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Re: Keep .org Non-Commercial
Mr. Gellens' comments below are valid concerns, but I think they
require some evaluation of the situation.
The .org domain includes non-profit organizations. Non-profit means
incorporated. These are not necessarily non-commercial. The .org
domains are the proper place for them.
I suggest that what is needed is an explicitly non-commercial top
level domain and an official redefinition of .org.
A top level domain for individuals' vanity domains and small groups
with no commercial interests would serve to differentiate these. Any
individual or small group that desires association with commercial
entities could of course apply for a .com or .org domain name.
Redefintion of .org to be the choice for non-profit corporations
wouldn't necessitate many changes on users parts. The majority of
poeople (if not domains) which carry .org on their addresses belong to
The majority of changes would be individuals and small groups, and
these would be voluntary. If the move were offered so as to place them
on a list of those not interested in commercial contact, i.e. people
for whom "targeted marketing" holds no interest, dollars to donuts
you'd have a flood of top level change requests as these people seek a
possible haven from spam.
According to the Washington Post, NSI and the new players are
squabbling over rights to NSI's mailing list, ostensibly so they can
start a spam war to attract users' registrations. NSI has already
spammed. The others will too. And if these groups can, so can others.
A STRICTLY private/non-commercial top level will add another layer of
explication against this practice, and will make it easier for
individuals and organizations to make crystal clear that the
commercial e-mail they receive is unsolicited.
This also leaves open the possibility for charging more for business
related domain names. Businesses, even non-profit ones, can write off
domain registry as part of the cost of doing business. Individuals
If a top level domain is too much trouble just to protect users from
spam, then how about just a field added to the databases, such as:
COMMERCIAL CONTACT ALLOWED: [Y/N]
That would apply to the registry organizations as well as spammers who
harvest from them. No, it won't stop them, but it would provide a
public repository of this data, much as the TCPA provided for the
creation of a "do not send" database for junk faxes. If this
information is publically available, there's less defense available to
spammers. If this can be done by the net, there's less reason for the
government to be directly involved. I'm pretty sure only the
government would think this is a bad thing.
[Quoted prior message follows]
>From: Randall Gellens <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 16:37:12 -0700
>Currently, many large ISPs and others who offer domain-name
>registration assistance encourage customers to register in .net or
>.org if their desired domain is not available in .com.
>I urge ICANN to stop this pollution of the important distinction
>between the top-level domains. The difference between a commercial
>and non-commercial entity is very important, and should not be
>The issue of .net is somewhat trickier, since many ISPs could
>legitimately use either .com or .net, but it would be helpful to have
>guidelines on proper use of .net, to keep it from becoming just
>another .com. Certainly ICANN should prohibit commercial
>organization from using .org, and should have some rules on .net as