Firefox developer Mozilla submits public letter of inquiry on “.org” domain sale issue

    A number of accusations have been raised about the sale of the “.org” domain, which is commonly used by nonprofits and schools, to become the one for Ethos Capital, an emerging investment firm, but there has also been a lot of criticism that the sale amount is too low. Mozilla has submitted a public questionnaire for such a “.org” domain sale issue.

 In November 2019, Internet Society (ISOC) sold Public Interest Registry (PIR), a non-profit organization that manages the “.org” domain, to Ethos Capital. In response to the sale, Internet Society (ISOC) and Ethos Capital jointly launched a website called “keypointsabout.org” to raise annual prices by 10 percent on average, to launch democratic “councils” and to focus not only on profits but also on social contributions. Mozilla, which develops and provides Firefox, submitted a public questionnaire to the claim of “keypointsabout.org”. Its contents are as follows:

1: Will PIR under Ethos Capital control be sufficient to protect the interests of the “.org” community?

2: What levels of authority and independence do the councils that are scheduled to be inaugurated have?

3: Is there a guarantee that “the promise of price increase will be kept”?

4: What mechanisms will be introduced to protect freedom of speech and other rights of “.org” users in response to government demands?

5: As you claim, when does PIR become recognized as “B corp”? If I’m not certified as a B corp, will Ethos Capital and PIR be affected?

6: Are there any measures to ensure that .org is the home of a non-profit organization?

7: Did ISOC receive multiple bids when selling PIR? If you only had a bid from Ethos Capital or would your sale be cancelled, would you like to consider other bids?

8: How long will Ethos Capital have PIR? If I were to sell PIR again, would my pledge on PIR be maintained?

9: Is there any change in the agreement between Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and PIR, which manages domain databases, that “.org” is maintained in a public-profit manner?

Lance Wiggs, a manager of The New Zealand investment firm Punakaiki Fund, who described the deal as a “really bad deal,” said to stakeholders, “Did there be a bid competition?” to show stakeholders that the deal was the best. “What advice did you receive from investment banks and others?” We urge the ISOC to announce that

Wiggs said the reason for the sale was “too low” because of the “too low sale price.” Experts have pointed out the sale price in the following articles: The sale price of the “.org” domain turned out to be more than 120 billion yen, experts point out that the sale price is “too low” – GIGAZINE

  The reason why the sales price is said to be “too low” is in the registration fee of the “.org” domain. The annual registration fee for the “.org” domain under ISOC jurisdiction was 10 dollars (about 1100 yen). Since the “.org” domain has approximately 10.5 million registrations, the current price also earns a registration fee of 150 million dollars (approximately 11 billion yen) per year, and according to the annual report, the gross margin that PIR earned in 2018 is 60 million dollars (approximately 6.5 billion yen). Because the cost of changing a domain is high, it is expected that even if Ethos Capital unilaterally raises the registration fee, the user of the “.org” domain will not move to another domain. Ethos Capital is expected to actually raise the registration fee, and in summary, “the sales price of 1.135 million dollars (approximately 125 billion yen) is too low, and the fair price is 1 billion to 2 billion dollars (11 0 billion yen to 220 billion yen)” That’s what experts are claiming. It has also been pointed out that ISOC is an organization that is only authorized to manage the ‘.org’ domain by the confidence of the Internet community and does not have authority to sell it. Explain why the person who sold the “.org” domain sold it – GIGAZINE

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