Somebody out there is bummed that they can’t afford to win their new gTLD contention set.
A new web site, StringChange.org, is planning to petition ICANN to allow new gTLD applicants to change the string they’ve applied for, for an extra $100,000 fee.
It’s not clear who’s behind the proposal, which was sent to every new gTLD applicant via email today. The page is unsigned and the domain is registered behind Whois privacy.
The site states:
We are proposing that ICANN allow the option of a “String Change” to applicants in contention, allowing these applicants, if they so choose, to change their string to another string and rewrite the appropriate parts of their applications. In doing so, these applicants would relinquish the right to their original string that is in contention, and be assessed a reevaluation fee of $100,000.
Many applicants would choose this over going to auction, being outbid, and never having the opportunity to launch a TLD and implement their business models. This also creates fairness for smaller groups to have the opportunity to launch and operate a TLD, especially when they are currently up against corporate giants such as Amazon or Google.
It goes on to say that a special “String Change round” of applications would begin in 2014, restricted to applicants who don’t fancy their chances punching it out with Google at auction in 2013.
The system would enable applicants that do not want to change their strings to get to market earlier, the site reckons.
It’s soliciting email addresses for its ICANN petition.
Good idea? Bad idea? Mediocre satire? Cheap attempt to see which applicants have gotten cold feet?