Thursday, June 19, 2014

.WINE & .VIN domain names : a strange story

As the founding member of Project dotVinum for Wine Registries - a story which started in 2010 - I am just amazed by what I read in the press at the moment. If ICANN had done serious international communication about new gTLDs and not just a simple video posted on its blog, the situation about .WINE & .VIN would certainly not be the one it is today.

The last publication from Neelie Kroes, vice president of the European Commission, looks like a desperate letter sent to an ICANN board which will probably have few impact on "whatever the board decides"...unless I am wrong.

Since 2010, I had the chance to talk a lot about these wine Top-Level Domains, I even wrote a community project for .WINE - .VIN and .VINO domain names which was presented to some French wine institutions with that same message in the end: "Wow: interesting" or again: "Wow: expensive". I am very sad that I did not meet the CNAOC earlier because this could have been a French project in the end.

Today, the message sent to the wine community is very negative but...who's fault is it? And do we care to know who's fault it is now the ICANN Board has approved to proceed? As I wrote it many times, it certainly is not new gTLD applicants' fault who followed the methodology provided by ICANN: the new gTLD applicant guidebook (which French version is still not "final" and translated from the English one by the way).

Regarding the protection of Wine Geographical Indications, I'd be interested to know if the EC has any paid consultants on this question because solutions have been published, and read more than 6000 times. They are here and they were sent to ICANN. We never received any call from the EC to discuss them, why?
Regarding ICANN, we are not surprised if they never called as they probably considered that the Trademark Clearinghouse would be enough to protect Wine GIs (which is the case in a certain way). We were just very surprised to see that some ICANN insiders represented one applicant in discussions with officials.

Now .WINE and .VIN are approaching, the only suggestion that I think of for our European Institutions to exist on Internet is to start building their own Internet: an Internet managed by them. Regarding existing in ICANN...we'll still be talking about this in 20 years :-)

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