RIAA rips .ETH domain infringing ‘RIAA.eth’

Photo credit: regularguy.eth

The RIAA has sent multiple takedown requests to the OpenSea NFT marketplace regarding the sale of .eth domains.

The RIAA has taken aggressive action against several NFT companies, most recently HitPiece. But more recently, TorrentFreak has documented the organization’s focus on deleting .eth domain registrations as the web3 space takes off. RIAA notices to OpenSea provide for the removal of several Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domain names – or .eth domains.

Some of the areas targeted in these takedown requests include:

  • RIAA.eth
  • sony-music.eth
  • Warnermusicgroup.eth
  • Atlanticrecords.eth
  • Virginrecords.eth
  • Universalmusic.eth
  • republic-records.eth

The practice is called domain squatting, and it’s no different than what companies experienced in the late 90s and 2000s when the Dot Com boom happened. One of the earliest examples of this was when the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) sued a man for cyber squatting the domain worldwrestlingfederation.com. The case was solved in 2000, but it highlights how Web3 is experiencing many of the same growing pains.

Some of the other targeted domains included .eth domains named after music industry executives such as RIAA CEO Mitch Glazier, Sony Music CEO Rob Stringer, and Columbia Records CEO Ron Perry.

“ENS domain names […] infringe the trademarks of the RIAA or our members because they cause dilution, confusion and/or tarnishing of these trademarks,” reads the statement to OpenSea from the RIAA. “The sale of these ENS domain names is also subject to prosecution under the Lanham Act.”

“Further, the sale of ENS domain names containing the names of officers of the RIAA or our member companies violates the Consumer Cybersquatting Protection Act,” the statement continued.

OpenSea responded to the requests by removing the offending listings. Auction URLs for these domains now point to a deletion message. This isn’t the first or last time the RIAA will tackle Web3 developments as they happen.

Meanwhile, old piracy strongholds like LimeWire and Napster are trying to legitimize the web3 space as a place where creators and artists can engage. LimeWire has partnered with Soulja Boy and others as part of its “LimeWire Originals” series. This means LimeWire and Napster are hoping their old names will spark more interest in Web3 products like NFTs.