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ISOC and the PIR Sale: Lessons Being Learned

The PIR/.ORG transaction is a watershed moment for ISOC. What had once seemed (at least to ISOC and its Board) to be ISOC's chance to transform its finances now seems to many to be a threat to ISOC's essence, and even its very existence. From the ISOC-NY perspective, this entire affair points out the paucity of community-involved multistakeholder participation in ISOC's critical decision-making processes (and other processes, too). more

Stop Propagating False Information About the .ORG Transaction

We were disappointed to see The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette publish a recent editorial on February 13 about the sale of Public Interest Registry (PIR, the company that operates .ORG) that propagates false information about the transaction, including runaway prices, censorship and lack of experience. Runaway prices? Ethos Capital and PIR have committed to capping price increases to no more than ten percent per year on average. more

Here's How We Can Truly #SaveDotOrg

Many of my friends in the civil-liberties and Internet-law communities have been criticizing the Internet Society's agreement to sell the Public Interest Registry, which administers the .ORG top-level domain. I'm a free-speech guy, so I support their right to raise all these criticisms. But they often ask me directly – knowing that my track record as an Internet civil-libertarian is longer than most – why as a member of the Internet Society (a.k.a. ISOC) board I decided to join the board's unanimous approval of the deal. more

Answering Additional Questions about Ethos' Acquisition of Public Interest Registry (PIR)

A few good questions have circulated in response to my recent blog post seeking clarity around the following: 1) what we mean with respect to adhering to Public Interest Registry's (PIR) historic practices on pricing, and 2) our interpretation of how the new co-operative proposal would reward speculators. With regard to Ethos' pricing commitments: we are not saying that we will raise prices 10% every year -- our commitment is that any price increase would not exceed 10% per year on average, if at all. more

Addressing Recent Media Mischaracterizations of the .ORG Acquisition

Given the level of public interest in Ethos' acquisition of Public Interest Registry ("PIR") from the Internet Society, it is no surprise that this agreement continues to attract press attention. Ethos welcomes open discussion on this important investment, and we are of course following the media coverage closely. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to respond point-by-point to every article, so I would like to take this opportunity to address several mischaracterizations of the deal recently reported by Wired, Deutsche Welle, and others. more

Thoughts on Our NPR Interview About Ethos Capital's Acquisition of .ORG

I was glad to join Meghna Chakrabarti on NPR this week for an engaging discussion about Ethos Capital's acquisition of Public Interest Registry (PIR) from the Internet Society, which you can listen to here. I always appreciate an opportunity to answer questions about .ORG, and was pleased to be joined by Andrew Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Internet Society, and Esther Dyson, founding chairwoman of ICANN from 1998 to 2000. more

Who Pays When .Org Prices Rise?

When .org prices rise, who suffers – nonprofits or speculators? Will Ethos Capital raise prices more aggressively than ISOC would? Vint Cerf attributed concerns about higher prices to speculators: "Of course, companies that hold domain names in the tens of thousands for speculative purposes might find such increases more troubling, but I don't have much sympathy for that business model in the context of the organizations the .org brand is intended to serve." more

A Stronger PIR and .ORG: Standing Behind Our Commitments

We respect the right of all parties who wish to express a point of view on the Internet Society's sale of Public Interest Registry ("PIR") to Ethos Capital. However, it's important those views are based on facts -- which has not always been the case. Some have expressed concern that for-profit ownership of .ORG will automatically mean .ORG prices will rise dramatically, or that .ORG's principles will change. more

The Number Resource Organization (NRO) Issues Inspection Request to ICANN Concerning the .ORG Sale

The Number Resource Organization (NRO), acting as the Address Supporting Organization (ASO), today announced it has submitted correspondence to ICANN regarding the Internet Society's proposed transfer of ownership of PIR, the .org registry, to Ethos Capital. more

How to Preserve the .org Registry's Integrity in the ISOC Sale of PIR

This article addresses the issues around the planned sale of the PIR .org registry by ISOC. It examines the history and issues plus looks at several possible paths forward, including PIR becoming a Benefit Corporation (B-Corp) and identifying possible alternative buyers who could retain PIR's non-profit status. Before Tim Bernier-Lee brought the HTML markup language to the Internet, starting in 1989, there were few registered domain names. Access for public registration started in 1986, and by December, there were about five dozen registered .com domain names.  more

Fadi's .ORG Fracasso

The stakeholder community needs to get with the program and assert itself now – if it still can. The recent attempts by the Internet Society (ISOC) to wrap itself in the halo of Jon Postel's "original intent" for .org is specious and laughable. As I've previously published, Postel also didn't like how big the top-level domains were getting and suggested, in 1993, that top-level domains should be capped at 10,000 names and that further zone growth should happen at the second- and third-levels (similar to how the UK has .uk and then .com.uk, for example). more

Doing Our Part for a Safer, Stronger DNS

Public Interest Registry is the industry leader of DNS Anti-Abuse efforts on the Internet. Since our inception, we have worked to empower people and organizations that use the Internet to make the world a better place. Whether a .ORG is the foundation of an individual voice, a global non-profit, or any organization that is part of the mission-driven .ORG community, we are proud to have earned the trust of so many dedicated users. more

Kenya’s .KE Domain Registrations Nearing 100,000 Mark, but It Can Do Better – Here’s Why

Over the years, the Kenyan Network Information Center (KeNIC) has struggled to reach the 100,000 mark in .ke Kenya country code domain registrations. Many reasons have been given for this shortfall, among them pricing, competition from generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) like .com and .org, and also competition from Geographic domains like the new .africa. Also, not opening up the second level for registration has been cited as one of the reasons for the low number. more

The Ageless Warning of Icarus

It wasn't that long ago that, during a visit home, my brother asked me, "Why are you so stuck on this Internet thing?" His direct question caused me to realize that I had never actually stopped and considered why I was investing so much time – and in such a highly visible manner – into Internet governance when I wasn't being compensated for doing so and, in fact, was – not putting too fine of a point on it – flat broke. more

The Start of Something Big: ICANN Announces Planning for Round Two of New gTLDs

ICANN has published a short paper in advance of its 65th meeting in Marrakech which starts on 23 June 2019. Entitled, "ICANN Org's Readiness to Support Future Rounds of New gTLDs," it describes ICANN's working assumptions for "policy implementation and operational readiness for a subsequent round of new gTLDs". The document is necessary for ICANN to move forward with essential preparations for the next round. more