An Open Letter to the .ORG Community

Dear .ORG Community:

Now that the ICANN public comment period has expired on the proposed .ORG Registry Agreement renewal, we would like to respond to some concerns that have been raised about moving .ORG to the standard registry agreement.

It was important for us to fully understand the opinions and insights offered to ensure we were as inclusive as possible with our response to you. It was equally important to us to preserve the integrity of the ICANN public comment process. We didn’t want our response to shape or impact any of the important and critical discussions around the proposed agreement. It is now time to respond to you – our .ORG Community.

We Stand Beside You

The .ORG Community always is considered in every decision we make here at Public Interest Registry. Rest assured, we will not raise prices unreasonably.  In fact, we currently have no specific plans for any price increases for .ORG. We simply are moving to the standard registry agreement with all of its applicable provisions that already is in place for more than 1,200 other top-level domain extensions.

Under the current .ORG Registry Agreement, Public Interest Registry has had the ability to annually raise prices 10% per year. Despite that ability, we have not raised our prices for the last three years.

We also want to mention that you, our end users, are protected in the registry agreement in case of any sensible future price increases. You would receive six-months’ notice of any increase from your registrar (the company where you registered your domain) with the ability to lock in your pricing at the then current rate for the next 10 years without any price fluctuation. Also, keep in mind that .ORG is constrained by the competitive market; we cannot dramatically increase prices for .ORG, as we recognize and understand that both our .ORG end users and our .ORG registrars would turn away from .ORG.

To our valued registrar partners, we stand behind you and recognize that a dramatic price increase for .ORG would adversely impact you and your ability to effectively work with .ORG registrants. Such an increase is not in your interest, and that is another reason it is not in our interests either. We appreciate the constructive and thoughtful comments we received from our registrar friends on this front.

We are Mission Based, Like the .ORG Community

Public Interest Registry is the non-profit registry operator behind .ORG. We are different. We are mission based and not every decision is a financial one; we are not just driven by the “bottom line.”

It is important to note what Public Interest Registry does with the funds it raises through .ORG registrations. More than 50 cents of every dollar that currently comes into Public Interest Registry already goes directly to fund the Internet Society and its incredible work. If there are any sensible future price increases, obviously no proceeds would go towards bolstering Public Interest Registry’s share price (remember, we are a nonprofit), but instead would fund projects that do good work for the Internet, such as providing a more accessible and more secure Internet around the world.

Public Interest Registry has served as the Registry Operator for .ORG for more than 15 years, and .ORG is what it is today because of you.  PIR is extraordinarily proud of our .ORGs and your good work, and we will never betray the trust that you have put into .ORG and us. Our stewardship of .ORG will continue in the exact same thoughtful and responsible manner as we have conducted ourselves to this point.

Thank you,

The PIR Team