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Username: dtobias
Date/Time: Thu, August 16, 2001 at 11:43 PM GMT
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Subject: .org clarification


Since my site is listed in that list of supporters (and I believe I did in fact sign some online petition on the subject at some point), I wish to clarify that I don't necessarily believe that any attempt to restrict .org to nonprofits and .net to network providers is necessarily some sort of "evil conspiracy".  In fact, I agree in principle with the concept that those domain endings were intended for particular purposes and that it would be better for the namespace as a whole if they were used in a meaningful way instead of as meaningless free-for-alls.  However, I don't see it as feasible or desirable to impose new restrictions in an ex-post-facto way by force.  While it might have been better if Network Solutions had policed the domain endings (including .com, which is heavily abused by noncommercial entities regstering in it) from the start, adding mandatory restrictions later isn't desirable or fair; instead, I favor encouraging people to learn the meanings of the TLDs and pick appropriate addresses accordingly, but not be forced out of names they registered in good faith (even if not quite within the original intended meanings of the endings).

There's also the issue that .org was intended originally as a "miscellaneous" ending for all sorts of entities that didn't fit in the other categories.  This includes, but is not limited to, officially accredited nonprofit and not-for-profit organizations.  Any definition of .org that requires government accreditation as a nonprofit would go beyond the original charter of the TLDs, and would exclude such things as hobby and fan sites that are not commercial (and hence don't really belong in .com), so many site owners registered .org names for them in good faith.

Thus, I oppose mandatory limitations on .org being imposed, but don't necessarily go along with conspiracy-theory polemics on the subject, and I don't oppose the registries and registrars making an effort, in a noncoercive way, to encourage judicious selection of what TLD to register under, based on the nature of your intended use, rather than just promoting .com, .org, and .net as undifferentiated free-for-alls.


Link: Dan's Domain Site

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