This would be funny if it hadn't had such high disaster potential. BTW, for them what care, this is NOT an ICANN or IANA issue as far as I can tell. This was a screw up by the TLD administrator.
As an aside, my experience is that this crap goes on more often than one would think in the commercial TLD space -- primarily because the registrar market is not very accountable for errors. But again, that was clearly not the issue here.