Private equity is going to ruin the .ORG domain system and screw nonprofits

Private equity is going to ruin the .ORG domain system and screw nonprofits

adam

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In June, despite 3,252 opposing comments and just 6 for, historic price caps were removed from the .ORG TLD by ICANN (price caps that are in force across many legacy TLD such as .com, .net and limit annual price increases to a small percentage).

At the time, PIR promised they would "not raise prices unreasonably". Now, PIR have agreed to sell to a private equity firm, so that promise means nothing.

.ORG domain name holders (many non-profits big and small) could be held to ransom for any fee that the registry chooses. Some so entrenched in their domain names that almost any price would be a worthwhile trade-off instead of rebranding everything.

I followed the price cap removal closely and was very shocked at ICANN for removing these protections from a historic, legacy domain that powers these kinds of organisations. A domain name likely relied upon for its safety and stability.

If you have a .org I would consider purchasing a back-up domain name. It is also a reminder that many of the new gTLD are owned by private companies, do not have price caps and your domain price can change at any time. You can protect yourself for a few years by adding years on to your domain name at the current price.

ICANN now have an opportunity to backtrack on their updated registry agreement. I am not holding out much hope.

 
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Gummibeer

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I would say that the problem is/was that no prove of a nonprofit is required for this TLD. So everyone can buy it right now. The .hamburg TLD for example requires you to live or have the business in Hamburg.

 

adam

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Sold!

 

adam

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The fiasco continues.

I encourage everybody to sign the petition: Save .ORG | SaveDotOrg.org

Yesterday, ICANN requested the 2 parties be more transparent and asked for more details stating that once that happens they have 30 days to block the sale (which seems unlikely considering their apparent deep seated involvement).

 
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Scott

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Agree, the odds of the .org sale to a PE firm turning sour are baked in, look at cPanel selling to a PE firm and web and now that monster price increase.

 

robcsaszar

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adam

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That was unexpected! Supposedly they gave in to avoid any further scrutiny on their affairs. Glad somebody is keeping an eye on them.

 

fabulousrice

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That was unexpected! Supposedly they gave in to avoid any further scrutiny on their affairs. Glad somebody is keeping an eye on them.

Yeah, for a company called "Ethos" it sounds like they cruelly lack it...

 

adam

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A great write-up on the whole saga including a lot of useful background information by Mozilla here.

 
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