The non-profit company Public Interest Registry (PIR), which operates the .org domain, is sold to the previously unknown financial investor Ethos Capital, The PIR itself was founded by the Internet Society and belonged to this until the now announced sale. The Internet Society is the umbrella organization for many other organizations involved in the development and operation of the Internet, such as IANA and ICANN, or IAB, IETF and IRTF.
Very little is known about the new owners of PIR. The website of the company just lists the two founders. The current CEO Erik Brooks has been active as a financial investor for more than two decades. The second founding director, Nora Abusitta-Ouri, known as Chief Purpose Officer, previously worked at ICANN for several years.
The .org TLD is considered to be one of the best known and most widespread of all, apart from the well-known country TLDs. The use is primarily aimed at charitable organizations. Many open source projects also use the TLD. The previous operation by a non-profit company can therefore be described as suitable. However, since the PIR now belongs to an investor who apparently pursues profit intentions, it is still unclear what this means for domain owners.
Price increases for users possible
After all, registries have a kind of natural monopoly, since only they can ultimately give domain names for their respective TLD. In addition, clubs or other organizations are very difficult to separate from their very long-used domains at all, which can be considered in the current situation as a very difficult dependency relationship.
Previously, the price structure for .org domains was capped with a maximum amount. However, ICANN lifted these price limits in the summer, ignoring the overwhelmingly negative criticism of the plans. The next step, to sell the registry to an investor in which a former ICANN employee is involved, acts in this regard, at least suspicious.
Although the PIR itself had promised this year to continue to work closely with the community and currently no price increases plan; Whether this remains the case with the new owner, or if the domain owners are threatened with price increases, must be seen.