Ethos to Make Legally Binding .Org Commitments

Ethos Capital published a press release today with several announcements regarding the .Org registry and the commitments that company will make should its acquisition of PIR go through. In addition, the company announced that it agreed to extend ICANN’s review period to March 20th.

In response to feedback Ethos received from many different interest groups, I was told by an Ethos PR representative that Ethos will be “embedding its commitments on pricing, censorship and data use policies in a legally-binding contract between PIR and ICANN (called a “PIC”), which gives ICANN and the community the ability to enforce those commitments.”

Because ICANN removed price caps, one of the concerns was that the price of .org domain names could be increased considerably in the wake of this deal. One of the commitments in the PIC is related to the wholesale pricing of .org domain names:

“Affordability of .ORG Domain Names: Fees charged to registrars for initial or renewal registration of a .ORG domain name will not increase by more than 10% per year on average for eight years from the start of the current Registry Agreement, under a precise formula that does not permit front-loading of those price increases. Through this commitment, .ORG will become one of the only TLDs to have a price restriction and it will remain one of the most affordable domains in the world.”

I believe the wholesale cost of .org domain names is $9.93 right now. If the registry would increase rates by 10% each year, the wholesale cost would more than double over the eight year time period in the PIC. I would imagine stakeholders will also be concerned about what happens after after eight years which aren’t contractually capped via the PIC. That being said, since ICANN removed price caps for .org domain names, whatever entity that operates the .org registry could increase prices as it wishes.

In a tweet this morning, PIR announced a community discussion with PIR, Ethos, and Internet Society next Thursday, February 27th at 3pm Eastern. I am sure there will be ample discussion about these commitments:

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. As we saw in the gtld contracts, these guys are great at using loopholes to get around commitments.

    Not worth the paper it is written on, once anything is completed, they will use loopholes to rip it up.

  2. Greedy people .I hope it fails and all those involved cry.You remove a price cap and then make a deal .How do you expect anyone to believe this isnt to line up your personal pockets. Wish all those involved have their pictures pasted for all to see.

      • They can call domain investors anything .If you offer me $1000 on an on investment of $6.99 within one year,I guess you can call me greedy if i say no and want 5 figures. I see a long term investment of my $6.99 yielding 6 figures when the market takes off so dont blame me if you dont see what I see with my investment.

        Some who invest on some stocks at $30 and didnt sell when others were selling when shares went up to $500 per share but believed it would go up $2000 per share shows you,we all dont have the same mindset.

        I can clearly tell you,I have refused mid 4 figures and know others who have refused $100k on offers on their mid 4 figure purchase.I see you compare domainers to what ethos is doing.They removed a cap and next thing its sold to ethos.So tell me how this compares to a domainer?Thats my point.

      • You just can’t help yourself, Elliot, even when it’s against your own interests. You’re just an establishment friend kind of guy.

  3. I believe Ethos was prepared to do this all along as the money isn’t in the reg fees, it’s in add on services.- huge!

    An even bigger issue is a legacy tld being transformed into an asset that can be sold, and it’s original intent transmuted.

    Preserve the history of the legacies!

    All legacy contracts should contain a clause that any submittal for change in control automatically triggers public bid for contract right to operate as stewards only.
    In the very least any change in control should be subject to ICANN’s “Criteria for Assessing Proposals”, May 2002


    • You don’t need to own a registry if all you’re interested in ‘add on services’.

      I’ve seen this posted more than a few times and it’s all just eyewash.

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