.Org Websites Face Uncertain Future

.Org Websites Face Uncertain Future

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The dot-org (.org) domain registry is set to be acquired by private equity firm Ethos Capital, a move that would turn over a part of the internet typically used by nonprofits to a for-profit enterprise. The National Council of Nonprofits is raising alarm about the deal, suggesting that, because as of this year there are no longer price caps on what .org domains could cost, charities and other community groups might see the cost of their sites skyrocket.

— Pricing out nonprofits: “We’re looking at back-to-back events that, when put together, equal a pretty high likelihood that domain names are about to get much more expensive for nonprofits,” said Rick Cohen, the council’s chief operating officer. “First you take away the pricing caps that had been on the .org domains for more than 30 years and then you have the sale of the .org domain registry to private equity — private equity doesn’t get involved just to keep prices the same; they get involved because they see an opportunity to make a profit.” With more than 10 million .org domains registered, Cohen said, “for every dollar in price increases, that’s more than $10 million that’s being diverted from charitable work to the pockets of private investors.”

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