.wine and .vin: ICANN keeps on procrastinating, European winemakers consider appealing the decision

As discussions stall between candidate companies and the wine sector and further to the reaction of governments (GAC), ICANN decided on 4 April to give a 60-day period to stakeholders to reach an agreement. European winemakers represented by EFOW, the European Federation of Origin Wines, are sceptical and fear an unconditional delegation of the “.wine” and “.vin”. They announce that they envisage appealing ICANN’s decision and threaten to organise a boycott and request the blocking of sites that do not comply with the EU legal framework.

Discussions on the creation of “.wine” and “.vin” have been, for the past 10 days, very heated. On 22 March, ICANN decided to continue the evaluation of these domain names without requiring any protection of GI names. On 27 March, governments seating in the GAC denounced procedural violations by ICANN and demanded a new decision. On 4 April, ICANN announced that it gave interested parties a 60-day period to reach an agreement and denied all procedural breaches. European winemakers, who have committed since July 2013 to engage in discussions with candidate companies, express their scepticism on this new deadline and fear that this signal of a future delegation of these domain names will not encourage candidates to find a solution.

EFOW’s President, Riccardo Ricci Curbastro, stated: “we have said all along that we will support and promote the “.wine” and “.vin” if they protect our GI names and if their indiscriminate use is prevented. We have made great efforts to encourage candidate companies to engage with us. We have realised that they are under pressure to prevent an agreement to be reached. We will redouble our efforts to find a solution but we will also get organised in the prospect of an unconditional delegation”. EFOW announces that it envisages “appealing against ICANN’s two successive decisions”. The federation also recalls it “threatens to organise a boycott if the decision to delegate is taken without according GI protection. Moreover, it will also ask for the blocking of these sites in the EU”.

European winemakers who recall the recent position of the President of the European Parliament ask the European Commission and their governments to support them and to be actively involved in the preparation of the World Summit on Internet Governance in Sao Paulo on 23 and 24 April. “Our file is the perfect illustration that the model promoted by the EU in favour of a multi-stakeholder Internet must become a reality, and that this framework must apply to the .wine and .vin”.