I wrote some time ago about ICANN, the organization that oversees top-level-domains, was attempting to sell the .org TLD to a private equity firm with a questionable record. Well, today they were finally defeated.
This was a contentous issue with many users, including users like myself who own .org domains. A private equity firm is not exactly the kind of oversight and governance that a non-profit would likely enjoy. The equity firm could charge any sort of pricing they so desired, even hold it over some “less favorable” organizations as leverage.
Additionally, Ethos Capital seems to have wanted the non-profit entitiy that controls the .org TLD so that it could load it up with debts from other controlled subsidies. What a terrible deal. The org domain registry is an organization that actually makes money off of the fees associated with registration.
The sale threatened to bring censorship and increased operating costs to the nonprofit world. As EFF warned, a private equity-owned registry would have a financial incentive to suspend domain names—causing websites to go dark—at the request of powerful corporate interests and governments.EFF – From the article
Powerful entities fought for this verdict, including California’s Attorney General, Members of Congress, the UN, The Girl Scouts of America, Wikimedia and more. This is a powerful win for freedom and open access. While this was well deserved, we need to make sure this doesn’t happen in the future.