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Registry Services / Featured Blogs

The Sad Story of Private Public Interest Commitments (PICs)

The voluntary Public Interest Commitments (PIC) have a long and sad history at ICANN. They were a process never created or evaluated by the Multistakeholder process, thrown together for one purpose and allowed to morph into a mechanism for an almost unlimited number of un-reviewed other purposes. Disputes are delegated to a resolution process which itself was never evaluated for... more

NGO Community Urges ICANN to Exercise Independent Judgment as It Reviews the .ORG Sale

ICANN is reviewing the Internet Society's proposed sale of Public Interest Registry, the .ORG registry operator, to private equity firm Ethos Capital. ICANN effectively has the power to stop the sale by terminating PIR's Registry Agreement. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, NTEN, Consumer Reports, Americans for Financial Reform and several other organizations joined Monday's Public Forum at ICANN67 to ask questions about how ICANN plans to review the change of control of the .ORG registry... more

.ORG Stewardship Council Will Ensure .ORG's Commitment to Freedom of Expression Continues

The .ORG Stewardship Council is, in a lot of ways, a natural progression or evolution from our current PIR Advisory Council. The Advisory Council is made up of independent .ORG community members from around the world that provide advice to PIR on policy issues affecting them. The "AC," or the Advisory Council, has been a key part of PIR's work since its inception. more

The Legal Enforceability of PIR's Public Interest Commitment

Since Ethos announced its investment in PIR last fall, Ethos has welcomed the opportunity to engage with .ORG registrants and users to hear their ideas and answer their questions. We listened to concerns expressed in the community, and we worked to address them. We announced a number of voluntary commitments that Ethos is prepared to make, and then we listened to feedback from the community on the scope of those commitments, as well as on the enforceability of those commitments. more

Binding .ORG and the Community Together

In direct response to the enormous interest and input we have seen from the .ORG community over the past several months, Ethos and Public Interest Registry (PIR) have made tremendous strides in laying out our collective vision for .ORG and put forth unprecedented commitments and protections for the .ORG community. Over the last two weeks, in particular, we have taken concrete actions to better align the community's interests with the operations of PIR and .ORG. more

Report and Analysis of Public Comments Submitted to ICANN on the .COM Pricing Provisions (Part II)

Mr. Arif Ali, a lawyer with Dechert who is very familiar with ICANN governance and has represented numerous parties in ICANN related matters, wrote an extraordinarily detailed and comprehensive critique of the LOI and of Amendment 3. Mr. Ali noted that two of ICANN's most important obligations are to operate for the benefit of the Internet community as a whole and to enable competition and open entry in Internet-related markets, and that the proposed price hikes do not support these obligations... more

Report and Analysis of Public Comments Submitted to ICANN on the .COM Pricing Provisions (Part I)

ICANN's call for Public Comment on Proposed Amendment 3 to the .com Registry Agreement yielded 9,040 public comments during the six-week comment period that ran from January 3, 2020 to February 14, 2020. The public response was amongst the most robust if not the most robust, that ICANN has ever received. To put this in context, the last several Public Comment periods received under 20 comments apiece. more

How Our Public Interest Commitment Ensures a Bright Future for .ORG

The discussion about the future of the .ORG domain registry has been partly rooted in stewardship. Who will guide the Public Interest Registry (PIR) so it continues to serve the .ORG community? For those of us at Ethos Capital, the company acquiring PIR, this has been a central focus. We understand that owning PIR makes us stewards of an essential part of the fabric of the Internet. more

Dissecting the ISOC/PIR/Ethos Transaction (With Ways to Help Ensure PIR’s 2002 Commitments)

On February 11th, Professor Ben Leff of American University Washington College of Law (WCL) spoke on the panel: The Controversial Sale of the .ORG Registry: The Conversation We Should be Having as a scholar of charitable and nonprofit law. On February 21st, he posted a blog piece on WCL's PIJIP blog outlining and expanding his presentation. With Professor Leff's permission, I repost his piece on CircleID to join the timely discussion taking place here on the .ORG sale. more

Accountability Initiatives to Secure a Strong Future for .ORG

Last fall, when we put forth our bid to acquire the Public Interest Registry (PIR), our announcement - made jointly with PIR and its parent, the Internet Society - was met with questions. We took them seriously and made a conscious effort to engage with representative members of the .ORG community to deepen our understanding. We found that a consistent message was that the commitments made by Ethos since this fall addressed most of the community's issues, but there was a question as to whether they were enforceable and if so, how? more