OPEN MEDIA: Non Profits threatened by corporate take over of .org

Should a private equity firm decide which nonprofits get to use .ORG? Time is running out to speak out against the sale of the .ORG domain registry to Ethos Capital, an investment firm looking to turn a profit off every nonprofit in the world.

Right now, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is considering allowing the Internet Society (ISOC) to sell its Public Interest Registry (PIR)—the nonprofit entity that runs the .ORG domains—to a private equity firm for $1.1 billion.

We only have until May 4th to convince ICANN that the sale is a threat to the countless nonprofits that rely on the .ORG domain and to stop Ethos Capital from raising the price of hosting these websites, and from getting into the business of censoring them.

If enough of us speak out, we can pressure ICANN to stop this sale from going through. Sign the petition calling on ICANN to stop the sale of .ORG!

The potential sale comes just after ICANN changed the .ORG registry agreement by removing price caps1. The private equity firm, Ethos Capital, will go into $300 million of debt if the deal goes through, forcing them to raise the price of .ORG domains for the countless nonprofits that rely on this domain to host their websites.

The sale also creates dangerous new ways of limiting speech online. Currently, the nonprofit that controls .ORG does so in the public interest. The sale to Ethos Capital will allow for new forms of online censorship for nonprofits and charities through the threat of suspending their domains2

Imagine if your favourite .ORG websites were suddenly gone because they couldn’t afford to help pay off the debt owed by a for-profit company, or because that company could make more money by censoring them? 

Sign the petition and tell ICANN that Internet users are against the sale of the PIR—the nonprofit that runs the .ORG domain registry—to a private equity firm. We can’t allow a for profit company to control how charities and nonprofits do their work and communicate online.

Sign the Petition

Let’s not allow a private equity firm to use nonprofits as cash cows by dictating the price of .ORG domains and by having control over what they say online –

Thanks for helping to keep the internet free and open,
Bryan, on behalf of OpenMedia


  1. The org that doles out .org websites just sold itself to a for-profit company – The Verge
  2. We Need To Save .ORG From Arbitrary Censorship By Halting the Private Equity Buy-Out – EFF