In Durban on 18 July, the GAC had given one month to the wine sector and to the candidates of the “.wine” and “.vin” strings to find an agreement. None of the three candidates has engaged with the sector to find concrete solutions and, moreover, political pressure was exerted to prevent an agreement to be reached. Given these circumstances, the European wine sector calls upon ICANN for more time and asks that the strings not to be assigned to the candidates until an agreement has been found. The European wine sectors asks ICANN and the GAC to be firm and continues to threaten to boycott these strings and to take legal action.
The extension of strings related to the wine sector is still a matter of debate. After expressing strong reservations in April on the “.wine” and “.vin”, the GAC in Durban (18 July) gave a month to the wine sector and to the 3 candidate companies to find an agreement. Since, the wine sector has made considerable efforts to interact with the candidates to find a solution to protect Geographical Indication (GI) wine names. A month has passed and all the candidates have given very vague answers to wine producers; none wanting at this stage to find concrete solutions. This is also the result of strong political pressure that are exerted to prevent an agreement to be reached. EFOW, the European federation of origin wines, has sent a letter to the ICANN Board asking for more time and to suspend all procedures leading to the extension of “.wine” and “.vin” strings until an agreement between the parties is found.
EFOW recalls that it will support the extension of these domain names as soon as rules ensuring the protection of GI wine names will be defined. “The wine sector has strongy benefited from trade globalisation and the development of the Internet. Nevertheless, there needs to be a minimum set of rules” says the President of EFOW, Mr. Riccardo Ricci Curbastro. “We know that some actors do not share this point of view and work to prevent the definition of rules, including the respect of Intellectual Property Rights. The success of these domain names relies heavily on the support of the sector. We are open to dialogue. However, if we are not listened to, we will not doubt to call for a boycott of these domain names and to take legal action”.
The wine sector expects a strong signal from ICANN and the GAC.