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Gore And Friends Make Their Case For Dot Eco Domain

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Al Gore and a group of other environmental notables are making a hard push to see the creation of a “.eco” top-level domain added to those already present like .com, .net, org, and .edu. Down in Syndey, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is having their annual conference, and the Dot Eco LLC group has brought a short film with them promoting the creation of the new domain.

Granted, calling this a “film” might be a little generous. It’s more a collection of talking heads saying why the domain would be great for the world. Gore makes the first appearance in the short (watch it here) which also includes Jim Moriarty, CEO of Surfrider Foundation, director Davis Guggenheim, Sierra Club’s Carl Pope, Physics Professor Richard Muller, and Oceanic Engineer Jim Dufour.

Hank Green over at EcoGeek recently examined the .eco domain and how one group, called Big Room, might regulate who can claim one. “They would control who could and could not get a .eco domain, much like the .edu domain only allows accredited educational institutions,” he writes. “Of course, this also means that they would have to come up with some kind of accreditation program…and that sounds pretty expensive to me. More likely, they would have each buyer pay for the accreditation, and that would not be cheap. So, in effect, you just create a bunch of really expensive domain names.”

In the comments, Trevor Bowden of Big Room replied to Hank’s post saying, “Our vision for .eco is about creating an open, global platform for eco-information on products, companies, or even individuals. And we don’t want to reinvent the wheel to do this. We want to build on existing tools to make this an easy solution that creates more transparency around environmental and social claims. Greenwashing isn’t part of the business plan. And neither are expensive domain names. We want to make sure .eco is a solution.”

One of the aspects of .eco that’s really a departure of business as usual in the domain world is that some of the money made from the new extensions would “fund scientific initiatives and research in climate change, ocean analysis, economic policy, and other environmentally related areas.” So, it’s not just about aligning the green community under one domain banner — it’s also about giving back.

Should be interesting to see if ICANN grants approval. I imagine if so, we’ll see something by this Fall.

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