BRS Media petitions for review of dot-RADIO decision

brs media logoThe long-awaited dot-RADIO domain (e.g. BrandName.radio) is a step closer to becoming reality, but not without a new chapter in a controversy which started last October. Today, BRS Media, which administers the purchase of dot-FM and dot-AM domains, will announce it has filed a Reconsideration Request to ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) in protest of ICANN’s preliminary choice for administrator — the European Broadcast Union (EBU).

The addressing of the Internet is a complicated business. ICANN determines which “top level” domains (like .com, .org, and .edu) are legitimate, and assigns rights to register those domains to website owners, through an elaborate application process.

BRS Media, operated by CEO George Bundy, is one of three competing entities applying for administration rights to sell dot-RADIO domains. We spoke with Bundy about the ICANN process of granting domain management rights, how this incident is headed in the wrong direction, and why he thinks it’s important. “It’s not a level playing field,” he told RAIN.

Bundy’s complaint goes beyond the competition to obtain administration rights; he believes that the streaming radio industry could suffer if ICANN’s preliminary decision is finalized. One major problem, according to Bundy, is how eligibility for a dot-RADIO domain would be defined.

“If this goes forward, it will be a ‘community restricted extension.’ Not everyone can get dot-RADIO domain name. It’s important to understand who would qualify and how those benchmarks are placed,” Bundy told us. He noted that the EBU, in gaining favorability in the application process, put forward an evaluation guide that Bundy thinks is wrong.

“They will require a set of restrictions, and monitor them. The domain won’t be open like dot-com or dot-fm. The EBU would monitor and randomly check to see whether you qualify. One of the concerns that we have is that they would determine how a buyer would qualify, based on ‘standards of streaming.’ Our question is: What are the standards of streaming, and how would that be a benchmark to determine eligibility within a radio community? It’s a vague explanation.”

Bundy criticizes ICANN for accepting the EBU’s proposed standards of streaming. He noted that podcasting, which would be included for potential eligibility for a dot-RADIO domain, is not technically a streaming medium, according to a Wikipedia definition.

In our conversation, George Bundy repeatedly mentioned that the dot-RADIO domain would be “unstable” if administered the way that EBU proposed to ICANN. We asked what he meant. “Let’s say that you’re an Internet radio station. You buy a dot-radio domain. The EBU comes along 10 months after you buy your domain and randomly check your eligibility. Maybe you don’t qualify because you don’t meet their standards of streaming. Technically, you might lose your dot-radio domain name. Why would you build a brand, uncertain of what that future will hold? It questions the stability of the extension.”

George Bundy is also unhappy with the EBU’s connection to ICANN aside from its application to administer dot-RADIO. “From day one, we have drawn attention to the timing of the EBU submitting it’s .RADIO application, then requesting (and being approved) to be a member of ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC)?”



Brad Hill

One Comment

  1. It becomes more comical almost by the day as old corporate cartels look to micturate and destroy the internet by these little spats. As Mr. Bundy correctly points out, the Euro cartel’s Vaporware-like standard will indeed lead to instability… for those not in bed with the EBC, ah the smell of corporatism in the morning.

    Fortunately, this is why more and more individuals are getting fed up over both copyrights and tin-hat regimes squabbling over TLD’s and have already begun creating an internet based outside of iCann and WIPO, via the .bit addresses.
    THus, try as they might, they can’t stop the stream. 🙂

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