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.Org Deal: Esther Dyson is “Appalled”

There has been a lot of coverage of the news that Public Interest Registry (PIR), operator of the .org registry, is going to be acquired by a private equity firm called Ethos Capital. Many of these articles have been highly critical of the announced deal. Here are a handful of the articles and blog posts I have seen that were written in the wake of the PIR / .org acquisition announcement:

ICA Responds to Rick Schwartz Call for Action

Earlier this morning, Rick Schwartz posted an “Emergency Industry Alert in the form of a tweet to generate awareness for a proposal from an ICANN Working Group that could be problematic for domain investors. In his tweet, Rick issued a call to action to the Internet Commerce Association (ICA):

Brands & Domains 2019 Event in Montreal

Brands & Domains 2019 is a domain industry event focused on .Brand domain names. The event is being organized by the Brand Registry Group (BRG), “an association of companies and organisations working together to champion the use of brand top-level domains.” Brands & Domains 2019 will be taking place in Montreal, Canada on November 7th at Le Westin MontrĂ©al. The event coincides with the ICANN66 meeting also being held in Montreal.

Here’s a description of the event, from the event ticketing page:

Nominet Reappointed as EBERO Provider

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On a number of occasions, readers have asked what happens to a registry’s domain names should the registry go out of business. Domain registrants have a business relationship with a registrar, but the registry actually manages the extension. For instance, Verisign operates the .com registry and Donuts operates the .Ventures registry. ICANN has a back-up plan in place in the event a registry goes out of business or otherwise fails, and there are three registries that are approved by ICANN to step-in if/when necessary.

Nominet reached out to me to share a press release announcing it was re-appointed to serve as one of ICANN’s three EBERO operators. EBERO stands for Emergency Back-End Registry Operators. If a new gTLD registry fails, one of the three EBERO operators will be selected by ICANN to step in an take over the management of the registry.

Prank Almost Led to $150k Lawsuit Due to Domain Name Lock

Vice published a story about a guy who tricked his friends into thinking he was arrested. To pull off the prank, he registered a domain name that was similar to the local news website, and he made his site look nearly identical to the news website. The prank went viral, and he was threatened with litigation related to the domain name registration and usage.

Have a look at this story and see how ICANN’s 60 day transfer lock on this new GoDaddy domain name registration caused quite a bit of fear for this prankster:

In the end, it looks like the news station decided to file a UDRP to take control of the domain name, and it prevailed in this 2016 proceeding.

ICA Lambasts ICANN After .Org Price Caps Removed

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After a comment period which drew feedback from thousands of people and organizations that opposed the removal of price caps for the .org registry, ICANN announced that the .org registry agreement was renewed. ICANN released this news during its ICANN65 meeting in Marrakech, Morocco last night.

Here’s an excerpt from the news bulletin from ICANN:

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