Screwed: .ORG gets sold to a private equity firm called Ethos Capital

I am mad so all I can say today is that we got screwed as expected. .ORG just got sold to a private equity firm called Ethos Capital. Prepare for the $200 per year .org domain.

And I blame the US for this shit show. The deep corruption in the United States society that is eroding anything in its path.

All the companies that are screwing everybody on the internet are based in the US. This is a whole scheme with ICANN, Google, Facebook, etc. trying to take over the internet from the little guy.

I am just going to receive some comments about ICANN US oversight and that. I don’t want to hear it. ICANN has a revolving door with US companies, not Russias spies or aliens. All the money from domains is flowing to US companies. Don’t even start. All this was organized 10 years ago. Do you think this just happened today? This was going to happen with US oversight or not.

And they named their company Ethos. Give me a break!

Don’t say I didn’t warn you: Wake up people! ICANN and the registries want to steal your domain names!

Read this PR bullshit below:

The Internet Society and Public Interest Registry (PIR) today announced that they have reached an agreement with Ethos Capital, under which Ethos Capital will acquire PIR and all of its assets from the Internet Society. The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of next year.

“This is an important and exciting development for both the Internet Society and Public Interest Registry,” said Andrew Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Internet Society, the organization that established Public Interest Registry. “This transaction will provide the Internet Society with an endowment of sustainable funding and the resources to advance our mission on a broader scale as we continue our work to make the Internet more open, accessible and secure – for everyone. It also aligns Public Interest Registry with Ethos Capital, a strong strategic partner that understands the intricacies of the domain industry and has the expertise, experience and shared values to further advance the goals of .ORG into the future.”

“Since the inception of Public Interest Registry, our mission has been to enable the .ORG Community to use the Internet more effectively and change the world for the better,” stated Jon Nevett, CEO of Public Interest Registry. “That will not change. We have enjoyed a long and successful relationship with the Internet Society, and are thrilled that we will be able to continue – and expand – our important work with Ethos Capital while sustaining our commitment to the .ORG Community going forward.”

Following the close of the transaction, PIR will continue to meet the highest standards of public transparency, accountability, and social performance in line with its longstanding purpose-driven mission, and will consider seeking B Corporation certification. All of PIR’s domain operations and educational initiatives will continue, and there will be no disruption of service or support to the .ORG Community or other generic top-level domains operated by the organization.

“We are excited to support PIR’s mission and build upon the incredible work it has done to promote success and positive impact for the .ORG Community,” said Erik Brooks, Founder & CEO of Ethos Capital. “As part of our commitment to setting the gold standard of registry operations, we will be establishing a Stewardship Council that will serve to uphold PIR’s core founding values and provide support through a variety of community programs.”

Mr. Brooks added: “Importantly, throughout the transition and beyond, we are committed to ensuring complete continuity of PIR’s operations and enhancing the relationships PIR has established over the years. We look forward to continuing PIR’s longstanding partnerships and vendor affiliations to ensure domain operations run smoothly and without interruption.”

Vint Cerf, former Chairman of the Board of ICANN and founding President of the Internet Society, said: “When the Internet Society won the bid to operate the .ORG registry, it enabled a productive and sustainable future for the organization. Public Interest Registry exercised its stewardship to the benefit of the registrants and the Internet Society’s mission. I am looking forward to supporting Ethos Capital and PIR in any way I can as they continue to expand the utility of the .ORG top-level domain in creative and socially responsible ways.”

PIR was established by the Internet Society in 2002 to manage and operate the .ORG domain. Since then, .ORG has risen to become the largest purpose-driven domain used by millions of organizations and others to achieve their online goals.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC is serving as financial advisor to both the Internet Society and PIR. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and Proskauer Rose LLP are serving as legal advisors to the Internet Society and PIR, respectively. Macquarie Capital is serving as financial advisor and Morrison & Foerster LLP is serving as legal advisor to Ethos Capital.

More PR BS from PIR:

Today marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the .ORG Community.  Earlier today, the Internet Society and Public Interest Registry (PIR) announced that they have reached an agreement with Ethos Capital, an investment firm that helps transform and grow companies in today’s rapidly evolving digital economy, under which Ethos Capital will acquire PIR and all of its assets from the Internet Society.

As brief background – in 2002, the Internet Society won a competitive bidding process for the .ORG registry and established PIR to manage and operate the .ORG domain.  Since that time, the Internet Society and PIR have worked to grow .ORG into the largest purpose-driven domain – used today by millions of organizations and others to achieve their online goals – and PIR’s contributions to the Internet Society have helped make the Internet more available, accessible and secure for people around the world.

This transaction aligns PIR with a strong, new strategic partner, Ethos Capital, that not only possesses a deep understanding of the intricacies of the domain industry, but also has the ideal mix of expertise, experience and shared values to further advance the goals of .ORG into the future.  As a mission-driven firm focused on the guiding values and ideals that build successful organizations and communities, Ethos Capital is committed to ensuring complete continuity of PIR’s operations, to maintaining the strong community relationships PIR has established over the years, and to continuing PIR’s longstanding partnerships and vendor affiliations to ensure domain operations run smoothly, without disruption to the .ORG Community or other generic top-level domains operated by the organization.

Once the transaction is completed, PIR will continue to meet the highest standards of public transparency, accountability, and social performance in line with its longstanding purpose-driven mission, and will consider seeking B Corporation certification.

Today’s news has tremendous benefits for both the Internet Society and PIR.  The transaction will help the Internet Society to secure its future through more stable, diversified and sustainable financial resources than it has at present, allowing the organization to plan for the long term and advance its vision of an Internet for everyone on an even broader scale.  It will also enable PIR to continue expanding its mission and important work under new ownership — including its goal of keeping .ORG accessible and reasonably priced — while further strengthening and deepening its commitment to the .ORG Community.

PIR and Ethos Capital are looking forward to launching several new initiatives aimed at promoting and supporting the .ORG Community, including:

  • Establishing a Stewardship Council that will serve to uphold PIR’s core founding values and provide support through a variety of community programs;
  • Launching a Community Enablement Fund to support the financing of current and additional initiatives undertaken by key Internet organizations; and
  • Expanding a program to award .ORG prizes to promote the success and positive impact of non-profit organizations.

This announcement marks an important milestone within the domain industry – one that the Internet Society, PIR and Ethos Capital are confident will protect and enhance the interests of both the Internet and .ORG communities for years to come.

Andrew Sullivan
President & CEO
The Internet Society
Erik Brooks
Founder & CEO
Ethos Capital
Jon Nevett
CEO
Public Interest Registry
Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

I studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London, UK and now live in Athens, Greece. I love domains and building websites. I am online since 1995, learned about HTML in 1996 and about domains in 2002. I started publishing the OnlineDomain.com blog in 2012.

16 comments

  1. Your anger is understandable. I would surmise the US government’s position has evolved over time, mainly because the US military invented the Internet. It’s an American govt creation.

    They opened it up to everyone, allowed a not for profit type model, and now given huge debt load moving to monetize it. The profits from these US companies is taxed and goes to US Treasury (if/when taxes are actually paid from their avoidance schemes in conjunction with European countries).

    Quite simply, what was once gov not profit in best interest of users is being privatized. As an American I take it for what it is. Not happy about any of this either. Blaming America and corporate America when American taxpayers financed the invention of the Internet seems a bit extreme imo.

    • Konstantinos Zournas

      Not exactly accurate.
      e.g. The history of the Internet has its origin in the efforts of wide area networking that originated in several computer science laboratories in the United States, United Kingdom, and France.
      In the 1980s, research at CERN in Switzerland by British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee resulted in the World Wide Web, linking hypertext documents into an information system, accessible from any node on the network.

      • Seems that is debatable. This is from LAtimes article “Lots of problems here. Cerf and Kahn did develop TCP/IP–on a government contract! And Berners-Lee doesn’t get credit for hyperlinks–that belongs to Doug Engelbart of Stanford Research Institute, who showed them off in a legendary 1968 demo you can see here. Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web–and he did so at CERN, a European government consortium.”

        There is a difference between the Internet and WWW.

        Again, I’m not supporting this nonsense. Just trying to help put this BS into perspective from a US gov standpoint. They believe they are inventors of internet, and apparently think entitled to exploit for profit now, regardless of how it all came to be.

      • Konstantinos I have never seen anyone dispute that the Internet was invented by DARPA in the US before. Then again, there is often truth out there that has been covered up, so I’m open to anything credible that may modify that.

        You are, however, leaving out that the Domain Name System was also invented in the US. And we all know about the WWW.

        Regarding US oversight, maybe I’m wrong and maybe you’re right that it would have happened anyway, but I honestly doubt it – a lot. It’s just not *Politically Feaasible* – and “they” know it. In fact just this morning I wrote this over at DNW:

        “And despite our own national propensity toward corruption and abuse of power and overall state of general imperfection, I still say it is a virtual certainty none of this could ever have happened if people had not been duped about removing ICANN from US oversight, not even under the most pro-elite and pro-plutocracy administration on any side of the aisle possible.”

        Maybe I’m mistaken, but I don’t believe even the current administration would have allowed this .org catastrophe to occur, even if they wanted to.

      • Konstantinos Zournas

        The WWW was invented by Tim Berners-Lee from the UK.

        Anyway the internet is not under some US patent. It is for the whole world and I bet 1000s of companies would like to run the .org and of cource the .com for far less money.

        Do you see anyone in the US government caring?

      • Konstantinos Zournas

        And I never said it was not invented by the US. I said that many countries including the US and people from all over the world helped shaped the internet.

      • And there is also this crucial difference, which “they” also know: if there had still been US oversight, then *many* of the real stakeholders involved would have had access to address their objections to those in power to prevent this catastrophe. Without US oversight, there was no such ability, opportunity or access.

      • I already said we all know about the WWW.

        Let me try to make my point in a different way since you seem to think we are not on the same page or team.

        Believing this could not have happened under US oversight is all about keeping the Internet for the whole world and avoiding this very type of anti-world money and power grab catastrophe that can so easily happen now apart from the original US oversight.

        In case you are not aware, this is how things work in the US: actions have to be “politically feasible,” except in cases where the “powers that be” feel they can ignore that. That is why, for instance, the mainstream media is controlled and even infiltrated for propaganda in order to “manufacture (public) consent” for things like never ending wars that cause destruction, misery and death around the world and misery and death at home in the US itself by diversion of resources to bad policy – generation after generation. I’m saying that despite how crooked and corrupt our own system is, i.e. here in the US, US oversight still would almost certainly have never allowed any of this, because it simply would not have been politically feasible – not even if the current administration even wanted to allow it, which despite how pro-elite even this current administration is still is nonetheless doubtful as well.

      • Konstantinos Zournas

        You were not clear about the WWW. That is why I replied.

        Somehow I highly doubt the US would have made anything about the .org. They haven’t really cared about it. Were was the US government in the comment period. Where are they now?
        And yes they can STILL many things to stop this. They won’t. Everyone is now waiting for the European Union to save us all.

        The US controls .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, etc. All the old extensions. ICANN never invited for lower bids in running these extensions.
        They just bought stock then renewed the contracts and increased pricing. Or they went working for these companies after they increased pricing. Or their friends helped them. This is a never ending mess.
        You don’t get more corrupt than this. This is ridiculous.

        I want to see who in the ICANN in the past 10 years owned stocks or shares of domain name companies. #Front-running

  2. im happy i.only have 2 or 3 .org’s so if worse comes.to worse i will renew for 10 years before a major increase.

  3. “Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC is serving as financial advisor to both the Internet Society and PIR. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and Proskauer Rose LLP are serving as legal advisors to the Internet Society and PIR, respectively. Macquarie Capital is serving as financial advisor and Morrison & Foerster LLP is serving as legal advisor to Ethos Capital.”

    Read: “We’ve found an excuse to skim a crapload of .org registrant’s money to our mates in the financial sector”.

  4. What other investments do they have? What qualified them as best candidate? Will they or do they have dozens of other failing ntld and say a $200 .org increase is necessary reason to ‘stay’ afloat?

    Yes. Precedent is practically set. Case in point: Frank schilling. Has a domain portfolio valued near $1b. While starting his very own registry, and putting out a press release about personally buying more domains, he raised prices 1000% on some of his lesser performers. Absolutely screwing the little guy as you day. Complete recklessness and disregard. Now once again, lowering prices and offering 90% promos.

    let your heros get away with playing games, but now it’s coming around. Sat on your hands out of hatred for ntld, now it’s all going to come around. Small guys, bend over.

    • 2+2 = incentive to buy for 1 year but holding longer, you’re punished by the real price. The domain drops, maybe you get it, perhaps by beating huge domains.

    • Here’s Frank blowing a dog whistle, warning his buddies through proxies to see their .com portfolios. Looks like he’s suggesting .com and .org connect back with old prospects.

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