Should we be concerned about .org being sold to an investment company?

Not sure if anyone else has noticed, but apparently the Internet Society figured it was a splendid idea to sell the management of the .org TLD to a capital investment company.

This bothers me quite bit. Of course the Internet has always been a vague ownership model since the 2000s or so, but as an NGO I think this step doesn’t fit us and our interests at all and I think we should speak up about it.

The .org part of our domains are rather critical to our infrastructure and not only do we have very little say over it, it got SOLD to people who are only in it for the money. A TLD that is representing so many ideological causes was sold to an entity with 1 idealogical cause… making money.

[Edit] Read more about attempts to stop this at https://savedotorg.org

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The WMF is big enough to run their own TLD and drop the dot org. For example wikipedia as TLD.

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The Foundation is listed among the signers already, I hadn’t noticed it.

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Im pretty sure they were not originally listed. But its common for these kinds of efforts to take a while to get going with all the signatories

Good of the foundation for getting us on the list though!

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In case you haven’t seen it yet:

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Update from Katherine on this:

Hey folks,

Quick update here. You may have seen some press coverage already, but this week, a group of technologists, non-profits, policymakers, and internet governance folks filed in California to create a cooperative membership corporation, whose purpose would be to administer the .ORG domain and its revenues on behalf of global non-profits and in support of the open, multistakeholder internet. The intention of the filing body is to demonstrate to ICANN a viable, economically and technically sound alternative to private commercial ownership. The name of the new organization is the Cooperative Corporation of .ORG Registrants, or CCOR.

I’ve been asked to be one of the seven filing directors. The other filing directors include the Executive Director of Packet Clearing House, a non-profit internet research institute, the founding president of ICANN and a former chair of ICANN, a former Member of the European Parliament and digital rights advocate, among others.

We believe that this co-op structure is a good alternative to the intended sale, which we believe has the potential to degrade the integrity and stability of .ORG domains. It is an opportunity for the .ORG community to create a representative governing entity, formalize stewardship of a key piece of internet infrastructure, directly guide the allocation of .ORG revenue, and improve the integrity and independence of the non-profit internet. It aligns with the same values and governance that animate our global Wikimedia communities, and our friends at organizations such as EFF, the Internet Archive, and Mozilla have played key roles in its development. The Foundation’s Board of Trustees has also given their support as part of our broader commitment to the non-commercial, open internet.

I also wanted to make sure to clarify the Foundation’s commitment and my own role in CCOR. The Wikimedia Foundation not funding this effort, and my participation does not entail longer-term financial or other resource support from the Foundation or movement. My own involvement would be a for limited-term: if the effort is successful, my temporary directorship would end after a period, I’ll rotate off and the co-op will elect someone new. If the effort is not successful, the corresponding responsibilities are null.

They’re still working on getting the website up and will publish the articles of incorporation once they do, in case folks want to take a look for themselves.

Happy New Year!

Katherine

Original message sent to Wikimedia-l.

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Hi Katherine,

Great news you do share about setting up CCOR, (Somehow I’m not allowed to see the source, and cannot mention it.)

Let me guess, the former member EP is Marietje Schaake :slight_smile:

Regards,

Ad Huikeshoven
somehow I couldn’t find a reply button to the topic

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(That was because you read it here in a read-only mailing list mirror :) )

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