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I’m puzzled how CNN managed to put a story together without checking in with anyone who knew anything about the subject matter, or even the general field of the subject matter. Or doing any fact-checking. Even on the headline. cnn.com/2019/11/27/tec…
Ok, let's tackle this, as an exercise in public education.

First, the headline: A private equity firm is NOT buying all the .org domains. It's buying PIR, the organization to which the .org _top level_ domain is currently delegated. It will not own .org, nor its subdomains.
No, this move will not "shake up the Internet." There are 1,517 top-level domains, and .org is just one of them. Only a small portion (about 10 million) of the world's second-level domains are in .org. It's less than two-thirds the size of .de, the German TLD, for instance.
Ethos Capital is not "buying the company that owns every .org domain on the web." First of all, domains are registered, not owned. If you stop paying registration fees, they disappear into the ether. No one company owns them or controls them.
If the deal is allowed to proceed, what Ethos will be buying is PIR, the Public Interest Registry, which actually benefits ISOC, rather than the public, but that's another story. It's the current delegate of the .org TLD, but that could change in the future.
Unfortunately, in a bout of insider self-dealing, ICANN renewed PIR's contract for ten years, a far longer term than in the past, immediately before all this came to pass, at the same time that they lifted the $10 annual price cap.
That latter is some astoundingly bad optics, but what it actually means is that the price _might_ go up to $12, or if they go really crazy, $15. Per year. The only people who'd wind up paying more than $2-$5 per year difference are domain squatters. And they can go to hell.
So, back to the CNN piece: Nonprofits do NOT "make up the majority of the .org domains." Only 1%, actually. So all this faux-outrage really isn't actually about starving nonprofits. It's astroturfing by domain squatters. If nonprofits had a problem, I'd know. I run several.
PIR was NOT created "to assign one specific organization to manage the top-level .org domain." That had already been the case for 18 years. PIR was created to bid for control of the .org revenue stream as a cash-cow to support ISOC.
Prior to PIR's creation, .org was run by Network Solutions, a for-profit company which, ironically, actually ran it FOR NON PROFITS, without trying to maximize profits. It's under PIR that it became 99% for-profit, and 1% non-profit.
Verisign DID NOT "own the Public Interest Registry from 1995 to 2003." PIR did not exist prior to 2002, and Verisign has never owned PIR. In fact, PIR in its current state cannot be owned, because it was incorporated as a not-for-profit. It has to be converted before the sale.
PIR is NOT "one of the [Ethos'] first investments." Ethos has not done anything yet. If the sale goes forward, PIR will be Ethos' only investment at that point in time. Though I don't guess this really matters one way or other.
So, those are things CNN would have found out if they'd fact-checked before hitting the "post" button.
Sorry, to clarify, the price can go up by up to 10% per year. So, in the first year, the price could go up to a maximum of $11. In five years, it could be a maximum of $16. I guess that's keeping up with inflation, but it's certainly not putting anybody out of business.
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