France frostily foists flat fizz fear on ICANN's .wine plans

Vintners - and Steelie Neelie - whine over sour grapes


ICANN50 Wine vendors are fighting against ICANN's plans to introduce .wine and .vin top level domain names.

During a packed government advisory meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers in London on Monday morning, France's minister for digital affairs Axelle Lemaire told delegates that her country was opposed to assigning new global top level domains (gTLDs) to wine.

She argued that such a move could threaten France's desire to "preserve the cultural diversity" in the country which has various regions well-known for their production of wine, most famously champagne.

"ICANN cannot ignore public interest," Lemaire said. "ICANN will be defending a commercial position that is only promoted and defended by some players at some other international instances."

The minister's comments received warm applause from the audience.

Brussels' unelected digital czar "Steelie" Neelie Kroes, who was also present at the high-level talks this morning, said that ICANN had to recognise that "progress on accountability is key."

She added: "You have to take account of the public interest. Dot-wine is one but others are equally important for other regions."

Lemaire urged other governments at the meeting to delay progress with .vin and .wine gTLDs. The politco added that ICANN could help end the wine row by listening to other voices and the business community.

France has also been lobbying other countries that are famed for their wine production - such as Australia and South Africa - to ask them to support French opposition to the domain name plan.

Concerns about miscreants selling fake fizz using a top-level domain suffix like .champagne is one of the main reasons why the French government has mounted such a strong opposition to ICANN's plans.

In a press conference, ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade joked with reporters that "wine is serious. We all like wine."

He added in response to France's complaints about .vino and .wine: "I think that their concern about this gTLD and other gTLDs is warranted and there are mechanisms they can pursue."

Chehade said: "We all get frustrated sometimes when we don't get the conclusions we want." ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • EU-US Trade and Technology Council meets to coordinate on supply chains
    Agenda includes warning system for disruptions, and avoiding 'subsidy race' for chip investments

    The EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC) is meeting in Paris today to discuss coordinated approaches to global supply chain issues.

    This is only the second meeting of the TTC, the agenda for which was prepared in February. That highlighted a number of priorities, including securing supply chains, technological cooperation, the coordination of measures to combat distorting practices, and approaches to the decarbonization of trade.

    According to a White House pre-briefing for US reporters, the EU and US are set to announce joint approaches on technical discussions to international standard-setting bodies, an early warning system to better predict and address potential semiconductor supply chain disruptions, and a transatlantic approach to semiconductor investments aimed at ensuring security of supply.

    Continue reading
  • US cops kick back against facial recognition bans
    Plus: DeepMind launches new generalist AI system, and Apple boffin quits over return-to-work policy

    In brief Facial recognition bans passed by US cities are being overturned as law enforcement and lobbyist groups pressure local governments to tackle rising crime rates.

    In July, the state of Virginia will scrap its ban on the controversial technology after less than a year. California and New Orleans may follow suit, Reuters first reported. Vermont adjusted its bill to allow police to use facial recognition software in child sex abuse investigations.

    Elsewhere, efforts are under way in New York, Colorado, and Indiana to prevent bills banning facial recognition from passing. It's not clear if some existing vetoes set to expire, like the one in California, will be renewed. Around two dozen US state or local governments passed laws prohibiting facial recognition from 2019 to 2021. Police, however, believe the tool is useful in identifying suspects and can help solve cases especially in places where crime rates have risen.

    Continue reading
  • RISC-V needs more than an open architecture to compete
    Arm shows us that even total domination doesn't always make stupid levels of money

    Opinion Interviews with chip company CEOs are invariably enlightening. On top of the usual market-related subjects of success and failure, revenues and competition, plans and pitfalls, the highly paid victim knows that there's a large audience of unusually competent critics eager for technical details. That's you.

    Take The Register's latest interview with RISC-V International CEO Calista Redmond. It moved smartly through the gears on Intel's recent Platinum Membership of the open ISA consortium ("they're not too worried about their x86 business"), the interest from autocratic regimes (roughly "there are no rules, if some come up we'll stick by them"), and what RISC-V's 2022 will look like. Laptops. Thousand-core AI chips. Google hyperscalers. Edge. The plan seems to be to do in five years what took Arm 20.

    RISC-V may not be an existential risk to Intel, but Arm had better watch it.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022