Even though there remains some lackluster enthusiasm for the creation of a .ECO top-level domain, the battle to decide who would control such an extension has been hard-fought between two groups: the Mikhail Gorbachev-backed Big Room and the Al Gore-backed Dot Eco LLC.
Both organizations have been going at it since 2009 – with Dot Eco LLC at one point even publicly slamming Big Room in a document outlining why their business model was ineffective and their leadership weak. “We wrote this paper to because we needed to set the record straight,” the document said. “Although we may ruffle some feathers, the stakes are too high for drawing- room niceties, particularly when Big Room has dropped all pretense of fair play.”
According to the Guardian, Gore’s group has now dropped their challenge. “As a non-profit we only have limited resources and we decided to focus them on our new global [Climate] Reality campaign,” a source told the paper. The website, supportdoteco.com has also been yanked and now simply re-directs to a top-level domain firm. Guess they couldn’t swallow their pride enough to link to DotEco.org?
Why the white flag? The Guardian hints that it may be due to an upswell in support of Big Room’s bid – which gained Bill McKibben’s 350.org as a partner after he initially backed Gore’s Dot Eco LLC. The group plans on using the top-level domain as a “badge of commitment to sustainability” with full transparency into how each registrant is taking steps to reduce their environmental footprint. Think Nike.eco or Wegmans.eco as portals to a company or org’s sustainability initiatives. Of course, Joe Smith can also register the domain – but there will be requirements to fulfill and a “stringent accountability mechanism”.
You can check out the full details over on the DotEco.org site. The group plans to formally apply for the TLD this October with the potential for you, me, and XYZ to purchase our own .eco in early 2014.