The sale of PIR (.org) which was announced last week has generated a LOT of interest. Both Kevin at DomainIncite and Andrew over at DomainNameWire have written extensively in the last few days digging into various aspects of the sale which I’d recommend you read.
The latest salvo comes from the Internet Commerce Association (ICA) who have written to ICANN’s Board demanding that they block the sale.
The letter (PDF) references various clauses in the PIR contract with ICANN to run .org and demands that ICANN not approve the change of control.
Some of the assertions in the letter are a little hyperbolic like the one below:
Crucial policy decisions that have billion-dollar ramifications and which affect the stability of the Internet must be the subject of robust Board involvement and not left to ICANN staff
Being bluntly honest about it, the likelihood of ICANN’s Board paying much attention to this demand is pretty slim. It’d be opening Pandora’s box for ICANN to start getting involved in these kind of sales. Bear in mind the transaction is the sale of PIR as an entity and not the reassignment or sale of the .org contract.
The ICANN Board isn’t going to get involved in contract negotiations like the .org contract renewal and while some people might be worried about price increases in .org that is not going to impact the stability of the internet.
If ICANN were to get embroiled in every change of control type scenario then things would get incredibly messy and it really wouldn’t be doing anyone any favours.