[Comments-org-renewal-18mar19] proposed .org management contract renewal

Richard Hohm rich at unusual-attitude.org
Thu Apr 25 23:16:19 UTC 2019

I am writing today to express my strong objection to the proposed PIR 
contract renewal as it currently stands. In principle, I have no problem 
with lifting price caps on domain registry. In this specific case, 
however, the Public Interest Registry organization holds a monopoly on 
.org registrations. If the pricing restraints on this company were 
lifted, history strongly suggests that their registration fees would 
increase substantially, possibly to an extreme degree. Those of us 
holding .org domains might well be forced to choose between paying 
prohibitive fees, or giving up years of accumulated name recognition and 
goodwill in moving to another TLD.

I am not as alarmed as I would be, were PIR a for-profit company. My 
quick read of the proposal, however, found nothing to prevent PIR from 
reorganizing as for-profit, and they would have considerable incentive 
to do so. Regardless, history has proven that unregulated monopolies of 
any sort invariably end up serving their own interests rather than those 
of the public. As a hobbyist with several .org domains and who manages a 
.org website for a not-for-profit organization, I am concerned that the 
proposed contract will trigger what I assume are unintended side effects 
that would make it difficult or impossible for us to continue to hold 
these domains.

I believe the best way forward is to continue to place a ceiling on 
registration fees. Failing this, I offer a modification to the proposal: 
Remove price caps on .org if you must, but at the same time open the TLD 
to allow multiple organizations to share its management and charge fees 
for registrations. Competition would then keep fees down to a reasonable 
level. A model for this modality could be found in the way USA power 
companies sell electric power individually to consumers, with the 
electricity from each delivered over a common power line grid.

Thank you for your attention and consideration.

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