In what is surely a sign of things to come, a dispute has broken out between potential bidders for the .ECO top level domain (TLD) as both sides make their mark and try to elbow their way to the front of the queue.Dot Eco this week released a statement with the reasons as to why their claim to the TLD is more worthy than the other potential applicant, Big Room.Dot Eco is being touted as a green TLD for the organisation that wants to push their green credentials.Dot Eco claims Big Room has a “problematic business model and small prospect of funding environmental causes.” To boost their claim to the TLD, Dot Eco “has pledged 57% of profits from the .ECO top-level domain for efforts to combat climate change based on a proven business model that minimizes unnecessary costs.” Dot Eco also say in a 17-page economic examination there are “potential conflicts of interest at Big Room and its registry service provider, Afilias.”Dot Eco also boast support from top dogs in the environmental movement such as Vice President Al Gore, the Alliance for Climate Protection, the Sierra Club and Surfrider Foundation. On the other hand, Big Room claims the support of Mikhail Gorbachev, the Russian ex-president, and Green Cross International, the Swiss-based ethical and social causes charity that he founded.”We’re releasing this open examination because we’re tired of Big Room’s leaders mischaracterising our efforts and making exaggerations about their own plan, which after careful analysis proves to be unworkable,” said Fred Krueger, founder and CEO of Dot Eco LLC.Big Room has said that publication of the analysis was “unfortunate” according to BBC News.The estimates for the number of applicants for new TLDs range from low-double figures to hundreds or even thousands, with the higher the number of applicants the more likely more of these disputes and disagreements will happen.Dot Eco have also made a number of “findings” in their open examination. These are:
- Big Room’s operating costs, based on fee estimates to back-end registry provider Afilias, are nearly triple the operating costs for Dot Eco LLC – depriving environmental groups of critical funding
- Big Room’s plan for use of the .ECO web address has nothing to do with preventing climate change
- Big Room’s cumbersome registration policies for .ECO will discourage use – and thus dramatically reduce funding for urgent efforts to combat climate change – by implementing procedures that have failed for other top-level domains
- Comments from Big Room leaders to the media routinely mischaracterize the Dot Eco LLC plan and make misleading claims about their own plan’s viability
- Big Room’s management team and Afilias present significant conflict-of-interest concerns with ICANN that need to be addressed.