Inside the Billion-Dollar Battle Over .Org
A group of respected internet pioneers and nonprofit leaders is offering an alternative to Ethos Capital’s bid for .org: a nonprofit cooperative corporation. The incorporation papers for the new entity, the Cooperative Corporation of .ORG Registrants, were filed in California. The goal of the group is not only to persuade the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which oversees internet domain names, to stop the sale. It is also to persuade ICANN to hand it the management of dot-org instead. “This is a better alternative,” said Esther Dyson, who served as the first chair of ICANN, from 1998 to 2000, and is one of seven directors of the new cooperative. “If you’re owned by private equity, your incentive is to make a profit. Our incentive is to serve and protect nonprofits and the public.”
“There is a common good here that is at risk of being undermined,” said William Woodcock, a director of the cooperative, who is the executive director of the Packet Clearing House, a nonprofit that provides internet operational support for domains. The cooperative corporation, which would run dot-org, collect fees and distribute savings back to the nonprofit users, is an “alternative model with a long-term commitment to the open and noncommercial internet,” said Katherine Maher, a director who is the chief executive of the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit parent of Wikipedia.
Inside the Billion-Dollar Battle Over .Org ICANN’s founding chairman joins the battle to keep .org out of private hands (The Verge)