Good News! You Helped Save The .Org Registry From A Private Equity Takeover

Back in November, 2019 I published an action alert about an attempt by a private equity firm to purchase the .org registry. This would mean all the nonprofit organizations that rely on the registry to maintain affordable registration rates would have gone up in smoke.

Thankfully, a large coalition of voices helped persuade the Internet Corp for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) from going through with the deal.

It’s tough to underscore just how important of a win this was. If you need reassurance, look at how gizmodo.com described the outcome. They certainly didn’t pull any punches when it came to their feelings about the private equity firm seeking to purchase the rights (emphasis added):

Something good has happened for once: The Internet Corp for Assigned Names and Numbers voted to block its partner organization, the Internet Society, from selling off control over the .org domain registry to private equity goons in a deal opposed by virtually everyone who wouldn’t have an opportunity to cash in.

Ethos Capital, a firm which reportedly only had two employees as of last December but was backed by a number of greater vampires…had offered ISOC a mind-boggling $1.13 billion to sell it the Public Interest Registry, which controls .org domain registration and collects associated fees.

If you chipped in back in November then you deserve a hardy attaboy and I hope you relish in the satisfaction that yes, making your voice heard does matter.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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