The GAC took note of the developments on the two strings .wine and .vin from its previous meetings in Beijing and Durban.
GAC members have undertaken extensive discussions to examine a diversity of views on these applications, and the protections associated with Geographical Indications (GIs).
GAC considers that appropriate safeguards against possible abuse of these new gTLDs are needed.
Some members are of the view, after prolonged and careful consideration, that the existing safeguards outlined in the GAC’s Beijing Communiqué and implemented by the ICANN Board are appropriate and sufficient to deal with the potential for misuse of the .wine and .vin new gTLDs. These members welcome the Board's response to these safeguards, which prohibit fraudulent or deceptive use of domain names. They consider that it would be inappropriate and a serious concern if the agreed international settings on GIs were to be redesigned by ICANN. The current protections for geographical indications are the outcome of carefully balanced negotiations. Any changes to those protections are more appropriately negotiated among intellectual property experts in the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Trade Organization.
Other members consider that delegation of .wine and.vin strings should remain on hold until either sufficient additional safeguards to protect GIs are put into place in these strings to protect the consumers and businesses that rely on such GIs; or common ground has been reached for the worldwide protection of GIs via international fora and wide array of major trade agreements. Given this changing context, they welcome the current face-to-face talks between the applicants for .wine and .vin. and wine producers, aiming to protect their assets and consumers’ interests whilst taking into account governments’ public policy concerns.
The Board may wish to seek a clear understanding of the legally complex and politically sensitive background on this matter in order to consider the appropriate next steps in the process of delegating the two strings. GAC members may wish to write to the Board to further elaborate their views.