[nc-org] Final Draft (v 5.4)
NAMES COUNCIL .ORG DIVESTITURE TASK FORCE
v 5.4 (January 10, 2002)
The .org registry should be operated for the benefit of the worldwide
community of organizations, groups, and individuals engaged in
noncommercial communication via the Internet. Responsibility for .org
administration should be delegated to a non-profit organization that has
widespread support from and acts on behalf of that community.
The notions of sponsorship and restriction, as applied elsewhere in the
gTLD process, do not provide an adequate framework for the .org
practices will be necessary but this must not result divestiture. Some clear statement of administrative and marketing practices will be necessary,
but this must not result in an exclusive boundary being set around the
community of eligible registrants. The manner in which the normative
guidelines are labeled is not a primary consideration, but the framework
should include all the points below.
1. Characteristics of the Organization to Administer .org
1a. The initial delegation of the .org TLD should be to a non-profit
organization that is noncommercial in orientation and the initial board of
which includes substantial representation of noncommercial .org
registrants. We recognize that noncommercial registrants do not have
uniform views about policy and management, and that no single
organization can fully encompass the diversity of global civil society.
Nevertheless, applicant organizations should be able to demonstrate
international support and participation from a significant number of
noncommercial .org registrants. The organization's policies and practices
should strive to be responsive to and supportive of the noncommercial
Internet user community, and reflect as much of its diversity as possible.
While the initial delegation should be to an organization that meets the
criteria described above, the ongoing governance arrangements should be
open to any .org registrant.
1b. Applicants for operation of the .org registry should be recognized non-
profit entities (understood to include corporations, associations,
partnerships or cooperatives as those terms are defined in the legal
jurisdiction in which the organization is established). Subcontracting of
operational functions to for-profit providers is permitted.
1c. Applicants are encouraged to propose governance structures for the
.org TLD that provide all .org registrants with the opportunity to either
directly participate in the selection of officers, or the election of policy-
making council members, or both. The bylaws should provide explicitly for
an open, transparent and participatory process by which .org operating
policies are initiated, reviewed and revised in a manner which reflects the
interests of .org domain name holders and is consistent with the terms of
its registry agreement with ICANN.
1d. In order to permit the largest number of qualified non-profit
organizations to compete for award of the .org TLD contract, the Board
should require no more than the equivalent of USD$200,000 in
demonstrated financial resources from applicants.
2. Policy Guidelines for Applicants to Administer .org
2a. Definition of the .org community
Each applicant organization 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
The definition of the relevant community should be much broader than
simply formal non-profit organizations. It must also include 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
2b. No eligibility requirements
Dot org will continue to be operated without eligibility requirements. With a
definition of the served community and appropriate marketing practices in
place, the organization and the registrars should rely entirely on end-user
choice to determine who registers in .org.
* Must not propose to evict existing registrants who do not conform to its
target community. Current registrants must not have their registrations
cancelled nor should 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, or propose any new dispute
initiation procedures that could result in the cancellation of domain
delegations. The UDRP would apply as per section 5 below, however.
2c. Surplus funds
Applicants should specify how they plan to disburse any surplus funds.
Use of surplus funds for purposes not directly related to dot org registry
operation is permitted, provided that the registry operation itself is
adequately sustained and that the additional purposes bear some
relationship to Internet use, administration and policy. For example,
applicants are encouraged to propose methods of supporting and assisting
non-commercial participants in the ICANN process. Uses intended only to
subsidize other activities of the organization or its subsidiaries, activities
that are not subject to oversight and management by the .org
governance arrangements, should not be considered.
All ICANN-accredited registrars should be eligible to register names in .org.
However, applicants are encouraged to propose methods of managing the
relationship between the registry and registrars that encourage
differentiation of the domain.
2e. Definition of marketing practices
Differentiation of the domain is a key policy objective in the transition, and
new marketing practices are the primary tool for achieving that objective.
Applicants should propose specific marketing policies and practices
designed to differentiate the domain, promote and attract registrations
from the defined community, and minimize defensive and duplicative
3. The Verisign endowment
Applicants should meet all requirements needed to qualify for the $5 million
endowment from Verisign. Applications should describe how they propose
to utilize the endowment and the timing of its use.
4. The Registry Operator
Any entity chosen by the TLD delegee to operate the .org registry
(including itself) 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 to ICANN-accredited registrars in different time zones
and different languages. The ".org" registry should match or improve on
the performance specifications of the current ".org" registry. The registry
fee charged to accredited registrars should be as low as feasible
consistent with the maintenance of good quality service. The registry-
registrar protocol should either remain the same as the current ".org"
registry, or it should match the new international standard for registry-
registrar protocols being developed in the Internet Engineering Task
5. ICANN Policies
The .org administration must adhere to policies defined through ICANN
processes, such as policies regarding registrar accreditation, shared
registry access, the uniform dispute resolution policy, and access to
registration contact data via WHOIS.
6. Follow up
ICANN should invite applications from qualifying non-profit organizations
to assume responsibility for operation of the .org registry with a deadline
no later than 30 June 2002, so that an evaluation, selection and
agreement process may be completed well in advance of the 31 December
expiration of the current agreement with Verisign.
ICANN will provide an opportunity for the Names Council 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. Application fees should
be as low as possible consistent with the objective of discouraging