PIR and Ethos Capital, as well as ISOC, have obviously been coming under a lot of pressure since the announcement of the sale of PIR and the .org domain registry. Since the announcement of the acquisition there has been coverage not only in the domain and internet industry news sites, but also in more mainstream publications. As I mentioned yesterday a group of nonprofits also launched a petition and letter campaign.
This afternoon Ethos Capital and its partners put out a press release to address some of the key concerns being voiced by many people, namely the concern about future pricing of .org domain names:
Ethos is committed to keeping .ORG accessible and reasonably priced for all, in line with PIR’s longstanding purpose-driven mission.
The current price of a .ORG domain name is approximately $10. Our plan is to live within the spirit of historic practice when it comes to pricing, which means, potentially, annual price increases of up to 10 percent on average – which today would equate to approximately $1 per year.
With this construct, .ORG will continue to be one of the most affordable domain names on the market.
We are enthusiastic about the opportunity to provide enhanced services and support to the .ORG user community, and are committed to maintaining .ORG’s position as the unparalleled home to purpose-driven organizations on the Internet.
They’ve also launched a site which contains several FAQ style points under the quite aptly named “Key Points About .org“.
A couple of interesting takeaways, in my view, from the new site:
- Ethos Capital have invested in several other companies to date, namely VidMob Inc., Whistle Sports Inc., Adhark Inc. and LiquidX Inc.
- Negotiations with ISOC didn’t start until September of this year, which is a couple of months after the new .org contract was agreed.
- Abry Partners, the company that bought Donuts, aren’t involved.
- Fadi Chehade, the former CEO of ICANN, is an advisor to Ethos Capital (no surprise there!). Bear in mind he left ICANN more than 3 years ago.
There’s a few other points that they’ve made in the FAQs so it might be worth reading them in their entirety.
Personally I’m glad to see them breaking the silence at last. In the vacuum of their silence since the initial announcement it was far too easy for people to jump to conclusions, start rumours or generally control the dialogue. While some people will still have concerns about various aspects of how this entire thing played out hopefully the greater clarity will assuage some people’s concerns.