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.Org launches new registrant rights/appeal mechanism

.Org registrants now get multiple appeals if their domains are suspended.

Logo for .org domain, featuring a blue circle with white letters spelling ORG

Public Interest Registry (PIR), the registry for .org domain names, has unveiled a new appeals process for .org registrants who believe the registry unfairly suspended their domains.

Last year, PIR suspended about 6,500 .org domain names for violating its policies. In almost all of these cases, the suspensions were for DNS abuse, such as spam. It suspended only 11 sites for content violations such as child sexual abuse materials and distributing opioids.

.Org users could always appeal these suspensions to Public Interesting Registry. PIR has granted some of these appeals, such as when a domain name had been compromised when the DNS abuse occurred. It has also denied some of these appeals.

Now, registrants who are rebuffed by PIR on appeal will have the opportunity to then appeal to a tribunal operated by National Arbitration Forum.

Forum charges $1,200 per appeal case but PIR will subsidize the cost, so it’s only $500. Registrants will get a full refund if their appeal is successful.

PIR works with domain name registrars to contact registrants before suspending their domains. Given this advanced notice, plus the PIR appeal process, this new mechanism will likely rarely be invoked.

PIR stressed that the new mechanism does not signal any sort of increased enforcement activity on its part.

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Author: Andrew Allemann

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