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    I don’t support ICANN’s idea to unilaterally sell the .org registry to hell knows whom. However, while I’m a .org domain registrant and not a libertatian type, I feel like the issue may be a bit overblown.

    Quoting from the Namecheap’s blog.

    Using a .org domain name is critical to a nonprofit: it is well-known, safe, and trusted.

    Most users don’t care about domains, and don’t even look at URLs. They just enter “$organizationName” in their browser’s default search engine. Those that do care know how to verify site authenticity and know not to rely on the TLD as an indication of anything.

    If prices increase too much, registrants might abandon using a domain name in order to use another platform with price certainty. This includes relying solely on social media or mobile apps.

    Unless we are talking about .rich and .xxx, the domain is a tiny fraction of website maintenance costs anyway.

    the cost and risk of moving to another TLD (e.g. losing search engine rankings, notifying the public of the new TLD, etc)

    The cost of having a 301 Moved Permanently redirect for the time needed for search engines to learn about the new domain… isn’t too high. As of notifying the public, the first point applies.

    we cannot understand why ICANN ignored the overwhelming voice of the Internet community

    Has it ever listened to anyone at all? ;)

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      The actual scary part is not about some HTTP site having to redirect. A domain name is an identity. I’ve been using softwaremaniacs.org for my personal email (and everything else) for about 15 years. I’m not a business, and if this domain is going to suddenly start being treated as such and the price increases 10-fold, I will have to pay. Because otherwise I’m going to use my primary contact and someone else who will have bought this domain name will be able to read my email and impersonate me.

      So no, it’s not just a slight inconvenience.

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        Possibility of impersonation is a fair point. I would be curious to see how many people actually use custom domain for email—my feeling is that it’s not that many, and the number of people who can leave relatively easily if they don’t like the new price makes increasing it not just morally questionable, but also economically infeasible.

        This discussion can be settled with a relatively simple crawling experiment, of course, maybe we should even do it.

        But then, the post-2012 TLDs are a free market, and so far it seems to work and keep prices in check, unlike healthcare that is heavily regulated.

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          I use penguindreams.org for my primary professional email. I combined all my sites last year, so the site itself is a redirect. Although I self-host my e-mail now, I use to have this domain on Gmail. So if there was a sudden price spike, I would probably have to pay for a year of it at least … and I don’t want to abandon that name. It’s a good damn name! I’d want to sell it at least. I’ve had one domain go for $10k (six letter dot.com). I was young when I sold it and still kinda regret it. And I’d have to use a registrar’s market place to sell it I’m sure. I can’t have a for-sale banner up if all the old addresses are re-directing. And then at that point, all the old links to it would break too.

          I dunno. Not only would it suck if you had a .org that wasn’t a non-profit, it would also mean non-profits would be dumping more administrative money into their domain name. Even currently, very little of the money you donate to non-profits go to the end cause (1/3 if you’re lucky) due to all the administrative costs. This is going to make that problem worse too.

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        Most users don’t care about domains, and don’t even look at URLs. They just enter “$organizationName” in their browser’s default search engine. Those that do care know how to verify site authenticity and know not to rely on the TLD as an indication of anything.

        Scary because it’s true. People click on facebook-login.com and the like without even thinking.

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          The cost of having a 301 Moved Permanently

          DNS names are used for more than just HTTP. E-Mail is obviously not so easy to migrate to a new domain. Also DNS names are used as coordinate for artifacts produced by e.g. maven. But yes, if you only has a website under that name, migration is probably cheap and trivial.

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            My point is that if the new registrar raises prices to an unacceptable level, people and organizations will start leaving en masse, starting with the smallest one who usually don’t run their own email setup, much less a CI infrastructure.

            Competition from newer, cheaper TLDs also makes significant price increase a bad move.

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              Do you also happen to believe in “free market” by any chance? If yes, ask people who have to pay for HIV suppressants or regular insulin injections how they feel about leaving this optional habit in hopes that a new, cheaper alternative appears in some future. (Also, I have a bridge to sell you.)

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                One point I wanted to make but forgot: since ICANN can make those decisions without consulting with anyone, and all registrants and resellers can do is petition, it’s already free market. They just didn’t exercise their right to remove price caps or sell the .org registry to anyone before for whatever reason.

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                  There is no such thing as a free-market. Markets always require a state to exist (read Debt the First 5,000 Years by David Graber). Capitalism itself requires regulation so people play by a baseline set of rules. Without it you get company stores/coal mines and a legal slave trade.

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                so they will raise prices/collect data as much as possible without losing a significant customer base, and use their profits to pursue methods to increase the threshold.