The international wine industry and the French are preparing to go into battle with the internet over the ".vin" and ".wine" domain name suffixes.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) said that, following a 60-day review, it found no problems with the process that gave preliminary approval in March to the opening up of the new domains.
An ICANN statement, referring to the process for launching new domain names, said that “parties with standing were afforded the opportunity to file formal objections... In this case, no such objections were filed against .vin or .wine.”
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However, European winegrowers who make appellation wines plan to boycott proposed wine domain names.
The French wine industry, supported by its government, fears that the existence of these sites will open the doors to fraudulent use and counterfeiting. There are also fears of "cyber-squatting" where individuals can register domain names and then charge others to use them.
The industry is supported by other wine-producing regions, including Napa in California.
Pascal Bobillier Monnot, director of CNAOC – the national federation for producers of AOC wines and spirits – told AFP that ICANN had been in contact with him to tell him these suffixes would be implemented.
The last hope for CNAOC would a personal intervention by the president of ICANN, during meetings that open in London on June 22.
The CNAOC together with its European equivalent, the European Federation of Origin Wines, will “conduct a huge information campaign to dissuade wine producers from buying their domain names ending in .vin or .wine (a boycott) and to advise consumers of the risks they take in buying from websites using these domain names.”
Currently the only candidates who have applied in advance for .vin and .wine are an American group, Donuts Inc, and two companies, one based in Gibraltar and the other in Ireland.