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Username: eanderso
Date/Time: Fri, March 2, 2001 at 4:18 AM GMT
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Subject: .org concerns


Many people have already said this, but I want to add my voice to the
chorus:  Restricting .org to non-profit corporations would be a bad
idea.  This is a mistake for two reasons:

1st.  That is not the original intent, contrary to ICANN's statement.
RFC 1591 clearly states about .org:  "ORG - This domain is intended
as the miscellaneous TLD for organizations that didn't fit anywhere
else."  There are many uses which do not fit in any of the other gTLDs
which are not specifically non-profit organizations.

2nd.  If the goal is to limit .org to non-profit use, too many
legitimate users would be excluded.  Many non-commercial undertakings
have no formal corporate structure, and no need for one.  Requiring
that organizations be non-profit corporations will either unfairly
exclude these organizations, or impose an undue burden on them by
forcing them to become corporations.  Further, many .org domains
belong to individuals who use them for non-commercial purposes.

The mis-use of .org domains is a legitimate concern.  There is no
reason why a commercial enterprise should have a .org domain name.
The .org domain is defined as a miscelaneous domain for organizations
which don't belong anywhere else.  It makes sense to restrict its use
on the same basis:  Rather than enumerate what sorts of organizations
may use .org, say that organizations which are better described by any
other TLD may not.  The acid test should be "could this be a .COM,
.NET, .EDU, .INT, .GOV or .MIL, or belong in a specifc country code?"
If the answer is no to all of the above, then it belongs as a .org.

Also, since an organization cannot - by definition - belong in another
TLD and not belong in another TLD, no organization should be allowed
to own the same second-level domain name under both .ORG and any other
TLD.  It is currently the practice of most registrars to encourage
customers to register a domain name under all available TLDs.  This
makes sense for the registrar - why not encourage people to buy more?
- and for the customer, as domain names cost very little.  However, it
completely defeats the intent of having discrete TLDs by undermining
the notion that the TLD provides a valid categorization of the domain
names within it.

In summation:  I whole-heartedly approve of the effort to enforce
meaningful distictions between the TLDs, but this must be done in a
manner consistant with existing standards such as RFC 1591.  The
current proposal for .org is excessively narrow, and would exclude
many uses that are entirely appropriate under existing standards.
Eric Anderson
Carleton College
Dept. of Mathematics and Computer Science


Link: RFC 1591 - Domain Name System Structure and Delegation

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