California Democrats .Whine Over Proposed .Wine Domains

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Let’s see if we can do this without making any puns.

In May, California Democratic Congressman Mike Thompson sent a letter to the Internet Corporation for Assigning Names and Numbers (ICANN), asking that .wine and .vin domain not be assigned to “any applicant,” provided that worries concerning protections against cybersquatting can’t be resolved.

Congressman Thompson’s district, the California 5th, contains Napa county, which is famous wine country.

The fear, it appears, is that there will be something akin to a digital landrush on .wine and .vin domains if the new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) are created. Wineries, of course, aren’t in favor of having someone else scoop up their name.wine or .vin, and thus want protection.

Another California Democrat has sent ICANN a letter with the same request. Rep. Anna Eshoo asked that the two wine-focused gTLDs “be permanently withdrawn from consideration.” Her letter, which The Hill brought to my attention, notes that her letter was sent last week, but released more recently. Her district covers much of Silicon Valley.

It’s somewhat incredible how many gTLDs there are now. And how small their impact appears to be. I could buy alexander.ninja, for example. Did you know that you could buy .ninja domains? I didn’t.

Thousands of wineries have banded together to protest the creation of the gTLDs.

Vetting this, I have come to the following conclusion: The era in which I can register .rich and .solar and .lightning domains, but not alexthinks.scotchwhiskeyisgreat is just a time that I don’t want to live in.

IMAGE BY FLICKR USER CHRISTIAN HAUGEN UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0 LICENSE (IMAGE HAS BEEN MODIFIED)