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New Web Suffixes Worry Winemakers

Winemakers in Europe, California and Australia are concerned about new domain addresses such as .wine and .vin proposed by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).  Vintners believe that .wine and .vin will confuse consumers.  The Wall Street Journal reported that Linda Reiff, president of the Napa Valley Vintners, a trade association, wrote a letter to ICANN saying “Internet users could indeed be deceived into believing that they are buying a genuine product with specific qualities and characteristics, when they are in fact getting an imitation.”  An example of deception would be an unscrupulous seller with the domain name selling wine that did not come from Champagne.  The industry is calling for better safeguards to ensure that websites with these suffixes are used by sellers of the genuine product.

ICANN representatives are currently in London meeting with more than 2,000 participants from government, business, technical organizations, researchers and so on.  Stephen D. Crocker, Chairman of ICANN, said they will go ahead and issue the domain names but will take advice from government officials who advise the body.