When .ORG was reassigned from Verisign to PIR in 2002, ICANN policy required that .ORG be operated by a non-profit organization that is non-commercial in orientation. PIR had to operate .ORG in a manner which reflects the interests of .ORG domain name holders and be responsive to and supportive of the non-commercial internet user community.
Before the change of control, a significant portion of .ORG registration fees were returned to serve the internet community through redistribution of .ORG funds into the community via PIR’s parent organization, ISOC. With ISOC being replaced by a for-profit private equity investment firm, this redistribution of .ORG funds is likely to be changed. This may put ICANN’s multistakeholder model at risk, as the non-commercial internet user community may become dependent on a private equity investment firm. While the Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation of Ethos Capital are not public, private equity investment firms typically have as a basic goal to acquire companies and sell them within a reasonably period at a profit or use the investment to maximize return.