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Username: pcrook345
Date/Time: Thu, March 15, 2001 at 3:42 AM GMT
Browser: Netscape Communicator V4.76 using Windows 98
Score: 5
Subject: ICANN, look at your own site before revising history.


        [The short version, since ICANN can't seem to read very far into any document: I oppose the non-profit-only restriction being suggested for the .org TLD. Feel free to create the .npo TLD for such organizations. Is the new regime going to take away .com domains if their owners _don't_ make a profit? Watch out, Amazon...]

Our story so far: ICANN, in preparing to divest themselves of the .org Top Level Domain (TLD), are saying, in effect: in the future, only non-profit organizations should be able to register .org domains, and any existing .org holders that don't measure up to a to-be-determined standard of non-profitness should have their domains taken away.

ICANN trumpets a return to what they call the _intended_ function of .org:
"The net result of this would be a .org registry returned [...] to its originally intended function as a registry operated by and for non-profit organizations."

"Among the issues to be determined in this transition is whether .org should be limited to registrations only by non-commercial entities"

ICANN cites RFC 1561 when arguing about country-style TLD's:
"It is important to note that ccTLD matters are governed by the longstanding principle, noted by Jon Postel in RFC 1591, that 'Concerns about "rights" and "ownership" of domains are inappropriate. It is appropriate to be concerned about "responsibilities" and "service" to the community.'"

And when explaining the history of TLD's:
"Examples of unrestricted TLDs include .com, .net, and .org. (Note that RFC 1591 states that these domains are intended for various uses. As a practical matter, however, anyone may register and use names in these domains for any purpose.)"

Has anyone at ICANN looked at RFC 1591 while formulating the argument that they're returning .org to its intended purpose? It does not contain the words "non-profit", "not-for-profit", or even "profit" on its own. The description of the generic domain ORG reads:
"ORG - This domain is intended as the miscellaneous TLD for organizations that didn't fit anywhere else.  Some non-government organizations may fit here."

See for yourself in the associated link:

I'd rather that existing .org owners (myself included) got to keep their domains. But even if they're taken away, it's dishonest to support that action by claiming a return to something that never existed.


Link: RFC 1591: Domain Name System Structure and Delegation

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