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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

Back to the Future Part IV: The Price-Fixing Paradox of the DNS

GenX-ers may remember spending a summer afternoon at the movie theater and seeing the somewhat corny but beloved antics of Marty McFly and Doc as they used a souped-up Delorean to travel the space-time continuum. In Back to the Future Part II, Doc and Marty travel into the future, where the bullying, boorish Biff causes a time-travel paradox when he steals the Delorean and takes a joyride into the past to give his younger self a sports almanac containing the final scores of decades worth of sporting events. more

Portrait of a Single-Character Domain Name

Let's take some crayons and draw a picture of the current state of affairs regarding single-character domain names (SCDNs), and specifically O.COM. During the public comment period for the current O.COM RSEP, ICANN's own Intellectual Property and Business constituencies recommended implementation of rights protections mechanisms (RPMs) for intellectual property, including Sunrise and Priority Access periods. It is curious that such hard-won protections are being so easily set aside by Verisign and ICANN. more

Revisiting How Registrants Can Reduce the Threat of Domain Hijacking

Recent events have shown the threat of domain hijacking is very real; however, it is also largely preventable. As Verisign previously noted, there are many security controls that registrants can utilize to help strengthen their security posture. Verisign would like to reiterate this advice within the context of the recent domain hijacking reports. Domains are an important element of internet infrastructure; their functionality and security rely upon many factors such as their delegated name servers. more

Verisign's Attempt to Increase its Fees Still Unjustified Despite Diversionary Tactic

Shortly after the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)'s recent announcement allowing Verisign to pursue increased .com registry fees, Verisign published a blog post questioning the business practices of registrars and domain name investors. The ICA, on behalf of its registrar and domain name investor members, had previously spoken out against a .com fee increase, as did others in the domain industry. more