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January 22, 2003 5:47 PM   Subscribe

On Saturday owners of .org domains will have a new registry, the Public Interest Registry. After winning the .org registry away from Verisign, PIR (a creation of the Internet Society (ISOC)) promises to be more responsive to the non-commercial needs of Internet users, which is ostensibly what the .org is all about. Info from ISOC on the bid and other related items here, some grumbling about ISOC's methods by the losing bidders here. Will .org return to its roots with this change, or business as usual?
posted by WolfDaddy (16 comments total)
Ok from what I read if you already own a .org, regardless of whether you are non-profit or not, you get to keep it, your current registrar just needs to accredited with PIR. Sounds like business as usual.
posted by riffola at 6:01 PM on January 22, 2003

Guess my thrust here riffola is whether or not the registry itself will do more than Verisign did to promote the idea of non-commercial uses of the Internet.
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:10 PM on January 22, 2003

i love it when you talk dirty wolfdaddy...
posted by quonsar at 6:36 PM on January 22, 2003

No way! Verisign has a GREAT history!

How could ANYBODY be better than them!?

(do sarcastic posts need "sarcasm" tags here at metafilter?)
posted by bhayes82 at 6:39 PM on January 22, 2003

I have a .org....

Shouldn't someone have dropped me an email about this?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:39 PM on January 22, 2003

posted by Space Coyote at 6:40 PM on January 22, 2003

Oh good god, taht'll teach me not to look at the screen while I type something... how embarassing..
posted by Space Coyote at 6:41 PM on January 22, 2003

Gee and I just thought you were really pissed off...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:43 PM on January 22, 2003

So anyone can still register a .org domain? You don't need to demonstrate your non-profit, organisation status? So what has changed then? I mean, apart from the bloodsuckers Verisign losing the registry?
posted by dg at 7:13 PM on January 22, 2003

dg - absolutely correct.

Good grief, it's the registry for a single TLD ... i.e., it runs a large, simplistic, flat-file database. I don't expect to see any change at all (other than - as you say - expecting that almost anyone ... including Paul, the maintenance guy in my building ... will run it better than Verisign did).
posted by MidasMulligan at 7:39 PM on January 22, 2003

Would that be Paul . . . Vixie?
posted by Ryvar at 7:45 PM on January 22, 2003

And, while we're at it, .org never had any kind of nonprofit mandate. It just means "Organization."

From RFC 1591:
ORG - This domain is intended as the miscellaneous TLD for
organizations that didn't fit anywhere else. Some non-
government organizations may fit here.
The whole nonprofit thing is one of the most longstanding and persistent canards of the net.

I'm always happy to see Verisign lose control of something though.
posted by rusty at 8:04 PM on January 22, 2003

MidasMulligan, if it's just a flat-file db, why do so many organizations want the "honor" or "privilege" of the drudgery to administer it?

rusty, point granted on the canard, it was never carved in stone that .org was for non-profits, even though that was they way it was quite often used. However, PIR is now taking a stance that they are going use the "power" of .org to promote the idea of using the Internet for non-commercial purposes. This seems, to me, to be a somewhat interesting tack to take, given the ISOC connection.
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:22 PM on January 22, 2003

FYI: a number of websites participated in the spread the dot campaign to support a competing bid by the Internet Multicasting Service and Internet Software Consortium, which did not get a positive recommendation by ICANN.

Restricting .org to registered non-profits only was an early proposal (from many quarters), but was rejected some time ago given the large number of legacy domains which would need to be evicted for the registration to be at all meaningful. ICANN's direction in the future, however, is clearly toward special-purpose gTLDs. One of the experimental gTLDs approved during the first expansion was .coop, open to registered cooperatives. A restricted non-profit gTLD (for example, .npo) was not among the finalists in any case, but if the 2002 expansion is considered successful, is a likely candidate if an appropriate organization will sponsor it.

WolfDaddy: for registrars of new TLDs, ICANN sets maximum fee from $4.75 to 5.30 depending on volume. That is the fee that the end-user registrar pays to the central registrar, no matter how many hops it goes through in between -- the practical base fee for a domain name. It is just a flat-file database, linking two items (IP addresses and domain names), and pretty much uses standard open-source software and requires little more than running a few systems with maximal uptime. If you can do that, it's free money at around 5 bucks a pop for nearly 10 million registered domain names. You don't even need to deal with customers -- you can let the end-user registrars handle all the infrastructure for that, and take all the blame for muck-ups. Also, at least ostensibly, some registrars have higher aspirations than that.
posted by dhartung at 9:18 PM on January 22, 2003

That is a shame, MidasMulligan - I was hoping they had implemented something like the rules for the domains, but the legacy registrations would be a major problem.
posted by dg at 7:11 PM on January 23, 2003

"Shouldn't someone have dropped me an email about this?"

I received an email from today. There was no message, just a list of 86,167 email addresses. I think it is the R-Z list of .org registrants.

And just now I got another one, asking me to delete the first.
posted by todd at 7:37 PM on January 23, 2003

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