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:
“In connection with the renewal of the .org Registry Agreement, ICANN and Public Interest Registry have agreed to implement the incorporation of unique legacy-related terms of .org through an “Addendum” to the Registry Agreement. The Addendum will amend the terms of the .org Registry Agreement. Where the Addendum provides for a different formulation of a provision, the provision in the Addendum will control. Similarly, where the Addendum states that a provision will have “no force or effect”, the referenced provision in the Registry Agreement will be considered not applicable. The terms of the Addendum will not be affected by future global amendments under Sections 7.6 or 7.7 of the existing Base gTLD Registry Agreement, which will enable future global amendments to proceed while preserving the unique terms applicable to the .org TLD. If an amendment is approved under Sections 7.6 or 7.7 that would amend or modify any terms of the .org Registry Agreement that are modified by the Addendum, ICANN and Public Interest Registry have agreed in the Addendum to (i) enter into good faith discussions regarding whether an amendment to the Addendum is appropriate in light of the global amendment and (ii) mutually agree on an appropriate amendment to the Addendum of the .org Registry Agreement.”
Shortly after the announcement was published, the Internet Commerce Association (ICA), which had advocated against the removal of price caps, published a fiery blog post about the decision:
“The Internet Commerce Association (ICA) is profoundly disturbed by ICANN’s decision to remove price caps on .org domain names despite the groundswell of opposition from stakeholders.”
The ICA lambasted ICANN for this:
“Apparently the ICANN Board allowed ICANN Staff to proceed to execute the renewal agreement without any concern over registrant interests, despite the ICA bringing this issue directly to its attention. The decision to ignore ICANN stakeholders in apparent total disregard for its self-professed “bottom-up multi-stakeholder model” is of great concern and calls into question ICANN’s ability to govern the domain name system in the public interest.”
It remains to be seen if PIR, the operator of the .org registry, will end up raising prices or not. Should it choose do so beyond the occasional relatively small increment, I am sure there will be further outcry from registrants.