Milton Mueller wrote a piece worth reading over at InternetGovernance.org about the .org sale.
Mueller spells out what ICANN could do to intervene.
ICANN can intervene
ICANN will probably pretend that it has no ability to intervene in this process, but that is clearly not true. The Registry Agreement for .org gives PIR the delegation via a succession of presumptively renewable ten-year terms unless it commits an uncured, fundamental, and material breach or it goes bankrupt. However, under Article 7.5, PIR has to provide ICANN with 30 days’ notice of any change in control, and ICANN can respond by terminating the agreement, if termination is a reasonable response under the circumstances to the change of control. Additionally, there is an elaborate Registry Continuity Process already defined in ICANN’s procedures. That process could be triggered by a sale of the Registry. One of the considerations in this process is an assessment of whether the new registry operator has the support of the community it is supposed to serve.
Mueller also had a couple other takes that some might find controversial.
- Stop focusing on whether .ORG is run by a purported non-profit or a for-profit.
- His organization does not support price caps
- The availability of longer term contracts, and even contracts in perpetuity, can prevent opportunistic behavior by the registry.
Read the full article here