If you’re an artist having trouble getting an Internet domain, this might help.

With the way the Internet has evolved, the most-favoured top-level domain is “.com.” But if you’ve ever tried to secure a .com domain for you/your product/your company, you’ll know that it’s really, really hard because most of the good ones have been claimed.

Back in 2011, I went looking for alancross.com only to find that it’s owned by someone in Kent, England. If you go to the website, you’ll see the same waving flag that’s been there for over a decade. All attempts to contact the owner to maybe work something out have failed. I had no choice but to settle for alancross.ca. Fine

Take the takes of Drake, though. If you go to www.drake.com–you’d expect a guy with his stature to own that, right?–you’ll actually end up at a company that makes labels for electronic equipment.

Fine. You might try www.drakemusic.com. Nope. For the the hip-hop Drake, you need to go to www.drakeofficial.com.

One way around this is to adopt an unusual spelling for your name, which sometimes explains acts like SWMRS. But even that might not work. Just ask CHVRCHES.

What’s the solution? An organization called DotMusic might have the answer.

DotMusic has reached a deal with ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the non-profit that keeps order online by being the clearing house for registration of Internet domains. Want a specific website address? ICANN will tell you if it’s available. ICANN also regulates the use of domain suffixes, ranging from .com and .net and beyond.

DotMusic has reached a deal whereby it has exclusive rights to the “.music” top-level domain. This will be the first domain where applicants will be vetted for legitimate musical credentials. The goal is to eliminate cybersquatting and to reduce confusion when it comes to finding the official website home of musicians.

Will this catch on? Will there come a time when we automatically go to an artist’s .music address? Maybe. It’ll take time, but if it does happen, it’ll help clear up a lot of confusion.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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