On 18 July, in Durban, ICANN’s – the domain name system technical oversight body – meeting came to an end. The program concerning the extension of domain names will move forward. Talks on the « .vin » and « .wine » dossiers were very tense. ICANN has given an additional month to the wine sector and to the candidates to find an agreement among them.

The extension of domain names raises serious concerns in the wine sector. At ICANN’s last meeting in Beijing, the GAC – the consultative body within ICANN composed by Governments representatives – decided to postpone the decision to grant extensions on several domain names, including the strings “.wine” and “. vin”. In Durban, the GAC’s discussions on this issue were very tense between the US and Europe: two radically opposing views clashed. In the end, the GAC was able to find a compromise: a period of 30 days is given to the wine sector and to the candidates to come to an agreement.

EFOW, the European Federation of Origin Wines, welcomes the postponement of the decision to extend the domain names “.wine” and “.vin”. However, it regrets the one-month deadline: “We have informed the applicant companies of our wish to find a solution and to submit to them a specific proposal. This proposal is reasonable and would reconcile the development of the Internet and the respect for Geographical Indications (GIs). We hope that they will be open-minded and willing to find a solution” states Riccardo Ricci Curbastro, President of EFOW.

EFOW announces that if it is not satisfied “we will ask all of the European operators to boycott these domain names. The European Union accounts for nearly 65% of the global wine market, a massive boycott would undermine the candidates’ economic model. It would also discredit ICANN’s policy. As provided by law, we would also ask courts to remove all domain names that jeopardise the reputation of our GIs“.

EFOW wants to remain optimistic: “we will take all possible measures to support the dossier which will provide procedures to secure the protection and promotion of GIs“.

Internet domain names’ battle: « .vin » « .wine», a month to find an agreement