30 votes

Ethos Capital has acquired the Public Interest Registry, manager of the .org top-level domain

9 comments

  1. [6]
    Deimos
    (edited )
    Link
    This is obviously a very PR-oriented blog post, but this does not seem good to me. A private equity company taking control of the TLD largely used by not-for-profits and similar organizations,...

    This is obviously a very PR-oriented blog post, but this does not seem good to me. A private equity company taking control of the TLD largely used by not-for-profits and similar organizations, after ICANN recently removed all price caps on .org domains is terrifying and could cause some major issues in the future for sites that are established on a .org domain.

    28 votes
    1. [5]
      mieum
      Link Parent
      If price caps are removed for .org domains, does that mean that there may be situations in which established .org websites may be forced to "pay higher rent" so to speak? Or would it only effect...

      If price caps are removed for .org domains, does that mean that there may be situations in which established .org websites may be forced to "pay higher rent" so to speak? Or would it only effect new registrations?

      8 votes
      1. [2]
        ReapersGale
        Link Parent
        Registry: Central body that manages the domain space - Ethos Capital in this case Registrar: Company you register the domain through (eg. CrazyDomains) who pay a fee to the to the registry to...

        does that mean that there may be situations in which established .org websites may be forced to "pay higher rent" so to speak?

        Registry: Central body that manages the domain space - Ethos Capital in this case
        Registrar: Company you register the domain through (eg. CrazyDomains) who pay a fee to the to the registry to register the domain you want.
        Registrant: you

        Prices could change based on a couple of things:

        1. If the registry increases their fee or make registration more costly to process then you could expect the Registar's to up their price to compensate for this - this would likely effect all .org domains
        2. Some registrar's may rise their prices - given there are quite a few you can register or transfer a .org through people would just move to the cheaper ones if individual registrars started price gouging. A good example of this in the past is MelbourneIT kept their prices ~$150/year (IIRC) for a .com for quite some time, there was little preventing their customers from transferring domains to other registrars that gave them the same thing for ~$10 year. Unless all the registrars decided to act together on this it shouldn't be an issue.

        If an organisation is worried about this they could top out their registration to the current max of 10 years for ~$100.

        All that being said I agree with @Deimos & @heady that the news is somewhat disconcerting.

        8 votes
        1. mieum
          Link Parent
          Thank you for such a thorough response!

          Thank you for such a thorough response!

          1 vote
      2. [2]
        Deimos
        Link Parent
        I'm not sure. @ReapersGale's comment was good for explaining where the price increase could come from, but what we'd be worried about is option #1, where the registry itself can increase the...

        I'm not sure. @ReapersGale's comment was good for explaining where the price increase could come from, but what we'd be worried about is option #1, where the registry itself can increase the prices. We'd need to figure out what restrictions (if any) were put on the .org TLD as a whole or if there are any provisions for it in the contracts people agree to when they buy a domain (e.g. saying that the renewal cost won't increase by more than a certain amount over a period of time).

        Other TLDs are definitely already able to charge considerably higher fees though. Looking quickly on Namecheap, I can see multiple TLDs that cost $2000 USD per year: .protection, .security, .auto, .car, .cars, .inc. There are others that cost hundreds of dollars per year, and various other price-points. I'm only paying about $10/year for a .org, so that's a pretty huge range.

        4 votes
        1. ReapersGale
          Link Parent
          I probably should have included that I was answering from the PoV of someone who has primarily worked with the .au domain policy which differs somewhat from that of the gTLDs. auDA are in the...

          I probably should have included that I was answering from the PoV of someone who has primarily worked with the .au domain policy which differs somewhat from that of the gTLDs.

          auDA are in the process of relaxing their policies too which is somewhat concerning, one of the clauses that allowed me to get some phishing domains deregistered the other week is potentially being cut soon.

          Overall though the gTLDs have had less protection than the .au name space so anything that weakens that further is concerning.

          2 votes
  2. heady
    Link
    I think it is absurd that a for-profit is able to acquire a non-profit public interest at all.

    I think it is absurd that a for-profit is able to acquire a non-profit public interest at all.

    25 votes
  3. JeanBaptisteDuToitIV
    Link
    They sound very trustworthy and ethical. I don't think there is anything to worry about.

    They sound very trustworthy and ethical. I don't think there is anything to worry about.

    1 vote