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DOT ORG (ORG Marketing Resources logo).png
IntroducedJanuary 1, 1985; 34 years ago (1985-01-01)
TLD typeGeneric top-level domain
RegistryPublic Interest Registry (technical service by Afilias)
SponsorNot technically sponsored, but PIR is connected with the Internet Society
Intended useMiscellaneous organizations not fitting in other categories (generally noncommercial)
Actual useNonprofits; personal sites; open-source projects; some government websites; mostly used by non-commercial entities
Registration restrictionsNone
StructureRegistrations at second level permitted
DocumentsRFC 920; RFC 1591; ICANN registry agreement
Dispute policiesUDRP
Registry websitePublic Interest Registry

The domain name org is a generic top-level domain (gTLD) of the Domain Name System (DNS) used in the Internet. The name is truncated from organization. It was one of the original domains established in 1985, and has been operated by the Public Interest Registry since 2003. The domain was originally intended for non-profit entities, but this restriction was not enforced and has been removed.[when?] The domain is commonly used by schools, open-source projects, and communities, but also by some for-profit entities. The number of registered domains in org has increased from fewer than one million in the 1990s, to ten million as of June 2013.

In November 2019, the Public Interest Registry (PIR) was sold by its initial owner, the Internet Society, to shell company Ethos Capital for an undisclosed amount. The PIR also announced it would abandon its non-profit status to become a B Corporation.[1]


The domain ".org" was one of the original top-level domains,[2] with com, us, edu, gov, mil and net, established in January 1985. It was originally intended for non-profit organizations or organizations of a non-commercial character that did not meet the requirements for other gTLDs. The MITRE Corporation was the first group to register an org domain with mitre.org in July 1985.[3] The TLD has been operated since January 1, 2003 by Public Interest Registry, who assumed the task from VeriSign Global Registry Services, a division of Verisign.[4]


Registrations of subdomains are processed via accredited registrars worldwide. Anyone can register a second-level domain within org, without restrictions.[5][6] In some instances subdomains are being used also by commercial sites, such as craigslist.org. According to the ICANN Dashboard (Domain Name) report, the composition of the TLD is diverse, including cultural institutions, associations, sports teams, religious, and civic organizations, open-source software projects, schools, environmental initiatives, social, and fraternal organizations, health organizations, legal services, as well as clubs, and community-volunteer groups. In some cases subdomains have been created for crisis management.[which?]

The number of ORG domains registered with the Public Interest Registry.

Although organizations anywhere in the world may register subdomains, many countries, such as Australia (au), Canada (ca), Japan (jp), Argentina (ar), Bolivia (bo), Uruguay (uy), Turkey (tr), Somalia (so), Sierra Leone (sl), Russia (ru), Bangladesh (bd), India (in) and the United Kingdom (uk), have established a second-level domain with a similar purpose under their ccTLD. Such second-level domains are usually named org or or.[citation needed]

In 2009, the org domain consisted of more than 8 million registered domain names,[7] 8.8 million in 2010,[8] and 9.6 million in 2011.[9] The Public Interest Registry registered the ten millionth .ORG domain in June, 2012.[10] When the 9.5 millionth .org was registered in December 2011, .org became the third largest gTLD.[11]

As of November 2019, according to the Tranco ranking of the top 1M global domains,[12] domains under .org were about 6 % of the top 1000 and 7 % of the top 100 thousand and 1 million domains.

Internationalized domain names

The org domain registry allows the registration of selected internationalized domain names (IDNs) as second-level domains.[13] For German, Danish, Hungarian, Icelandic, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, and Swedish IDNs this has been possible since 2005. Spanish IDN registrations have been possible since 2007.[6]

Domain name security

On June 2, 2009, The Public Interest Registry announced[14] that the org domain is the first open generic top-level domain and the largest registry overall that has signed its DNS zone with Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC). This allows the verification of the origin authenticity and integrity of DNS data by conforming DNS clients.

As of June 23, 2010, DNSSEC was enabled for individual second-level domains,[15] starting with 13 registrars.

Cost of registration

Since 2003, the Public Interest Registry (PIR) charged its accredited registrars a capped price of US $9.05 per year[16] for each domain name. The registrars may set their charges to end users without restrictions.

In April 2019, ICANN proposed an end to the price cap of .org domains [17] and effectively removed it in July in spite of having received 3,252 opposing comments and only six in favor.[18] A few months later, the owner of the domain, the Public Interest Registry, was proposed sell the domain to investment firm Ethos Capital.[19]


  1. ^ "The Internet Society & Public Interest Registry: A New Era of Opportunity". .ORG (Press release). 2019-11-13. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  2. ^ RFC 920, Domain Requirements, J. Postel, J. Reynolds, The Internet Society (October 1984)
  3. ^ Mitre.org
  4. ^ InterNIC - FAQs on org transition
  5. ^ ICANN Top-Level Domains (gTLDs), Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  6. ^ Jump up to: a b Buy .ORG (Registrant) General Questions, Retrieved 2001-10-25.
  7. ^ Ragan, Steve (March 12, 2012). "DNSSEC to become standard on .ORG domains by end of June". The Tech Herald. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  8. ^ Berkens, Michael (February 14, 2011). ".ORG Grows Over 10% To Over 8.8 Million Registrations". The Domains. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  9. ^ Prestipino, Peter (February 16, 2012). "The .ORG Registry Grows 10 Percent". Website Magazine. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  10. ^ Goldstein, David (July 12, 2012). "ORG Seventh TLD To Pass Ten Millionth Registration Milestone". DomainPulse. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  11. ^ "The PIR Dashboard" (PDF). The Public Interest Registry. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
  12. ^ Le Pochat, Victor; Van Goethem, Tom; Tajalizadehkhoob, Samaneh; Korczynski, Maciej; Joosen, Wouter. "Tranco: A Research-Oriented Top Sites Ranking Hardened Against Manipulation" (PDF). Network and Distributed Systems Security (NDSS) Symposium 2019. doi:10.14722/ndss.2019.23386. ISBN 1-891562-55-X.
  13. ^ "Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) Questions". Public Interest Registry. Archived from the original on 2012-06-05. Retrieved 2010-03-28.
  14. ^ Ajay D'Souza. "DNSSEC announcement in The .ORG Blog". Archived from the original on 2009-07-21. Retrieved 2009-07-02.
  15. ^ "List of .ORG registrars". Retrieved 2010-06-23.
  16. ^ "Exhibit A--REGISTRATION FEES" (PDF). Public Interest Registry. Retrieved Jan 16, 2018.
  17. ^ McCarthy, Kieren (26 Apr 2019). "Internet industry freaks out over proposed unlimited price hikes on .org domain names". The Register. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  18. ^ Lee, Timothy B. (2019-07-01). "ICANN eliminates .org domain price caps despite lopsided opposition". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  19. ^ McCarthy, Kieren (20 Nov 2019). "Internet world despairs as non-profit .org sold for $$$$ to private equity firm, price caps axed". The Register. Retrieved 2019-11-23.