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Mystery web site proposes new gTLD “string change” system

Kevin Murphy, March 27, 2013, 18:10:53 (UTC), Domain Registries

Somebody out there is bummed that they can’t afford to win their new gTLD contention set.
A new web site,, 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?

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Comments (11)

  1. Jean Guillon says:

    I only see this ending with more delays in the program.

  2. Rubens Kuhl says:

    This would also require a new round of objections. Even if all 1930 applicants agree to this, 6 billion others might not agree to this.
    It would also create a secondary market where people waiting for the 2nd round would try their chances now.
    I think the idea can sound good intentioned, I won’t argue whether if it’s really or not, but it would open an enormous Pandora’s box.

  3. ChuckWagen says:

    String change? Good idea?
    I’m a frayed knot.

  4. Although it’s not of course necessarily connected with its .com counterpart.

  5. STEVE POOL says:

    It sounds like a reasonable solution to me, but I’m not sure I would like to pay the extra 100k fee.
    Although I guess if your business model is super profitable it would be worth it.
    I don’t see it making more delays in the program, I see it making people move for another choice and making the auction process quicker, so they don’t get left with Jack Squat…
    It doesn’t seem like there has been any substantial delays since Fadi the new ICANN president came on board.
    That dude seems like he can make anything happen.

  6. Eberhard Lisse says:

    The site of course belongs to Lerato Ma.

  7. Benny Samuelsen says:

    Could it be the dotdotafrica? 😉 wanting to change to alotofdotsafrica

  8. Gideon says:

    You guys should get your facts right before commenting and the site you are discussing has nothing to do with DCA Trust or Sophia Bekele, and that DCA remains solidly committed to its bid for .Africa and does not intend to change the string

  9. Eberhard Lisse says:

    Does that mean YOU know who it belongs to?
    Please enlighten us.

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