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[nc-org] Final Report on ORG Divestiture, v 4.3

This is it folks. I will send this to 
the Names Council for consideration at
its December meeting. Thanks for all 
your contributions.


Statement of Policy (v 4.3, December 1, 2001)

1. The .org TLD Should be a Sponsored, 
Unrestricted Domain.

The new .org TLD should be sponsored but no 
eligibility restrictions should be imposed on 
prospective registrants.

Sponsored domains are normally associated with 
smaller TLDs that impose restrictions on who can
register within them. The DNSO proposes a new
and unique status for the .org TLD: a combination 
of sponsorship and unrestricted eligibility. This 
arrangement provides the optimal trade-off 
between maintaining a distinct identity for the 
.org TLD and keeping the registration process 
affordable, easy to administer, and responsive to 
highly varied end-user demands that may be 
difficult to classify.

Unrestricted eligibility is required because: 
 The population of the .org TLD is already mixed, 
 and it would be costly and destabilizing to evict 
 thousands of current registrants 
 There is no clear, simple, easily applied and 
  globally applicable definition of "noncommercial" 
 End user self-selection of TLDs has already done a 
  reasonably good job of giving the .org TLD a 
  distinct identity, despite certain registrar 
  marketing practices 

Sponsorship is beneficial because it can give the 
noncommercial Internet community greater 
influence over: 
 The image of the .org domain presented to the domain 
  name-using public
 The distribution of any surplus revenues generated
  by the registration business
 Contracts with registrars
 The selection of the management personnel.

2. Guidelines for Sponsorship

2a. Definition of the .org cmmunity
Each candidate Sponsoring Organization (SO) 
should include in its application a definition of the 
relevant community for which names in the .org TLD 
are intended, detailing the types of registrants
who constitute the target market for .org, and 
proposing marketing and branding practices oriented
toward that community. The marketing practices 
should not encourage defensive or duplicative 

Regarding the definition of the relevant community, 
the definition should include not only formal 
noncommercial and non-profit organizations, but 
individuals and groups seeking an outlet for 
noncommercial expression and information 
exchange, unincorporated cultural, educational 
and political organizations, and business 
partnerships with non-profits and community 
groups for social initiatives.

2b. Definition of marketing practices
Regarding marketing and branding practices, the
sponsoring organization should propose specific
practices designed to differentiate the domain, 
promote and attract registrations from the defined 
community, and minimize defensive registrations. 
Such practices may include accreditation of 
registrars, co-marketing campaigns, or other methods. 
DNSO policy favors marketing proposals that promote 
and enhance differentiation while minimizing 
bureaucracy, enforcement costs, and restrictions on 
registrars. DNSO policy prohibits onerous 
accreditation fees or any other new financial barriers 
to registrars unrelated to marketing policy 

3. Unrestricted Eligibility
With a definition of the served community and 
appropriate marketing practices in place, the 
sponsoring organization and the registrars should 
rely entirely on end-user choice to determine who 
registers in .org.

Specifically, the new entity:

 Must not evict existing registrants who do not 
  conform to its target community. The transition 
  must make it clear at the outset that current 
  registrants will not have their registrations
 cancelled nor will they be denied the opportunity to 
  renew their names or transfer them to others.

 Must not attempt to impose any new prior 
  restrictions on people or organizations attempting 
  to register names 

 Should not adopt, or be required by ICANN to adopt, 
  any new dispute initiation procedures that could 
  result in the cancellation of domain delegations. 
  The UDRP would apply as per section 6 below, however.

4. Characteristics of the Sponsoring Organization
Administration of the .org TLD should be delegated 
to a non-profit Sponsoring Organization (SO) with 
international support and participation from current
.org registrants and non-commercial organizations 
inside and outside of the ICANN process. It should be 
authorized to contract with commercial service 
providers to perform technical and service functions. 
Either new or existing organizations should be 
eligible to apply to become the SO. 

Applicants for the SO should propose policies and 
practices supportive of non-commercial participants in 
the ICANN process. 

The DNSO requires SO applicants to propose governance 
structures that provide current .org registrants with 
the opportunity to directly participate in the 
selection of officers and/or policy-making council 

Selection criteria for a Sponsoring Organization (SO):

 Can the SO demonstrate support from a) existing .org 
registrants and b) a broad spectrum of noncommercial 
organizations and groups? Is the support 
internationally distributed to a sufficient degree? In 
assessing support, the evaluation must include 
organizational and individual endorsements as well as 
SO Board selections.

 Is the SO a stable and responsible non-profit organization? 

 Do the SO's proposed registration policies maintain 
unrestricted eligibility for end users, as required by 
the DNSO policy document? 

 Does the proposal contain a clear, workable and 
forward-looking vision of the targeted community 
of .org regstrants? Is the definition broad and 
inclusive, as required by the DNSO policy?
 Will the marketing and branding practices proposed 
reach the targeted community and encourage registrars 
not to promote duplicative and defensive registrations?

 Does the SO have established relationships with 
providers of technical-operational services, and are 
those providers capable of supporting the required 
scale of operations, accounting for the possibility of 

 If the SO does not have established relationships 
with providers, has it prepared a set of criteria for 
selecting them that is sufficiently well thought out 
and detailed to be confident of successful 

5. The Registry Operator
Any entity chosen by the Sponsoring Organization
to operate the .org registry must function efficiently 
and reliably and show its commitment to a high quality 
of service for all .org users worldwide, including a 
commitment to making registration, assistance and 
other services available in different time zones and 
different languages. The price of registration 
proposed by the new entity should be as low as 
feasible consistent with the maintenance of good 
quality service.

6. ICANN Policies
TLD administration must adhere to policies defined 
through ICANN processes, such as policies regarding 
registrar accreditation, shared registry access, 
dispute resolution, and access to registration contact 
data. The new entity must not alter the technical 
protocols it uses in ways that would impair the 
ability of accredited registrars to sell names to end 

7. Follow Up
ICANN will provide an opportunity for the .org TLD 
DNSO Task Force to review the request for proposals 
(RFP) prepared by the ICANN staff prior to its public 
dissemination, and will adjust the RFP as needed
in consultation with the Task Force to ensure 
compliance with the policy. There will be only one 
review cycle. DNSO policy opposes the use of 
application fees as a method ofarbitrarily limiting 
the number of applications or of financing ICANN.

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