[registration-issues-wg] [CPWG] [GTLD-WG] EFF : Nonprofit Community Stands Together to Protect .ORG

Jonathan Zuck JZuck at innovatorsnetwork.org
Fri Nov 22 20:58:14 UTC 2019


Yes, those are the same issues raised during the original discussion about .ORG but they are still pretty specific to folks in the secondary market if you go one layer down. I've got about a dozen .ORG domains registered which I suspect is more than most non-profits, and I'd be fine with the price quadrupling if it put a dent in the secondary market for confusingly similar, snapped up and turned into porn sites and just plain expensive domains. I've run an arts non-profit called DC Dogs for the past decade. I found it a LOT cheaper to get the .COM than the .ORG because the .ORG was being held by a domain investor. Several times a year, I get an email from a broker asking if I'm ready to buy the .ORG. And THIS year, I was breathlessly notified that there had been a HUGE price decrease so I could now pick it up for the low low price of $7,500! Another time, I switched from competitivetechnology.org to actonline.org and unfortunately allowed competitivetechnology.org to lapse. It was immediately purchased and turned into a porn site, capitalizing on the traffic WE had established so to buy it back, I had to match the revenue it was making for the domain investor, something close to $10k. It's a little ironic to talk about non-profit management of .ORG when so many of the second level domains are in the hands of the most for profit actors in the market.

We should also remember there are safeguards and PICs in the new contract that legacy domains do not need to implement and we have not evaluated their relative value to end users. As end users, we're most certainly not automatically for limiting IP rights, for example, because of the high correlation between infringement and malware. If we don't like the safeguards, we have a role to play in improving them which will go a LOT further than any reliance on someone's non-profit status to protect us. There are PLENTY of very greedy non-profits in the world whos executives make a great deal of money. I think the PIR CEO pay is something like $750k so before we cry a river over their loss, let's have a real discussion about how best to protect our interests in this.

All this said, I have nothing against domain investors and they are simply a reflection of a free market (that will exist with, or without PIR) and I myself once sold activate.com for much more than I paid for it. However, I do not believe the internet community owes them anything and should not concern ourselves with their interests.

Consequently, when they are the primary driver behind an initiative to control pricing, we should be wary of their motives. Yes, they managed to generate a lot of comments and yes, Nat, I'm sure those comments were legitimately from the organizations listed but we know little of how the problem is being described to those organizations or how shrill the rhetoric about domain takedowns, etc. What we DO know is that domain investors are the group with the MOST to lose here whereas doubling the price of innovatorsnetwork.org will make a lot of cash for Ethos and not make a bit of difference to the Innovators Network Foundation.

So Evan, I make no statement about the best outcome, because I have not yet studied it and I have NO problems with strange bedfellows if we're on the right side of something. I'm just not ready to ASSUME this is a bad development because folks with an entirely unique stake tell me so. All I ask is that we spend the time to discuss it.
Jonathan

________________________________
From: Kaili Kan <kankaili at gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, November 22, 2019 3:12 PM
To: Evan Leibovitch <evanleibovitch at gmail.com>
Cc: Jonathan Zuck <JZuck at innovatorsnetwork.org>; Dev Anand Teelucksingh <devtee at gmail.com>; CPWG <cpwg at icann.org>
Subject: Re: [CPWG] [GTLD-WG] EFF : Nonprofit Community Stands Together to Protect .ORG

After reading the letter signed by over 20 NGOs, I find it going beyond far potential price increases.  The following are their listed concerns:

-- The power to raise .ORG registration fees without the approval of ICANN or the .ORG community. A .ORG price hike would put many cash-strapped NGOs in the difficult position of either paying the increased fees or losing the legitimacy and brand recognition of a .ORG domain.
-- The power to develop and implement Rights Protection Mechanisms unilaterally, without consulting the .ORG community. If such mechanisms are not carefully crafted in collaboration with the NGO community, they risk censoring completely legal nonprofit activities.
-- The power to implement processes to suspend domain names based on accusations of “activity contrary to applicable law.”  The .ORG registry should not implement such processes without understanding how state actors frequently target NGOs with allegations of illegal activity.

If these are true, it seems that we have even more reasons to act.

Kaili

On Sat, Nov 23, 2019 at 3:56 AM Evan Leibovitch <evanleibovitch at gmail.com<mailto:evanleibovitch at gmail.com>> wrote:
I am somewhat comforted by the observation that the Free Software Foundation and Electronic Frontier Foundation have signed on to the site, neither of which is associated with being corporate proxies.

I share your concern about ICA. However, at various points in history we've partnered with many different parts of the ICANN ecosystem and this time we happen to be on the same side as an organization we often consider as an adversary. Strange bedfellows indeed but why not?

I maintain my position that PIR should be given more leeway to set prices. That's not the issue to me. The change of PIR from nonprofit to for-profit has far deeper implications for trust that price increases will be reasonable and serving an interest beyond maximizing revenue. I had trust that a nonprofit PIR would treat the removal of price caps with prudence. I have no such confidence in a profit-maximizing PIR.

___________________
Evan Leibovitch, Toronto
@evanleibovitch/@el56

On Fri., Nov. 22, 2019, 1:50 p.m. Jonathan Zuck, <JZuck at innovatorsnetwork.org<mailto:JZuck at innovatorsnetwork.org>> wrote:

I confess I’d be interested to see who is behind this site.  The talking points are very similar to those with which we were bombarded by ICA during the original discussions around .ORG. Deep down, we ALL know that the only ones truly harmed by a price increase are volume registrants. It was you who suggested that a price hike might actually be pro-consumer. Let’s not lose site of all that because we’re pissed at ISOC. Let’s try to keep from being manipulated again and do a reasoned analysis of the situation.



From: GTLD-WG <gtld-wg-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org<mailto:gtld-wg-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org>> on behalf of Evan Leibovitch <evanleibovitch at gmail.com<mailto:evanleibovitch at gmail.com>>
Date: Friday, November 22, 2019 at 1:41 PM
To: Dev Anand Teelucksingh <devtee at gmail.com<mailto:devtee at gmail.com>>
Cc: CPWG <cpwg at icann.org<mailto:cpwg at icann.org>>
Subject: Re: [GTLD-WG] [CPWG] EFF : Nonprofit Community Stands Together to Protect .ORG



Have a look at https://savedotorg.org

Interesting list of signatories. Perhaps ALAC should endorse?

___________________
Evan Leibovitch, Toronto
@evanleibovitch/@el56



On Fri., Nov. 22, 2019, 1:16 p.m. Dev Anand Teelucksingh, <devtee at gmail.com<mailto:devtee at gmail.com>> wrote:

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/11/nonprofit-community-stands-together-protect-org

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