public access to vast amounts of court documents that normally would be in the public domain, but for Google’s “closedness” efforts. The exceptional public hypocrisy here strongly suggests Google has much to hide.
At bottom, no law-abiding competitor can compete with a company which serially flouts property law and systematically engages in deceptive and unfair business practices. Google’s systematic theft provides Google with an unbeatable, ill-gotten, and anti-competitive cost, time-to-market, inventory, and innovation advantage.
Experience to date has taught Google that crime does pay. The overwhelming evidence above of Google’s systematic theft strongly indicates Google is the 21st Century’s Robber Baron.

 

http://www.precursorblog.com/content/googles-top-35-privacy-scandals

Since Privacy International ranked Google worst in the world for Privacy in its 2007 privacy survey for its unique “comprehensive consumer surveillance & entrenched hostility to privacy,” Google has had at least 24 more public scandals/controversies over privacy/security.

Google’s Top 35 Privacy Scandals/Controversies:

  1. 2012 Google iPhone Hacking Scandal: A Stanford researcher discovers Google hacked Apple Safari’s browser to circumvent both users' and Apple’s privacy protections to enable tracking for Google + advertising -- per a WSJ lead story which prompted widespread outcry and official privacy complaints. Google's quickly stopped the offending hacking, implying wrongdoing, did not apologize, and was misleading in its public defense.
  2. Google Wallet PIN not private/secure: A blogger discovered Google Wallet had a large security hole where the privacy/security of the users' PIN to access the Wallet was not adequately protected, enabling relatively easy access to the Google Wallet owner’s money. Google had to shut down service for about a week to patch the privacy/security hole that most likely would have been discovered by a company with a proactive approach to privacy/security, rather than Google's reactive crowdsourced approach.
  3. Google+ forces consolidation of privacy policies with no opt out: The EU requested that Google delay introduction of new privacy policy to determine if it complies with EU law; Google refused. Other countries investigating the new privacy policy are: Ireland, the Netherlands, Australia, South Korea and the U.S. Moreover, the proposed integration of Google and DoubleClick’s related privacy policies appears to contravene Doubleclick’s past prominent public representations that "Google would not be able to match its search data to the data collected by DoubleClick, as DoubleClick does not have the right to use its clients' data for such purposes."
  4. Google Search Plus Your World integrates private posts with search results: EPIC asked the FTC to investigate if Search Plus Your World violates the FTC-Google Buzz privacy settlement given that it integrates private Google+ posts (that most people view as not searchable) with public data, thus increasing the risk of private information inadvertently being made public.
  5. 2011 Google fails to fulfill LAPD contract to keep Gmail private/secure. Over a year after contractually promising that Google could ensure the privacy and confidentiality of LAPD communications with other law enforcement and confidential sources, Google admitted it could not provide the contractually required level of privacy/security. City of Los Angeles threatened to sue to recoup its costs.
  6. Chinese hackers accessed U.S. officials’ private Gmail accounts: Per the Washington post, Chinese hackers compromised the private Gmail accounts of a U.S. Cabinet official and Defense Department officials.
  7. Android’s default set to collect & implement network passwords without user’s permission: Security blogger Donovan Colbert discovered that the Android operating system by default, i.e. without permission, automatically collected and implemented encryption key pass codes in order to automatically gain access to private networks without the permission of the user. In Mr. Colbert's own words: "Honestly if there is any data that shouldn't be harvested, stored and synched automatically between devices, it is encryption keys, passcodes and passwords."
  8. Google abused users’ privacy by knowingly geo-targeting them with ads for illegal/counterfeit drugs: Google settled with DOJ and paid a near-record $500m criminal penalty for knowingly aiding and abetting the illegal importation of prescription drugs into the United States with geo-targeted advertising facilitated by the misuse of users’ private information.
  9. “Locationgate” Android tracks users’ movements thousands of times a day without user knowledge: This Wall Street Journal investigative scoop prompted Senate hearings and calls for new privacy legislation, a Do Not Track list like the FTC’s Do Not Call List, and the scandal moniker "locationgate."
  10. Android’s lax security enables hackers access to users private information: A North Carolina State University study showed how lax Android security permitted hackers to snatch users private records of users’ phone calls, texts, emails and call lists, all without a user’s permission or control.
  11. Google TV prevented users from installing security/privacy software for protection: Google TV’s Android operating system did not allow users the option to protect themselves from harmful content or malware, per PC World.
  12. FTC-Google Buzz Settlement over deceptive privacy practices: Google settled with FTC that Google engaged in deceptive privacy practices in misrepresenting that they would keep Gmail contacts private when they made them automatically public with Google’s new Buzz social media service. In the FTC settlement, Google promised to not misrepresent its privacy policy again; to allow users to opt-in to changes; and to be subject to privacy audits for twenty years. In commenting upon the importance of the settlement, Google's spokesperson said: "We don't see this as being a significant change in how we run our business because this is the standard we hold ourselves to already," per the New York Times.
  13. Only Google made all WikiLeaks stolen secret/private cables publicly searchable: When Wikileaks leaked several hundred thousand highly-sensitive private and secret government cables, only Googledecidedto publicly index them and make them publicly accessible via Google search. Given that this decision was made by Google’s leadership shows that when confronted with a choice of keeping massive amounts of sensitive private information private or making private secret information public, Google’s leadership deliberately valued transparency over privacy/security. This incident, maybe more than any other, spotlights Google’s philosophical and political ambivalence towards privacy.
  14. Android’s “no-curation-policy” means no privacy/security by design for users: Google ignores its corporate responsibility to protect others in Google’s care. Google’s no curation policy means Google does not screen, review, or police apps in the Android Market before they can be used by the public, like Apple and others do, in order to protect consumers and ensure their platforms are not abused by unsafe or illegal apps. Google’s irresponsible policy on security/privacy means that “Android is the worst platform for malware;"
  15. Google enabled 35 million personal profiles to be publicly downloaded – a boon for identity thieves: No other entity has made more personal profiles (35 million Google Profiles) publicly accessible for easy downloading and indexing by hackers to effectively aid and abet criminal spearfishers than Google -- per a recent study by a University of Amsterdam PHD student Matthijs R. Koot.
  16. DOJ catches Google misrepresenting it had Federal security/privacy certifications when it didn’t. In a filing with a Federal Court, the DOJ said: "On December 16, 2010, counsel for the Government learned that, notwithstanding Google's representations to the public at large, its counsel, the GAO and this court... Google does not have FISMA certification for Google Apps for Government."
  17. “Doodle4Google” art contest required children to provide part of their Social Security # to participate: After an incredulous outcry from privacy groups, Google backed off this requirement to collect private information on children as young as kindergarten age.
  18. 2010 Google Street View’s unauthorized recording of private WiFi communications: For three years in over thirty countries Google secretly drove streets collecting all available transmissions emanating from a household WiFi router, until a German privacy authority caught them. Google blamed it on one engineer’s action in 2006, and apologized for the “mistake.” At least seventeen countries investigated the legality and propriety of the Google WiSpy effort: U.S., Canada, EU, Czech, France,Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
  19. Hackers stole Google’s entire password security/privacy system: No other entity (that the public knows of) has had their entire password security code stolen wholesale by Chinese hackers like Google has -- per John Markoff's front page expose in the New York Times. The potential size and scope of this privacy/security breach is unfathomable.
  20. Google engineer stalked teens and spied on chats: Per reports, “A Google engineer spied on four underage teens for months before the company was notified of the abuses.” The engineer named “seemed to get a kick out of flaunting his position at Google, which was the case when, with a friend's consent, he pulled up the person's email account, contact list, chat transcripts, Google Voice call logs—even a list of other Gmail addresses that the friend had registered but didn't think were linked to their main account—within seconds."
  21. 2009 Google depends on others to find Google’s security/privacy vulnerabilities: No other Fortune 500 company so officially relies on the crowd sourcing of their non-expert users and others to be their primary line of security/privacy defense, rather than taking corporate responsibility for maximizing the security/privacy of the information and people entrusted to safekeeping and protection at Google.
  22. Google’s uber-centralization creates massive “single point of failure” for security/privacy: No other entity universalizes its password access to more products and services (hundreds) than Google, a high risk practice author and Google Security expert Greg Conti describes as a "single point of failure" problem, in his book: “Googling Security: How Much Does Google Know about You?"
  23. Librarians opposed the Google Book Settlement because it had no privacy protections: The American Library Association formally opposed the GBS in a filing with the Federal Court, because it would violate the longstanding expectation of intellectual freedom of one’s research inquiry. It took years of official complaints before Google added a privacy policy to the Book Settlement.
  24. 2008 Google opposed posting its privacy policy on its home page as required by CA law: It took calls from California regulators and repeated coverage by Saul Hansell of the New York Times to shame Google into complying with California privacy law, which requires companies to make their privacy policies available with a link on their home page.
  25. 2007 Privacy International ranked Google worst in the world for privacy: In its 2007 survey Privacy International spotlighted Google’s uniquely bad privacy record by placing only Google in the bottom worst category of “comprehensive consumer surveillance & entrenched hostility to privacy."
  26. Google Street View raised privacy concerns with public photos of interiors of private homes: A front page New York Times story spotlighted the public unease of Google publicly exposing the interior of people’s homes, which could make them more vulnerable to burglars and stalkers. Prior to the 2010 Google Street View WiSpy scandal, many countries had objected to Google’s Street View service without authorization: U.S., Canada, UK, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Japan, and Switzerland.
  27. Google exposed 2,000 college students’ social security #s/personal information in search results: The Sacramento Bee reported that Google bots indexed a community college’s student files meant to be private -- exposing the dangers of private information making it into Google search results.
  28. Google Docs terms of service claims perpetual rights to use users’ private material: In a ZDNet post entitled: “The content in Google Apps belongs to Google,” showed Google’s obliviousness to the extensive privacy implications of private document creation.
  29. Privacy watchdogs opposed Google-DoubleClick merger on privacy grounds: In a filing with the FTC, privacy groups pointed out that Google and DoubleClick each had accumulated the most private data on individuals in the world, and that both companies had bad privacy track records, making the combination of these companies obviously an even greater threat to people’s privacy.
  30. 2006 Poll of Google users shows they incorrectly believe search is private and not personally identifiable: An EPIC complaint to the FTC on Google privacy spotlighted: " A January 2006 poll of 1,000 Google users found that 89% of respondents think their search terms are kept private, and 77% believed that Google searches do not reveal their personal identities. These numbers indicate that Google’s practices violate the public’s expectation of privacy with respect to the collection and use of search history data." … "The fact that Google collects its users’ search terms in connection with their IP address is not disclosed on Google’s Privacy Policy Highlights? page 32 or on its full Privacy Policy page..." … "Google does not comply with such well established government and industry privacy standards as the OECD Privacy Guidelines."
  31. Google publicly displayed a live feed of everyone’s private search terms in its lobby: Per a video posted on the popular blog Scobleizer we learned that people’s expected private searches could become publicly displayed in Google’s lobby.
  32. 2005 Google Earth publicly exposed aerial views of White House roof endangering its security: When Google updated satellite views of cities in Google Earth, Google failed to erase out the sensitive security defenses atop the White House, giving potential terrorists for the first time a clear view of the White House’s extremely national-security-sensitive military and security defenses.
  33. 2004 Google chooses an “all eggs in one basket” database design called Big Table: No other entity stores all of its information in one unified "BigTable" database eschewing the normal security/privacy protocols of compartmentalizing confidential or private information to prevent catastrophic universal data breaches.
  34. Thirty-one privacy groups oppose Gmail scanning emails to target advertising: The World Privacy Forum and thirty other privacy and civil liberties groups called on Google to suspend Gmail until privacy concerns were addressed sufficiently. The groups were concerned about: the privacy-invading precedent it would set; the long times Google would retain the information; andGoogle's launch of the Gmail service without a delete button. (It took two years for Google to offer users a delete button for Gmail.) Legislation against Gmail was tabled in California and Massachusetts.
  35. Google Desktop function exposed as a big spyware risk for users: WebProNews was one of many that spotlighted the big privacy risk inherent in Google Desktop: “If you use public computers at work or at libraries, internet cafes, Kinko’s or the local Mailboxes Etc. store, now you’ve got to worry that previous users of that public machine, or worse, the business owner or employees, have installed Google Desktop Search on that machine to purposely spy on you!

In conclusion, it is very telling that Google Watch presciently predicted in 2002, a decade ago, that “Google is a privacy time bomb,” and “a privacy disaster waiting to happen.”
UPDATE:
A new Google Privacy Scandal/controversy 3-2-12:
36. "By design Android apps do not need permission to get a user's photos:" According to the New York Times report on Android's privacy/security flaws. A security expert said: "We can confirm that there is no special permission required for an [Android] app to read pictures."  A CDT privacy expert said: "It does create so many vectors for bad actors to get information about you."
Another Google privacy scandal/controversy 3-4-12:
37. "Android Apps share personal data with advertisers," per Channel 4 News; MWR InfoSecurity explained to Channel 4 News: "We found that a lot of the free applications in the top 50 apps list are using advertising inside the applications, and that the permission that you grant to these applications is also granted to the advertiser. If users knew about this, I think they would be concerned about it. But at the moment I don't think they are aware of the situation and how widely their information can be used."

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/google-pays-225-million-for-violating-users-privacy-2012-11

After violating a 2011 privacy settlement it had made with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Google has been ordered to pay a $22.5 million fine over its use of cookies on users of Apple’s  Safari web browser. The FTC dragged Google back to court after discovering that despite promises to the contrary, it had not given Safari users a way to opt out of its policy of using information gathered via cookies to target ads at them. Safari is used on Macs, iPhones, and iPads.

 Slap on the Wrist?
“The settlement is part of the FTC’s ongoing efforts make sure companies live up to the privacy promises they make to consumers, and is the largest penalty the agency has ever obtained for a violation of a Commission order,” according to the FTC

“In addition to the civil penalty, the order also requires Google to disable all the tracking cookies it had said it would not place on consumers’ computers,” adds the agency.

The $22.5 million fine – which totals about .06 percent of Google’s 2011 revenues of almost $38 billion – is not exactly the worst thing that could have happened to the Internet giant, which also did not have to admit any wrongdoing in the settlement. 

Keep, But Don’t Use
At least one consumer group is not thrilled with the resolution of the case. Consumer Watchdog, which had filed an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief in the case, objected to the proposed order. The group says the injunction requiring Google to disable the cookies is inadequate and not permanent, the penalty is too small and Google should be forced to admit liability. 
“Frankly, I expected an uphill battle with Google and the FTC aligned against us,” says John Simpson, a consumer advocate with Consumer Watchdog in a post about the case. “Together the government and Google defended the deal that had been negotiated in secret.”

While Google must disable the cookies it had surreptitiously placed on users’ browsers, it will be allowed to keep the information it gathered. Google argued that it would not use the information, so keeping it would be irrelevant; the FTC agreed.

“I was disappointed with the ruling, but think we made important points that will affect how similar cases are dealt with in the future,” Simpson adds. “Drawing the public’s attention to this case was tremendously important. I’m glad we did it.”

How to Keep Google in Check
Simpson says the decision makes two things clear: “First, if consumers are to have any privacy at all and be able to control what data is gathered about them, tough Do Not Track rules must be implemented.” His group has sponsored Do Not Track legislation at both the federal and state levels.

“Second, as we told the FTC last week, the Commission needs to file an antitrust suit against Google and take it to trial in U.S. District Court,” says Simpson. “The FTC should seek to force Google to divest its Motorola Mobility subsidiary, separate search from advertising, and undergo the same sort of regulation as a public utility.”

 

Google, which has around 90 percent of the search market share in Europe, is accused of flouting a number of strict competition laws on the continent, not limited to scraping information from other firms' services to shutting out competing advertising networks.

In order to evade massive fines, Google is attempting to settle. In doing so, the company will not have to admit wrongdoing.
The proposals are likely on the most part similar to the terms in which the search giant settled with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), with a few differences.
One likely difference is how Google labels its own branded advertisements--something European antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia hinted at earlier this month. The search giant could also be barred from giving preferential treatment to its own services over rival products and services.

Source: http://www.zdnet.com/google-submits-eu-antitrust-remedy-proposals-just-before-deadline-7000010621/

 

Add Amazon.com to the List – Class-Action Lawsuit Alleges Data Privacy Violations

www.infolawgroup.com/2011/03/articles/privacy-and-security-litigatio/add-amazoncom-to-the-list-classaction-lawsuit-alleges-data-privacy-violations/

Privacy-related lawsuits are on the rise, and this time Amazon.com is the target. On March 2, 2011, two named plaintiffs filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that Amazon circumvents browser privacy settings to collect users’ personal information without permission and shares the information with third parties. A copy of the complaint can be found HERE.


http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/176077/judge-rejects-amazons-bid-to-dismiss-privacy-laws.html

Rejects Amazon's Bid To Dismiss Privacy Lawsuit

The lawsuit stems from allegations that Amazon circumvented privacy filters built into the Internet Explorer browser by giving wrong information to the browser.
The consumers who filed suit alleged that Amazon violated a federal computer fraud law, as well as Washington consumer protection law.
The consumers sued shortly after researchers at Carnegie Mellon published a study concluding that many Web companies thwart users' privacy settings by providing incorrect data to Microsoft's Internet Explorer. That browser has long enabled users to automatically reject tracking cookies, but the feature only works when Web site operators provide accurate data about their privacy policies. The lawsuit alleges that Amazon sent "gibberish" to the browser, rather than using a readable code.

Amazon, Publishers Sued For Antitrust Violations Over DRM By Angry Indie Bookstores

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130221/12343622065/amazon-publishers-sued-antitrust-violations-over-drm-angry-indie-bookstores.shtml

Dennis S. was the first of a bunch of folks to send in the news of a class action lawsuit recently filed by a bunch of independent booksellers against Amazon and the "Big Six" publishing firms arguing that Amazon's ebook DRM (and the agreements from the big publishers to use it) effectively violates antitrust law. Just about a year ago, we noted that the publisher's annoyance that Amazon was such a dominant player in the market was really their own damn fault for insisting on DRM, which really locked people into Amazon's platform and made it very hard for anyone to check out and move elsewhere. It was particularly stupid since they already had seen how the same thing helped Apple dominate in the music space.

This new lawsuit, however, could certainly shake things up quite a bit.
The logic of the bookstores' argument is this. When it launched the Kindle in 2007, Amazon convinced publishers to sell ebooks with DRM on its platform. The Kindle then became the dominant e-reader. You can't read ebooks with Amazon DRM on any e-reader but a Kindle, and you can't read any ebooks with DRM on a Kindle that doesn't come from Amazon. The plaintiffs argue these agreements and practices violate sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act: anticompetitive restraint of trade (together with the publishers) and monopoly power, respectively.

But what about Nook, Apple, Google, Sony, Kobo? The booksellers claim that Amazon controls at least 60 percent of the ebook market, with Barnes & Noble at 27 percent and Apple's iBookstore at less than 10 percent. But note that none of Amazon's top competitors sell ebooks without DRM. It's suggested here that part of the publishers' nonpublic agreements with Amazon stipulate that the publishers won't sell any non-DRM copies of the same books sold for Kindle.

Where it gets potentially interesting is that one of the remedies the book stores are seeking is:
... an injunction prohibiting AMAZON and the BIG SIX from publishing and selling e-books with device and app specific DRMs and further requiring the BIG SIX to allow independent brick-and-mortar bookstores to directly sell open-source DRM e-books published by the BIG SIX

and

... an injunction prohibiting AMAZON from selling DRM specific, or non-open-source, dedicated e-readers, alternative e-reader devices, and apps.

 

Amazon unit to pay in privacy settlement

http://articles.cnn.com/2001-05-01/tech/amazon.pays.idg_1_alexa-internet-users-amazon-unit?_s=PM:TECH

Amazon.com subsidiary Alexa Internet has agreed to compensate users for collecting personal information.
As part of a settlement for a series of lawsuits, Alexa will pay up to $1.9 million to users whose personally identifiable information is found in the company's database, Alexa's president said Friday.
Alexa offers a service that rates Web content for users and provides information about related links and contact information for sites they visit. It does this by way of a browser add-on that retrieves information including URLs about the pages its users visit.
In a series of class action lawsuits filed against Alexa beginning last year, plaintiffs charged that Alexa collected and stored their personal information in violation of privacy laws.
The settlement requires Alexa to pay up to $40 to each user whose personal information is found in its database. The San Francisco-based company also agreed to donate $100,000 to Internet public-policy programs and consumer groups, and has agreed to delete data it has collected that could be tied to individual users, says Alexa President Brewster Kahle.
"We're confident we would have prevailed in trial," Kahle says. "We entered the settlement to prevent the eventual costs of entering a trial."
Amazon.com officials declined to comment, referring questions to Alexa.
Kahle claims that his company doesn't know how much information about its users is stored in the database.
"Alexa has a lot of users," he said. "How much personal information [is there]? We don't know, we've never looked."
He says the company has a tough privacy policy in place and has never tried to match any of the data that is collected to individual users.

FTC Fines Amazon, Macy’s, Sears $1.26M for Mislabeling Bamboo Textiles

Amazon deceptive practices:
http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2013/01/bamboo.shtm

Amazon's 'cloud' browser raises privacy concerns

Facebook and Google's privacy issues are well-known.
But they're nothing compared with those surrounding Silk, Amazon's in-house Internet browser for its newly announced tablet computer, says Chester Wisniewski, a senior security adviser at British computer security firm Sophos, a British computer security firm.
"All of your web surfing habits will transit Amazon's cloud," he writes on Sophos' Naked Security blog. "If you think that Google AdWords and Facebook are watching you, this service is guaranteed to have a record of everything you do on the Web."
http://articles.cnn.com/2011-09-29/tech/tech_gaming-gadgets_amazon-silk-browser_1_amazon-spokeswoman-tablet-computer-browser?_s=PM:TECH
--

Congress takes action over Amazon Silk privacy concerns

Silk Web browser can track everything a user does on the Web and keeps a permanent record.
http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/blog/techflash/2011/10/congress-takes-action-over-amazon-silk.html?page=all
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-20120800-93/congressman-raises-privacy-concerns-over-amazon-silk/

 

Amazon has faced numerous allegations of anti-competitive or monopolistic behaviour, both in and out of court. Anti-competitive practices:

One-click patent:

The company has been controversial for its alleged use of patents as a competitive hindrance. The "1-Click patent"[1] is perhaps the best-known example of this. Amazon's use of the one-click patent against competitor Barnes & Noble's website led the Free Software Foundation to announce a boycott of Amazon in December 1999.[2] The boycott was discontinued in September 2002.[3] On February 22, 2000, the company was granted a patent covering an Internet-based customer referral system, or what is commonly called an "affiliate program". Industry leaders Tim O'Reilly and Charlie Jackson spoke out against the patent,[4] and O'Reilly published an open letter[5] to Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, protesting the 1-click patent and the affiliate program patent, and petitioning him to "avoid any attempts to limit the further development of Internet commerce". O'Reilly collected 10,000 signatures[6] with this petition. Bezos responded with his own open letter.[7] The protest ended with O'Reilly and Bezos visiting Washington, D.C. to lobby for patent reform. On February 25, 2003, the company was granted a patent titled "Method and system for conducting a discussion relating to an item on Internet discussion boards".[8] On May 12, 2006, the USPTO ordered a re-examination of the "One-Click" patent, based on a request filed by actor Peter Calveley, who cited the prior art of an earlier e-commerce patent and the Digicash electronic cash system.[9]

Canadian site:

Amazon has a Canadian site in both English and French, but until a ruling in March 2010, was prevented from operating any headquarters, servers, fulfillment centers or call centers in Canada by that country's legal restrictions on foreign-owned booksellers.[10] Instead, Amazon's Canadian site originates in the United States, and Amazon has an agreement with Canada Post to handle distribution within Canada and for the use of the Crown corporation's Mississauga, Ontario shipping facility.[11] The launch of Amazon.ca generated controversy in Canada. In 2002, the Canadian Booksellers Association and Indigo Books and Music sought a court ruling that Amazon's partnership with Canada Post represented an attempt to circumvent Canadian law,[12] but the litigation was dropped in 2004.[13]

BookSurge:

In March 2008, sales representatives of Amazon's BookSurge division started contacting publishers of print on demand titles to inform them that for Amazon to continue selling their POD-produced books, they were required to sign agreements with Amazon's own BookSurge POD company. Publishers were told that eventually, the only POD titles that Amazon would be selling would be those printed by their own company, BookSurge. Some publishers felt that this ultimatum amounted to monopoly abuse, and questioned the ethics of the move and its legality under anti-trust law.[14]

Direct selling:

In 2008, Amazon UK came under criticism for attempting to prevent publishers from direct selling at discount from their own websites. Amazon's argument was that they should be able to pay the publishers based on the lower prices offered on their websites, rather than on the full RRP.[15][16] Also in 2008, Amazon UK drew criticism in the British publishing community following their withdrawal from sale of key titles published by Hachette Livre UK. The withdrawal was possibly intended to put pressure on Hachette to provide levels of discount described by the trade as unreasonable. Curtis Brown's managing director Jonathan Lloyd opined that "publishers, authors and agents are 100% behind [Hachette]. Someone has to draw a line in the sand. Publishers have given 1% a year away to retailers, so where does it stop? Using authors as a financial football is disgraceful."[17][18]

Japan:

In Japan, Amazon's business activities are conducted by several subsidiary companies. The items sold by Amazon are formally sold by Amazon.com Int'l Sales, Inc., a company registered in the State of Washington, USA.[19] Because of this, Amazon tried to avoid paying corporate tax (法人税 hōjinzei), but in July 2009, the Tokyo National Tax Agency (東京国税局 Tōkyō Kokuzeikyoku) ruled that Amazon still had to pay some tax.[20][21]

Differential pricing:

In September 2000, price discrimination potentially violating the Robinson–Patman Act was found on amazon.com. Amazon offered to sell a buyer a DVD for one price, but after the buyer deleted cookies that identified him as a regular Amazon customer, he was offered the same DVD for a substantially lower price.[22] Jeffrey P. Bezos subsequently apologized for the differential pricing and vowed that Amazon "never will test prices based on customer demographics". The company said the difference was the result of a random price test and offered to refund customers who paid the higher prices.[23] Amazon had also experimented with random price tests in 2000 as customers comparing prices on a "bargain-hunter" Web site discovered that Amazon was randomly offering the Diamond Rio MP3 player for substantially less than its regular price.[24]

References:
    1. US patent 5960411, Hartman; Peri (Seattle, Washington), Jeffrey P. Bezos (Seattle, Washington), Kaphan; Shel (Seattle, Washington), Joel Spiegel (Seattle, Washington), "Method and system for placing a purchase order via a communications network", issued 1997-09-12
    2. "Richard Stallman – Boycott Amazon!". Linux Today. December 22, 1999. Retrieved September 22, 2006.
    3. From the Free Software Foundation site: amazon philosophy.
    4. Linux Journal Talking Patents
    5. Oreilly.com[dead link]
    6. "10,000 signatures". Oreilly.com. February 28, 2000. Archived from the original on July 21 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
    7. "An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos". Oreilly.com. February 28, 2000. Archived from the original on July 21 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
    8. US patent 6525747, Bezos; Jeffrey P., "Method and system for conducting a discussion relating to an item", issued 1999-08-02
    9. smh.com.au Kiwi actor v amazon.com - Techonology
    10. "CANADA: Amazon Gets Approval For Local Facility". camcity.com. April 13, 2010. Archived from the original on May 18, 2010. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
    11. "Amazon.ca debuts in Canada". CTV.ca. June 25, 2002. Retrieved December 19, 2006.
    12. "Book Biz Takes on Amazon.ca". Wired (magazine). August 8, 2002. Archived from the original on November 09 2006. Retrieved December 19, 2006.
    13. "Gowlings IP Report Online: Canadian Booksellers Association Abandons Amazon.ca Case". Gowlings. September 24, 2004. Archived from the original on October 30, 2006. Retrieved December 19, 2006.
    14. "amazon.com Telling POD Publishers - Let BookSurge Print Your Books, or Else...". Writers Weekly. Archived from the original on March 31 2008. Retrieved March 31, 2008.
    15. "Amazon threat on Direct Selling". Publishing News. Archived from the original on June 07 2008. Retrieved May 27, 2008.
    16. Alberge, Dalya (April 5, 2008). "Amazon furious after publishers undercut its book prices online". The Times (London). Archived from the original on May 16 2008. Retrieved May 27, 2008.
    17. "Agents pick sides on Hachette v Amazon=The Bookseller". Archived from the original on June 14 2008. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
    18. "Publisher's Lunch". Retrieved June 15, 2008.
    19. http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon.co.jp#商品の売
    20. http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon.co.jp#法人税の追徴課税
    21. By Anita Ramasastry FindLaw columnist Special to CNN.com (June 24, 2005). "CNN: Web sites change prices based on customers' habits". Edition.cnn.com. Archived from the original on August 19 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
    22. "Bezos calls Amazon experiment 'a mistake'". Bizjournals.com. September 28, 2000. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
    23. Wolverton, Troy. "MP3 player "sale" exposes Amazon's flexible prices". News.cnet.com. Retrieved August 29, 2010.

 

Piracy Concerns Against Google and Amazon:

http://www.annenberglab.com/adminfiles/files/USCAnnenbergLab_AdReport_Jan2013.pdf

http://www.annenberglab.com/adminfiles/files/USCAnnenbergLab_AdReport_Feb2013.pdf

http://news.viacom.com/pdf/Viacom_v_Google_Overview.pdf

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/05/net-us-google-viacom-idUSBRE8340RY20120405

 

Dot-COM era nears an end. The .MUSIC (dotMusic) Top-Level Domain (TLD) Name Extension soon to be a reality

... "The .MUSIC Initiative (http://music.us), is pleased to announce that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Internet’s governing body, has started the process to introduce the .MUSIC Top-Level Domain (TLD) name extension and expand the web with new suffixes to compete with other extensions such as .COM."

...Constantine Roussos, the founder of .MUSIC, states: “This is a monumental day for the Internet and the next wave of its evolution. It is a new chapter for the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS) and the end of the dot-COM era. We are delighted to have participated extensively in ICANN’s multi-stakeholder model over the last half decade to bring the new TLD program to fruition and congratulate the ICANN Board, Staff and the ICANN community for its commitment to serve the interests of global Internet users".
...

More on Press Release "Dot-COM era nears an end. The .MUSIC (dotMusic) Top-Level Domain (TLD) Name Extension soon to be a reality"

 

Forbes "What New Top-Level Domains Will Succeed" Article on .MUSIC

... "Despite this heat around “.BRAND” extensions and potential .COM competitors, the truth is that community-based TLDs which bring together specific groups under a shared passion or interest (e.g. .ECO, .MUSIC) will likely prove to be more successful and dynamic in the future." ...

..."So, that leads us to the community-based extensions – .ECO, .MUSIC or .NGO, to name just a few. When you mix these extensions’ potential for scale with the dynamism of a community itself, the result will be a completely unique space on the Internet. These communities come with a built-in sense of passion, common interest and drive to promote a cause. By providing them with a unique and targeted place on the Internet, a community-based TLD presents a truly powerful platform for common interest groups to come together and promote their causes. The potential for growth and adoption of these new domains by their respective communities is exponential, which leads me and many other industry insiders to believe they will be more prevalent and successful than their counterparts."...

...More on Forbes "What New Top-Level Domains Will Succeed" article on .MUSIC

 

Hollywood Reporter on .MUSIC

... "So far, the person who has been most vocal about his desire to capture .music, .movie and .film is Constantine Roussos, a co-founder of domain management firm MyTLD.com, who has lobbied for industry support with assurances he'll use those gTLDs as "safe havens for entertainment consumption."

..."Roussos has promised to partner with studios and musicians to ensure they are the only ones given access to their brands. So, for example, he would only sell eagles.music to rock band the Eagles, and batman.movie would go to Warner Bros., home of the Caped Crusader franchise. This, he says, will make it easy for consumers to find official sites and for studios to avoid lengthy URLs such as ironmanmovie.marvel.com and hangovermovie.warnerbros.com."

"People want to know they're at an official site, especially when leaving their e-mail address or credit card number," says Roussos.

...More on Hollywood Reporter article on .MUSIC

 

Los Angeles Times (LA Times) on .MUSIC and ICANN

... "Today's decision will usher in a new Internet age," said Peter Dengate Thrush, chairman of ICANN's board of directors, in a statement following the group's approval of the expansion Monday in Singapore. "We have provided a platform for the next generation of creativity and inspiration" ...

Constantine Roussos, a Los Angeles entrepreneur, wants to register .MUSIC on behalf of the music industry. Under his plan, only legitimate, professional artists could be approved for a .music suffix. If fans typed in ladygaga.music or queen.music, he says, they would know they were getting authentic sites rather than pirates or imitators that are frequently found in .com and .net domains. "When you buy music, you want it to be a legitimate sale — you want to know the website you're visiting is secure and trusted and it's actually the band," he said, adding that he has spoken to music industry officials...

...More on Los Angeles Times article on .MUSIC and ICANN

 

Billboard: ICANN Ruling Makes .MUSIC Domain Name a Step Closer to Reality

The road towards establishing a .music Internet domain name took a significant step forward with ICANN-the international body governing Internet registries-approving the a program to dramatically expand the types of domain names available.

The most recent move essentially means ICANN will begin accepting applications for new domain names, expanding from the 22 accepted domains today (think .com, .net, .biz, etc) to potentially hundreds more. The applications will be taken starting Jan. 12 through April 12 of next year, with accepted domains going online in late 2013.

Entrepreneur Constantine Roussos has long championed the establishment of a .music domain name, which could be used to establish official web domains for both artists and labels alike (think Rihanna.music) which could be used to differentiate the "official" sites from all the others. Read dotMusic Founder Constantine Roussos explanation of the benefits of the .MUSIC Top-Level Domain for the Music Industry.

Elements of the music industry support the idea of the .music domain name in principal, but are concerned about how it might be administered. Specifically, a group of music organizations that include the RIAA, A2IM, ASCAP and many others want guarantees that they would have the ability to approve who is awarded .music designations so "bad actors" could be excluded.

These and likely other concerns will all be addressed in the two years it will take to establish the .music domain.

...More on the Billboard article "How .MUSIC (dotMusic) can save the music industry" by Constantine Roussos

 

.MUSIC sponsors SXSW: Official SXSW .MUSIC party

A Texas Tornado is twisting towards South By Southwest! Over 7000 people have already RSVPed! .MUSIC in association with Sideways Media, Tijuana Gift Shop and The Force Agency, bring a cyclone of buzzworthy artists on two stages, including:

Augustana, Voxhaul Broadcast, Shayna & The Catch, Robbers On High Street, Brooke Fraser, David Berkley, Headless Horseman, Chapin Sisters, Madison Square Gardeners, The Stone Foxes, and The New Mastersounds.

The event is a benefit for Invisible Children, a movement seeking to end the conflict in Uganda and stop the abduction of children for use as child soldiers. Show your SXSW badge for entry or RSVP to rsvp@tijuanagiftshop.net

Where: Rusty Spurs Location: 405 E. 7th St, Austin, TX Date: Thursday, 17th March, 2011 Time: 12pm onwards

... More Info about .MUSIC (dotMusic) Official SXSW Party

 

Billboard: How .MUSIC can save the music industry

The Internet has truly democratized the manner that music is delivered and consumed with a click of a button. It has leveled the playing field but at the expense of chaos, decentralization and inconsistency.

My core vision behind the .MUSIC (dotMusic) Top-Level Domain (TLD) was to solve the inefficiencies that the Internet has created through innovation. My definition of disruptive innovation is bringing together two seemingly unrelated industries together and connect the dots to create shared value and a difference that matters. Organizing the music industry on the web can only be accomplished by utilizing the root of the Internet Domain Name System (DNS). Not only does a .MUSIC Top-Level Domain bring consistency, organization and centralization, it also assures ownership and control still remains in the hands of the music industry.

.MUSIC is being launched as a community-based domain. This means that only members of the music community will be able to register the domain. My decision to launch .MUSIC as an exclusive, community-based domain was strategic and integral to ensuring that .MUSIC websites create a trusted Internet zone for music consumption. An example of a TLD that has enjoyed success using this approach is .EDU for education.....

....More on the Billboard article "How .MUSIC can save the music industry" by Constantine Roussos

 

.MUSIC Domain & Constantine Roussos on the front page of Washington Post

...Constantine Roussos ... a musician ... envisions .music as the industry's trusted inventory of Web sites operated by musicians, managers, studios, promoters, composers and so on. For example, only artists with verifiable professional identities could create sites such as queen.music or pink.music.

Roussos believes the .music domain will help Internet users easily connect to their favorite band's real Web site by typing the name of the band followed by .music on their Web browser; and will help musicians sell their music directly to consumers. Many famous bands - Queen, Kiss, the Eagles - don't own their own .com Web sites because their names use common words, he lamented.

...Roussos believes his model for .music might help the music industry. "When you're searching for Queen and type it into Google, will your results be the Queen of England or the Queen of Denmark?" he asked. "But if you go to queen.music, you know it's the band. It's faster. And it'll drive traffic and more money to the artist."

...... More on the .MUSIC Domain Article on the Washington Post by Ian Shapira

 

.MUSIC Addresses RIAA Concerns: Only verified music community members can register a .MUSIC domain

The dotMusic (.MUSIC) Domain Initiative led by Constantine Roussos voices the same concerns that the RIAA and the Music Coalition expressed to ICANN in regards to transparency and malicious conduct.

"We echo the same concerns that the Music Industry has in regards to piracy and malicious conduct," stated Constantine Roussos. "The launch of .MUSIC will ensure these concerns are completely addressed through efficient registration policy-making and domain name authentication."

".MUSIC is committed in creating value for the music community and making a difference that matters for artists and the music community. By providing a safe haven and a trusted Internet zone for music consumption, the .MUSIC Top-Level Domain will ensure that monies flow directly into the pockets of artists and the music community, not pirates or unlicensed illegitimate websites. The .MUSIC domain will serve as a badge of trust, safety and credibility to music consumers."

"We are standing by our commitment to launch a restrictive, community-based .MUSIC Top-Level Domain in a responsible and safe manner. The .MUSIC domain will be exclusive only to authentic music community members that can be verified through .MUSIC-accredited Community Member Organizations."

"We have been open, transparent and public about the .MUSIC Initiative for years. The significant feedback we received from the music community has been vital to our “bottom-up” policy-making process. For over 2 years, we have embarked upon an extensive, global .MUSIC Communication Outreach Campaign, which will continue through 2011. We are looking forward to more valuable input by the music community to ensure a safe and socially responsible .MUSIC launch."

......Link to the Story..... .MUSIC's Constantine Roussos Addresses RIAA concerns about piracy, malicious conduct and trademark protection

 

.MUSIC in the News


 

For Press and Media enquiries, email: media @ music.us

 

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