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Re: [ga-org] ORG.COOP

On Mon, 18 Jun 2001, at 12:16 [=GMT-0400], Joanna Lane wrote:
> on 6/18/01 11:27 AM, Marc Schneiders at marc@schneiders.org wrote:
> > What do you think about the idea to turn .ORG into a cooperation,
> > owned by the registrants? These would then elect the board that
> > 'rules' it. This could also function as an experiment in online
> > democracy. Elections are relatively easy to organize on the basis of
> > whois information already in place.
> Now here's an intriguing idea! But how is it structured to accomodate
> continuous expansion of share ownership? 

I am not a lawyer, but I would think that there must be possibilities
to set up a cooperative registry without 'shares'. It can be
incorporated in any country, so we would have to see what makes life
easiest and still has enough legal safeguards. 

> Is this a non-profit? 
> Why not a
> for-profit operation owned by existing Registrants?

I would think non-profit. I have the impression that anything else
will not get approved by ICANN, which sort of promised VeriSign a
An important aspect of the setup would be that the registrants/owners
would benefit from the registry doing good by lower registration fees.

> Would ICANN run the
> elections on behalf of the coop using the VeriSign $5million? If not who
> would ? (and a million other questions).....please expand.

I would say an initial board (either formed by those who take this
initiative or ICANN) organizes an election for the first 'real'
board. The $5 million are a good start for the registry, but should
not be spend on the election alone. For one thing, if there are to be
yearly elections (say for half the board or a third), then it must
really be done in a more economical way. Certainly not like the At
large, with expensive snail mail etc. In fact the voting registry is
in place: whois. The whole election can be done by email. If the email
(of the admin contact) is not working, this is just bad luck, or
rather an incentive to update it on the part of the registrant (also
very useful for not losing the domain upon expiry...).

There need not be very high startup costs, esp. not if DNS and
registration database are outsourced, either to VeriSign of another
registry (Tucows?). ORG.COOP does not want much staff. People on the
board might be used to not so expensive hotels etc. :-)

There are (were on May 16, 2001) 2,768,481 registered ORG names. This
means that if ORG.COOP would charge the same fee as VeriSign, it would
have an annual revenue of $16.6 million.

Marc Schneiders

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