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posted by takyon on Monday February 24 2020, @09:07PM   Printer-friendly
from the assigned-names-expensive-numbers dept.

Get ready for price hikes up to 10% annually after sale of .org registry:

The nonprofit Internet Society attracted widespread condemnation late last year after announcing it was going to sell off the Public Interest Registry, a subsidiary that administers the .org domain, to a private equity firm called Ethos Capital. People were particularly alarmed because the move came shortly after ICANN removed price caps on registration and renewal fees for .org domains. That opened the prospect of big price hikes in the coming years.

In a Friday press release, Ethos Capital announced it would voluntarily commit to limit price hikes for the next eight years. But under the new rules, Ethos Capital would still be able to raise prices by 10 percent a year—which would more than double prices over the next eight years. Ethos framed this as a concession to the public, and strictly speaking, a 10 percent price hike limit is better for customers than completely uncapped fees. But 10 percent annual increases are still massive—far more than inflation or plausible increases in the cost of running the infrastructure powering the .org registry.

For comparison, ICANN recently announced that Verisign, the company that administers the .com domain, will be allowed to raise prices by 7 percent per year over the next decade, except for a two-year "pause" after four years of hikes. Those changes, adding up to a 70-percent price hike over 10 years, was enough to trigger alarm among domain registrars who must pass these fees on to their customers.

Ethos Capital's proposed limits are also much more than historical increases in the .org fee. The maximum fee charged by the Public Interest Registry for a domain registration has risen from $6 at the end of 2006 to $9.93 today—an annual growth rate of less than 5 percent.

Previously: Now Internet Society Told to Halt Controversial .Org Sale... by its Own Advisory Council


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Now Internet Society Told to Halt Controversial .Org Sale... by its Own Advisory Council 32 comments

Now Internet Society told to halt controversial .org sale... by its own advisory council: 'You misread the community mindset around dot-org':

The Internet Society's own members are now opposing its sale of the .org internet registry to an unknown private equity firm.

The Chapters Advisory Council, the official voice of Internet Society (ISOC) members, will vote this month on whether to approve a formal recommendation that the society "not proceed [with the sale] unless a number of conditions are met."

Those conditions largely comprise the publication of additional details and transparency regarding ISOC's controversial sell-off of .org. Despite months of requests, neither the society nor the proposed purchaser, Ethos Capital, have disclosed critical elements of the deal, including who would actually own the registry if the sale went through.

[...] ISOC – and .org's current operator, the ISOC-controlled Public Interest Registry (PIR) – are still hoping to push DNS overseer ICANN to make a decision on the .org sale before the end of the month. But that looks increasingly unlikely following an aggressive letter from ICANN's external lawyers last week insisting ICANN will take as much time as it feels necessary to review the deal.

The overall lack of transparency around the $1.13bn deal has led California's Attorney General to demand documents relating to the sale – and ISOC's chapters are demanding the same information as a pre-condition to any sale in their proposed advice to the ISOC board.

That information includes: full details of the transaction; a financial breakdown of what Ethos Capital intends to do with .org's 10 million internet addresses; binding commitments on limiting price increases and free speech protections; and publication of the bylaws and related corporate documents for both the replacement to the current registry operator, PIR, and the proposed "Stewardship Council" which Ethos claims will give .org users a say in future decisions.

[...] "There is a feeling amongst chapters that ISOC seems to have disregarded community participation, failed to properly account for the potential community impact, and misread the community mindset around the .ORG TLD," the Chapters Advisory Council's proposed advice to the ISOC board – a copy of which The Register has seen – states.

Although the advisory council has no legal ability to stop ISOC, if the proposed advice is approved by vote, and the CEO and board of trustees push ahead with the sale regardless, it could have severe repercussions for the organization's non-profit status, and would further undermine ISOC's position that the sale will "support the Internet Society's vision that the Internet is for everyone."


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bussdriver on Monday February 24 2020, @09:44PM (4 children)

    by bussdriver (6876) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 24 2020, @09:44PM (#962017)

    they throw a few bones to provide cover and sucker a few people. Their cap is time limited and I wouldn't be surprised if they broke their agreement years later because the cost of punishment is less than they will profit. They do not even have the money to buy it; they will leverage it and MUST make back that with interest AND a little profit after they own it, they'll have more profit and after a while they won't grow anymore and such firms are all about infinite growth; therefore, long term they will continually maximize how much they can squeeze out. ZERO benefit for anybody except themselves. For a service that continues to go down in operating costs.

    Doesn't anybody find it ironic that a greedy for-profit investment corp is going to manage .org?

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Booga1 on Monday February 24 2020, @09:53PM (2 children)

      by Booga1 (6333) on Monday February 24 2020, @09:53PM (#962020)

      More than ironic, malicious. ICANN sold out most of the domain name system years ago. They're just accelerating the pace of selling out the rest of it.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by barbara hudson on Monday February 24 2020, @10:45PM (1 child)

        by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Monday February 24 2020, @10:45PM (#962051) Journal
        The world doesn't need monopolies. AlterNIC fixed this [wikipedia.org]. No reason browsers can't be configured to use alternative root name servers. With ipv6 we could have a distributed DNS that gave everyone their own unique entry.
        --
        SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
        • (Score: 2) by Booga1 on Monday February 24 2020, @10:53PM

          by Booga1 (6333) on Monday February 24 2020, @10:53PM (#962058)

          I remember that stuff. I thought it was silly at the time. It seemed strange to want unofficial "fake" domains. Now it's starting to look reasonable.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by FatPhil on Tuesday February 25 2020, @01:32AM

      by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Tuesday February 25 2020, @01:32AM (#962143) Homepage
      you might not be old enough to remember that in the early days, domain name registration was free. NetSol were only given a mandate that let them charge for the service in 1995. NetSol were even worse than Verisign, verisign are now just desperate as they know they are only guaranteed to make money from the business unit where they've got a monopoly, so they're clinging to it for dear life, and going to squeese it intil there's no blood left in the fatted golden goose. Yes, their business plan is as mangled as my metaphor.
      --
      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24 2020, @11:03PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24 2020, @11:03PM (#962061)

    Instead of being concerned that the price of a .org is going from $10 to $11, you should be more outraged that the CEOs of these nonprofits are making a half million a year off of your charitable contributions.

    • (Score: 1) by anubi on Monday February 24 2020, @11:31PM

      by anubi (2828) on Monday February 24 2020, @11:31PM (#962072) Journal

      Yup...it's just a camel's nose.

      These situations are best addressed before they become entrenched.

      --
      "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2020, @02:57AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2020, @02:57AM (#962171)

      > CEOs of these nonprofits are making a half million a year

      I'm sure this exists. But for every monster charity, there are lots of little ones.

      The .org I help is run purely by volunteers. All the donated money (from students) goes 100% to delivering our service (and some minimal expenses, like the website). We're small enough that a person holds the money in a separate bank account (with no interest or other personal profit) until we collect enough to buy another batch of our service (which is expensive) and distribute to the students.

      When Ethos first made the news, we had some cash and renewed our domain name for 5 years. With any luck, that will be enough time to sort it out(??) Or maybe we should have bought 10 years worth at the current price.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday February 25 2020, @07:12AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 25 2020, @07:12AM (#962261) Journal

      you should be more outraged that the CEOs of these nonprofits are making a half million a year off of your charitable contributions.

      The half a million dollar CEOs only affect a few non profits. This inflation of the costs of DNS affect every non profit with an internet presence.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2020, @08:23AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2020, @08:23AM (#962283)

      I'm not out here in these streets paying for that Starbucks.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2020, @05:26PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2020, @05:26PM (#962449)

        The coffee argument is extremely arrogant. It only works if you vastly over pay for coffee, which is increasingly a luxury that most people can't afford.

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