While I'm a long time proponent of people paying some attention to the actual meanings
of the top level domains instead of just registering everything under the sun for
shallow purposes, I can't support the proposal to limit .org as stated here.
First of all, .org has always been a catch-all domain for miscellaneous noncommercial
uses, and its spirit, even back in the days when the distinctions between the top
level domains weren't as badly ignored, has never been one of being limited only
to government-recognized nonprofits. There are many other sorts of noncommercial
activity on the Internet (and off it), including both nonprofit and not-for-profit
entities (a significant IRS distinction), as well as the noncommercial activities
of individuals. I've long advocated the use of .org for individual-run fan
sites (e.g., about a particular celebrity or a specialized hobby or interest) in
contrast to .com, in order to distinguish such sites from official sites and marketing-oriented
ones of a commercial nature. I've regarded the widespread use of .com for noncommercial
sites as a sign of the dumbing-down of the Internet. While I did end up using
a .com for my personal site (as a lesser-of-three-evils given that I might use it
for any sort of activity connected with myself as a person, both commercial and noncommercial,
so it seemed to fit closer into .com than .org, and since it wasn't an infrastructure
network provider, .net didn't fit), I've used .org for some personally maintained
fan sites about celebrities, as well as for a SIG of American Mensa which I run (not
formally incorporated but noncommercial in nature; required by Mensa rules to be
considered a separate organization not formally part of Mensa, hence unable to make
use of Mensa's status in qualifying for a .org domain if qualifications are required).
Making me change those addresses wouldn't be fair, nor would I consider the .com
equivalents (even if available) to be reasonable addresses for these noncommercial
activities. If there were additional TLDs for such things as fan sites and
SIGs, I might consider moving the sites to those.|
Anyway, if they're going to begin
attempting to enforce limitations on the use of the TLDs (which would have been better
to maintain from the start, instead of trying to shut the barn door later), they
ought to start first with .com, which has been more heavily abused than any other
TLD. They should first kick out all the noncommercial sites that have ridiculously
registered as .com, and maybe also the branches, departments, sub-websites and even
e-mail servers that have unnecessarily registered separate .com addresses where subdomains
would have done more logically, like the rash of "my-blahblahblah.com", "blahblahblah-inc.com",
etc., from entities that already have "blahblahblah.com". And the same for
.orgs, where there are groups that register "blahblahblah-miami.org" and "blahblahblah-newyork.org"
for their chapters instead of using subdomains like "miami.blahblahblah.org".
stuff ought to be cleaned up before they go after some individual with a fansite
about their favorite singer in a ".org" domain.
If they do want to impose limitations
on what sorts of entities can get domains in the different TLDs, they should be kept
purposely broad and vague so as not to unnecessarily limit people. I suggest
requiring .com domains to be for entities or sites that are predominantly commercial
in nature, .org for entities or sites that are predominantly noncommercial, and I
don't know what to do with .net, since that's pretty much lost any coherent meaning.
Sites that have large degrees of both commercial and noncommercial aspects should
be allowed in .com or .org at the site owner's choice. Taking away any domain
already in use should require a showing of blatant violation of the category restrictions,
not just a subjectively questionable appearance of possible inappropriateness.
Standards might be enforced more strictly on new registrants.