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Break-even pricing was my first thought, too. But I think the .org registry has to be priced at least modestly higher than business-y domains (e.g., .com), because otherwise you'll find people using it for all sorts of for-profit stuff, reducing its signalling value.

But there's no reason that money can't go right back into basic infrastructure. For example, after the Heartbleed bug we learned that OpenSSL was receiving about $2k/year in donations. Surely there are obvious core open-source projects that could use reliable funding: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/04/tech-...

Why does "signalling value" matter at all? If a business gets value by masquerading as an "org", then that value is sure worth more than $10 or whatever, and surely the commercial entities are better able to pay than non-profit orgs, so making org cost more only hurts orgs, not businesses.

Depends on which business. You're correct for businesses who invest heavily in their brand and have just one domain. But you're very wrong for businesses that have a lot of domains and use the domain for credibility. E.g., spammers, typo-squatters, fraudsters, fly-by-night retailers, etc. And it's those that will really bring down the value of the TLD.

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