[Ccwg-auctionproceeds] Auction Proceeds Mechanisms

Sam Lanfranco sam at lanfranco.net
Wed Nov 27 21:31:54 UTC 2019


I would like to put an idea on the back burner, i.e., not to be 
discussed or dealt with here. It is getting increasingly difficult not 
to know that there is considerable discussion around the planned ISOC 
sale of PIR, the registry for .org, to a private entity. This is not the 
place for any of that discussion. However, the potential outcomes raise 
some possibilities that could impact on the Mechanism that gets selected 
for the new gTLD auction proceeds.

It has long been felt that the gTLD universe needs one or more registry 
homes that reflect the public interest. The last gTLD round made some 
accommodations for proposals in that area but none survived the process. 
Until now the ISOC ownership of PIR, the .org registry, more or less 
satisfied that interest. Whatever the outcome of the current .org saga, 
there is likely to be pressure for a non-profit registry handling .org, 
or an appropriately named new gTLD with a public interest mission.

Within this working group’s dialogue, we have taken the position that 
any of the three Mechanisms under consideration would have a finite 
life, terminating once the auction proceeds are exhausted. I have 
supported that position, in part because the economist in me says that 
new gTLDs have reached seriously diminishing marginal returns, and 
because newer social media platforms allow search and discovery without 
requiring domain names.

However, whatever new gTLD auction proceeds Mechanism materializes, it 
involves building capacity to administer a grant making process. It is 
worth noting that if the .org registry needed a new home or especially 
if a new public interest gTLD were to be created, an option would be to 
create the registry out of the selected Mechanism, an entity that would 
have considerable expertise and hit the ground running.

Just food for future thought.

Sam Lanfranco

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