by Michael dEstries
Categories: Internet.


It looks like battle lines are being drawn over the future of the dot eco domain.

As you may have heard, there are two separate groups fighting to host the .ECO top-level domain. ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), which oversees new applicants for domain extensions, has yet to decide if .ECO will even exist, much less who gets to control it — but that hasn’t stopped rallying efforts from both sides to win support for the cause.

The latest salvo comes from Mikhail Gorbachev’s Green Cross International (which includes Global Green USA) and their backing of the Vancouver, Canada-based Big Room Inc’s dot eco push. Unlike the American group supported by Al Gore and the Sierra Club’s Carl Pope, Big Room plans on giving 25% of generated revenues to green organizations — a much higher share (edit: depends on the business margins) than the “over 50% of profits” proposed by Dot Eco, LLC. In addition, they would also make applicants of the domain disclose “environmental and social performance” in order to receive the extension — something that might make a bit more sense than the “community policing” angle offered by Gore’s group.

Needless to say, having two groups fighting over the .ECO rights is confusing. I’ve already seen instances in the media of authors tripping up and combining info from both camps. And let’s not forget the .GREEN extension being pushed by another group mentioned last week.

What do you think of the different groups? Have one you would like to see come out on top?

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • Ms. America

    Go figure… The Canadians + the Russians vs. America. Hellooooooo, you lost the cold war!!! You want to lose the green war too???? Remember Chernobyl? Morons. I don’t want the Russians setting policy and pricing for domains nor influencing my .ECO!!!

  • Charles Van Atta

    I don’t understand why you think 25% of revenues is more than over 50% of profits. Is Ecorazzi so poorly run?

    I’ve been following the Dot Eco LLC people for a while, and if you read their recently-released “Green Paper” (, you’ll see that it’s 50% “by charter” but that already over 57% has been committed.

    The way I see it, Al Gore and the Sierra Club support a group that very straightforwardly wants to raise money for the environment, while Big Room wants to play God by labelling everything as green or not — according to who-know-what standard. I’m very very uncomfortable with that.

    Plus, I’m not at all sure that Big Room can actually generate any revenues to give away. 25% of nothing is nothing. They have no experience generating revenues, which is something that the other guys definitely have.

    The last think we need is another group who wants to label everything. I trust Al Gore and the Sierra Club when it comes to the environment.

    You asked — and that’s my vote.


  • Abbey

    “Big Room plans on giving 25% of generated revenues to green organizations — a much higher share than the “over 50% of profits” proposed by Dot Eco, LLC.”

    That actually depends entirely on the margins of the business – 25% of revenues is not necessarily greater than 50% of profits. In any case, what’s most important is the overall amount of funds generated for environmental organizations, not the percentage donated.

    Big Room’s website says that “domain names are probably the least interesting thing about .eco.” They appear to envision .eco as a standardized database of self-reported environmental information (which begs all sorts of questions as to accuracy, etc). They want to use .eco to “calculate, share and compare…eco-footprints.” Is this not what companies like GoodGuide and Earthster already do? Why does this require use of a TLD?

  • Michael d’Estries

    To Abbey and Charles:

    You’re absolutely right: It was a poor choice of words and depends exclusively on margins. There is no absolute there.

  • Fern

    Well obviously, Green Cross International sees something of high value with Big Room. I also have to say that the management behind BR appears to be more vested in the green side of things than the people running the show over at Dot Eco, LLC. The only mention of green with those guys is their business dealings.

    Raising money for environmental initiatives is important, but having suits control the show may not be in the movement’s best interests.

    Maybe we should just go with a non-profit model like .GREEN is attempting.

  • Katharina

    If I had the choice to vote for one, I would vote for the Dot Eco LLC project backed by Al Gore. He is the one who helped to raise the most awareness for this problem – especially amongst young people. If Al Gore and even Sierra Club stands behind this project I have no further questions.

    P.S. I am not american – I am from Europe

  • Ms. America

    Al Gore is a “suit”? How about the most influential Nobel Peace Prize winning politician able to wake up America to the climate crisis?

  • Red Bull Driner

    The Gore group has a much greater capacity to raise money and sell domains. Lets not forget the goal here – TO GENERATE FUNDING FOR ECO CAUSES – on this one I can with the safer pick because… well, its too important not to.

  • Rose

    It seems pretty obvious to me – our planet is not in very good shape and the only way to save it is by agreement between major powers (a.k.a. polluters ) — in other words, by governmental action. This means agreeing to treaties, passing laws, and enforcing them. And that takes lobbying and money.

    Supporting Dot Eco LLC (see makes far more sense in all of this. Supported by Al Gore, the Alliance for Climate Protection, the Sierra Club and the Surfrider Foundation, they have the money, power, and political muscle behind them to make real changes happen. And isn’t the point of this effort to stop climate change asap?

  • Shaun

    It appears both competing bids have an impressive group of supporters which is important but really only a starting point. Those interested in the .eco domain would be well served by focussing on the competing bids themselves and the companies behind them. after all, at the end of the process all major players in the green movement will need to come together and work collaboratively with the winning bidder.

    I’m more familiar with the BigRoom bid having done some contract web work for them in the past. I do know BigRoom is focussed on making .eco a TLD that serves the needs of and supplies resources to the green community. That’s why BigRoom’s sole focus is on the .eco string as opposed to applying for a number of TLDs.

    It’ll be interesting to see how the community-based consultative approach being taken by BigRoom helps their bid evolve. Perhaps early supporters of one bid who pledged support before they knew about the other bid option will reconsider you they feel will best serve the green movements goals!

  • Abbey

    “It’ll be interesting to see how the community-based consultative approach being taken by BigRoom helps their bid evolve.”

    Dot Eco LLC is also taking a community-based, consultative approach to determining the rules, regulations and goals for .eco; this approach is not exclusive to Big Room.

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