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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    Verisign/NSI The ORGanization Man
    posted by jon on Thursday March 01 2001, @04:15PM

    ICANN staff's description of the proposed revision of the NSI registry agreement contemplates a shift in role for .org: It will be "for the specific use of nonprofit organizations." Indeed, the document explains, .org will be "returned . . . to its original function as a registry operated by and for nonprofit organizations." On a moment's thought, this seems sort of odd.

    First of all, .org's original function wasn't as a TLD reserved for nonprofit organizations. Rather, under RFC 1591, .org was simply "the miscellaneous TLD for organizations that didn't fit anywhere else." The closest it came to being a TLD for nonprofit organizations was Jon Postel's note that "some non-government organizations may fit here."

    Second, it's hard to imagine how, at this point, .org could serve as a specific TLD for nonprofit organizations, given the large number of commercial entities with registrations there.

    And come to think of it, why doesn't ICANN have the same interest in returning to the "original function" of .net -- which, unlike .org, actually had an original function (it was reserved for network providers)?

    It's hard to avoid the suspicion that ICANN is seeking to take these steps because it hopes to gain the allegiance of the nonprofit community -- always yammering about how ICANN is neither bottom-up nor representative -- by giving it its "own" TLD. Think it'll work?

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  • RFC 1591
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    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    The ORGanization Man | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 6 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: The ORGanization Man
    by SirLoin on Friday March 02 2001, @05:51AM (#348)
    User #29 Info | http://www.sirloin.org
    I have multiple .ORG domains, including one which I registered back in the days when I had to give a reason for registering a .ORG domain. One is a personal domain, sirloin.org, and the other is a domain I use in conjunction with my entire family, durandfamily.org.

    If ICANN were to invalid my durandfamily.org registration, where would I go? My family isn't a commercial organization, nor is it a network provider. Not all of us live in one geographic area, either.

    So just where, ICANN, do you feel my durandfamily domain should be moved to? I agree with the article - it should stay in .org, which was originally supposed to be used for non-commericial organizations of any type. And I know durandfamily.org qualifies...because I've had it long enough that when I initially registered it I had to fill out a form explaining the justification for placing it in .ORG.

    So where should it go, ICANN? Where should it go?
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: The ORGanization Man
    by Jon_Weinberg on Monday March 05 2001, @08:51AM (#365)
    User #16 Info | www.threecats.net
    ICANN responds:

    Vint Cerf wrote to Declan McCullagh, for publication on Declan's politech list, that

    The proposal is just a proposal - and the question of
    the presence of non-not-for-profits in the .org registry
    is still quite open. ICANN has no desire to create hardship
    where there isn't any. It seems unlikely that existing registrants
    would be "evicted" without a good deal of discussion and planning
    and for the sake of simplicity and fairness, it would seem more
    reasonable to limit FUTURE registrations - the messy part is the
    possibility of some kind of gold rush to register before such
    registrations (ie of for-profit organizations) would no longer
    be accepted.

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: The ORGanization Man
    by CJ8 on Monday March 05 2001, @05:43PM (#368)
    User #43 Info | http://www.icannwatch.org/
    Besides my gut reaction of disgust, it's just basically BOHICA (bend over, here it comes again).

    This is just the tip of the iceberg. If one were to wrap all the criticisms of ICANN and Network Solutions/Verisign posted here into one, we might have an accurate idea of what just the left flank of the "elephant" looked like.

    Another article posted here says "follow the money" and I'd have to agree -- pretty much individual and corporate greed has taken what was a reasonable idea for TLDs and their management, and turned it into a game of seeing who can feather their nest with the most luxury or cold hard cash.

    I griped about the complete lack of control exercised by Network Solutions in 1995 with respect to the RFC purposes of domains then. I knew college girls who had .net domains, etc. Silly me, I kept my moral principles and registered hundreds and hundreds of domains (as the technical contact and lead sysadmin at an ISP) making sure each customer followed the rules. I was tempted but never succumbed to buying up dozens, maybe more, domain names in a speculative fashion. Too bad I'm so honest. I'd be a rich man today if I wasn't. 40 or 50 domains with names like cash.com and news.com could have been had for a small ($100 at the time) investment each on my part.

    Now today I find when I want to register a domain name that not only have speculators saturated the .com, .org and .net TLDs, but a huge percentage of the registrants don't even have a presence in the USA. I know what the knee-jerk reaction is to that statement: "nobody said the .com is USA only" or "the rest of the world has a right to those TLDs". Yeah, right.

    And I can just merrily register in any of the ICAO country-code TLDs that I want to, also. Not. In fact, not EVEN in the US TLD! That's right. That's been fairly well preserved for government entities, schools, libraries and real non-profit organizations. Thus, ipso facto and QED, .com is the USA commercial TLD, like it or lump it.

    ICANN *might* evict non-non-profits (haha) from .org? I say we evict anybody who doesn't have a physical USA presence (darn nice of me to give multi-national corporations a break here) from .com and .org. Maybe even .net, although I'd much prefer to see every ISP, backbone provider and NAP located in .net, worldwide.

    I guess I just like rational, logical designs, instead of twisted, corrupted plans made only for, and by, money and greed.

    As corrupt as the US federal government is (influenced by the several billion dollars spent every year lobbying it, campaign soft money, etc.), they would be a whole lot fairer than ICANN and Verisign. I say we have the Dept. of Commerce run the whole show -- directly. And we all pay for it with taxes. You *KNOW* it doesn't cost them $35 to "register" and "maintain" the few silly entries in a database for your domain for one year.

    Once the huge domain rush really hit around 1995-1996, a bunch of people (and first at Network Solutions, no doubt) suddenly figured out that at $50 a pop and then $35 a pop, the "few domains a month" growth to "dozens of domains a day" to "hundreds of domains a day" registration requests was going to start generating REAL money. You know, a million $$ here and million $$ there, and pretty soon, you're talking real cash?

    I could say more, but some will think I've already said too much. I've just been steaming for years, just waiting for a place to blow this steam, and this ORG proposal just popped the cork.

    Internet Old Timer Who's Had It Up to There^
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Andrew McLaughlin's response
    by michael (froomkin@lawUNSPAM.tm) on Tuesday March 06 2001, @03:04AM (#373)
    User #4 Info | http://www.discourse.net/
    ICANN's Chief Policy officer had this to say:
    We don't have any intention of kicking out existing domain name holders. The idea is to turn over management of .org to some appopriate organization/association/entity/whatever, which would then make decisions about .org registration policy.

    I'm always amazed by the amount of misreporting & hyperventilation about domain name stuff -- this one's no exception.

    Of course, this rather begs the question of whether in so doing ICANN would be undermining the relevant and existing RFCs, even if only by proxy.

    PS. If ICANN were really open and transparent instead of negotiating all the key deals in secret, you'd find people were a little less suspicious.

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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