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DotGreen calls it quits with “impossible” gTLD auction looming

Kevin Murphy, October 11, 2013, 21:30:43 (UTC), Domain Registries

DotGreen, the first public and easily most visible applicant for the new gTLD .green, has withdrawn its application, saying it has become “impossible” to continue.
In a statement sent to DI tonight, founder and CEO Annalisa Roger said:

While DotGreen supported the New gTLD program, we believe we exhausted all options within the framework of the New gTLD applicant guidebook and the multi-stakeholder model for procuring .green management. DotGreen remains locked in contention facing an auction among three registry competitors from the Internet industry. Unfortunately it is impossible for DotGreen to proceed within these circumstances.
Today we withdrew DotGreen Community, Inc.’s application for the .green TLD.

DotGreen was founded in 2007 and had built up a small following of supporting environmental organizations. A charitable organization, the plan was to use the proceeds from the registry to fund worthy projects.
A prominent applicant from well before the ICANN application window opened, it held regular eco-themed events during ICANN meetings and even recruited its CFO/COO, Tim Switzer, from its back-end provider, Neustar.
(Switzer is chair of the New gTLD Applicants Group, NTAG, but is expected to resign as a result of the withdrawal.)
But it’s facing competition for .green from portfolio applicants Demand Media, Afilias, and Top Level Domain Holdings.
“It is tough for a single-string applicant,” Roger said. “An auction, sorry, it’s not the appropriate scenario for the .green TLD for several reasons. It really the undermines the authenticity and the faith that the community has put in us and the multi-stakeholder model.”
There’s no way the company could win at auction against three big portfolio applicants, she said.
Despite the company name, DotGreen Community’s application was not a “Community” application under ICANN rules and the only way out of contention was going to be private settlement or auction.
It also faced the uncertainty of Governmental Advisory Committee advice, which had classified the string as requiring extra safeguards for “consumer protection” purposes, causing indefinite delays.
It seems the final decision was financial — the cost of delays and an auction too much for the start-up to bear. It’s a pity really — there was some genuine enthusiasm for the cause behind this bid.
The .green gTLD will now go to which one of the remaining three applicants stumps up the most cash at auction.

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Comments (22)

  1. Francois says:

    OUCH! It’s really sad.
    Dot green in my mind is only associated to Annalisa Roger and his team who have been very active these past years creating a true community of green enthusiasts.
    It’s a shame, I cannot believe finally it’s only the one who can put the more cash who will manage this gTLD.

  2. Sad to see them give up after coming this far along. If any other applicant is thinking of withdrawing – please reach out to me first; as I am interested in acquired more TLDs.

  3. KW Boswell says:

    Annalisa Roger has a spectacular resume with all good intentions. The decision must have been a heavy one. I still have my “misprinted” .green button from when we met at the RMDC a few years ago.

  4. Barry Shein says:

    In the end it was all about the green.

  5. Phil Buckingham says:

    Sad day for the Dot Green team.
    but were ALL the other ways to resolve the .green contention set explored – before even considering a private auction. Cash is and will always be king.

  6. Guess says:

    Now ask yourself how the original proponent of .Web must feel?
    2007? How about 1994? Working within the process for almost 20 years, only to have .Web stolen through that same process and about to be auctioned off to Google.

  7. Money can buy the dotgreen gtld, but there is nobody who can buy the impeccable reputation, the passion and decorum of Annalisa Roger, not to mention the respect of the ICANN community for Annalisa and her team.
    It´s a very sad day.

  8. This is a sad news for the industry community and a worse one for Internet users. Annalisa and her team were 100% focused on making the green community thrive through a TLD, which is how any applicant should make their own TLD thrive.
    I wish these guys all the best for their future.

  9. Chris says:

    I’m too soft. Left .green to Annalisa but had a feeling she wouldn’t get it (presumably had costs reimbursed by other applicants?). Although also wondered if a community bid, even by a green party, could knock out others.
    Wasn’t impossible either, I’d offered to assist but never heard back. Though admittedly was several years ago and the whole thing, on top of some other unsettling events, had left me acting more strangely than usual.
    Tough situation because how reasonable is it to make big money out of .green, yet without such a prospect how does one win the auction. Then there’s .eco to think about.

    • Rubens Kuhl says:

      .eco, .music and .gay are, alongside .green, TLDs the industry got used to associate with specific groups or people. Chances are none of those will be the actual registry for them. This is probably just the first time we will say goodbye.

  10. Car News says:

    Why would you choose that extension over .ECO? Doesn’t make any sense IMO!

    • Rubens Kuhl says:

      One possible reason is the existence of an IGO called ECO. The .eco applicants were lucky enough that ECO only wrote a public comment instead of filing LROs.

  11. This is terrible. I’ve known Annalisa since I met her at a TRAFFIC conference I was speaking at in 2009 and no one was or ever will be more dedicated or passionate about dotGreen than she.

  12. I wonder what Fadi Chehade and the 2 previous ICANN CEOs think about this.

  13. Well, Mr Chehade may have views, but no doubt he will keep them to himself.
    I seriously doubt that Rod Beckstrom or Paul Twomey will think overmuch about this.

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