I can remember, about 6 or so
years ago, a common joke around
the office (and around the various chatrooms/forums)
was to poke fun
at domain names that made no sense at all.. that just 'couldn't/wouldn't
One common pun was to say "I just bought a new domain
buycomputers.org". At one time, a comment like that was
FUNNY because everyone knew that you cant sell anything on a .org,
thus the humor.
I can remember looking up domain names and
seeing some killer
possibilities for good, generic, single word, english domain
but since they were only available in .org (and in most cases also
in .net) noone was registering them.
If the .com was taken
for something you could sell, that pretty much ended the conversation.
Then, unbeknownst to most, an unwritten change in registration policy at NSI
took place. Suddenly, people were able to register a .org without being an
actual 'organization' or 'non-profit'.
I can remember waiting
to see what ICANN would do about this new, and seemingly illegal, action by NSI.
The message from ICANN was
basically 'no comment'.
was no revision to the rules that said it was 'okay to
register and use a .org
no matter what kind of entity you are'. At
the same time, there was no investigation
as to whether this new
strategy of selling .orgs to 'anyone' was legal or not.
So here we have our quandry. There is really nothing on the books
that says people CAN buy .org domains, and there is nothing
that says they CANT
In my opinion, it has gone on so long without any
one way or the other, that it should be left up to the public to decide
the issue. But ICANN holds all the decision making ability in
and we all know how much the public's opinion means to
The suggestion of the .npo TLD makes perfect sense to me, but you need to realise
that this latest farce has nothing to do with the fact that the .org extensions have
been abused and misused for so long that ICANN suddenly feels it neccessary to start
enforcement of long broken (or at least bent a little) regulations regarding the
This, in fact, is an end run being performed
against the entire internet community to keep NSI from losing money. When NSI
loses their power over the .org TLD, the doors are opened for more competition in
the registrar's arena. We all know that NSI isn't going to reduce their fees
for domain names below $35. We also know that there are plenty of up and coming
registrars who are charging a lot less for .org's already.
Why would someone want to register a .org at NSI for $35 if they can get it for $8
somewhere else? They wouldnt. Thus, NSI loses business to their competition
- the competition makes the money instead of NSI - the competition gains more ground
on NSI and, finally, NSI loses its claim to the market share it currently holds.
This is terrifying to NSI and it's shareholders. Lose money while
our competition outprices us? NO WAY! Lets work some kind of cheap trick
into our agreement to relinquish the .org TLD so that noone else can make profits
on it. By God, if WE cant make money on it, NOONE can!
You see, this isnt about someone wanting to finally enforce so called 'rules', its
about someone wanting to keep both hands on a monopoly that they have been told they
cant have any more.