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EBU Appears Headed for “Dot-Radio” Win

The other three applicants are appealing a ruling in favor of the European Broadcasting Union

This story has been updated with additional information about the appeal.

The European Broadcasting Union appears to be front runner to secure the new generic top level domain “.radio.” That outcome is likely to have a big impact on how the domain ends up being used and marketed. The other aspirants are appealing the latest developments in EBU’s favor.

The website Domain Incite reports that EBU is likely to snag the desirable gTLD, though the process still has a way to go. Its story was pointed out to us by Stephen Worden, general manager of Radio Newark in Delaware.

Current domains include the familiar .com, .net, .org etc. As we’ve reported, a program to expand top-level domains was developed by ICANN to increase competition and choice in the domain name space.

The article by Domain Incite reports that the EBU bid has received the necessary points in ICANN’s Community Priority Evaluation point system. “The EBU managed to win, under ICANN’s complex scoring system, despite the fact that the CPE panel ruled that no one entity, not even the EBU, can claim to represent the ‘radio’ community,” the site reported.

EBU is a confederation of broadcasting organizations from various countries. As RW has reported, the other applicants — BRS Media, Donuts and Afilias — also have been pursuing “.radio.” BRS Media is the most familiar to broadcasters; it manages the domains .am and .fm.

The EBU told Radio World in 2012 that it “represents the interests of the global radio community and can be relied on to provide a secure namespace to facilitate and speed the radio industry’s digital, online evolution.”

It said then that its responsibility “is to every member of the radio community — not only the financially able or best equipped, and to provide protection against cybersquatting or competing interests, who exploit commercial opportunities. … An EBU-administered .radio TLD will enhance audio content distribution and community-wide services, champion quality and competition for the benefit of listeners and Internet users, encourage the radio community to adopt best practices in cyberspace and provide an exemplary registry model.”

BRS Media though had complained that EBU had a conflict of interest because the union sits on the Governmental Advisory Committee of ICANN. And earlier this year BRS issued a press release stating, “It is our belief that in an attempt to game the rules for a desired outcome, the EBU claimed a generic term (Radio) as a community name. The attempt to re-categorize and claim the term Radio, as its community name is in fact, what the CPE process was designed to prevent. … The generic term ‘RADIO’ … is not a fellowship or membership community.”

In the Domain Incite article, editor Kevin Murphy opined: “The other three applicants for .radio could have easily beaten back the EBU had they managed to effectively organize just a single significant member of the radio community against the EBU’s bid. However, they failed to do so.”

BRS Media tells Radio World today (Oct. 1) that it and the two other applicants subsequently submitted a reconsideration request. It believes the CPE panel “incorrectly applied the standards” set out in its Applicant Guidebook; read it here. The appeal questions “the competency of the process” and states, “From day one, we have questioned the coincidence of the EBU submitting its .RADIO application, then requesting (and being approved) to be a member of ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee.”

Confused About the New GTLDs? Here’s a Simple Guide