The Longest Now


Out with a whimper: the .ORG heist averted, and its aftermath
Saturday May 02nd 2020, 11:27 am
Filed under: chain-gang,international,Not so popular

A quick positive update on the .ORG fire sale: at the end of April, ICANN rejected the proposed sale of .ORG to Ethos Capital. (EFF summary).  That is likely the end of this particular takeover bid, though the registry is still at risk of a reprise while it remains under current management.

Leading up to this:

  • NTEN and allies launched the SaveDotOrg coalition in November, including EFF, Wikimedia, and others. An extended advocacy campaign from many fronts included lawmakers in DC and in California, where ICANN is headquartered.
  • ICANN asked ISOC for additional background information.
  • In January, a new charity (CCOR) was founded to offer a not-for-profit alternative willing to take over .ORG from PIR.
  • California AG Xavier Becerra wrote a critical letter to ICANN about the sale.
  • On April 30, ICANN rejected the sale

Epilogue:
– In June, SaveDotOrg repeated its request to ISOC to implement contract protections for .ORG, to make it less tempting as the object of a future corporate takeover. ISOC declined.
– In July, the Ethos site listed Fadi Chehade as Co-CEO of the fund, after initially not listing him on the site at all.


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