Calif. Dem wants to put cork in .wine websites

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) doesn't think websites should be paired with .wine.

In a letter to the head of the international group deciding new website endings, such as .com or .net, the top Democrat on the House’s Technology subcommittee said she was "deeply concerned" about certain generic top-level domain names (gLTDs).

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“Specifically, it’s my understanding that the .wine and .vin gLTDs have been met with fierce opposition from the wine industry, both here in the U.S. and around the world,” Eshoo added. “Given those concerns ... I urge you to advocate for the .wine and .vin gTLDs to be permanently withdrawn from consideration.”

The nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which manages online domain names, is in the process of creating hundreds of new extensions to expand the confines of the Web.

As well as adding new letters after the "dot," extensions are also being rolled out in other characters like Chinese and Arabic, and industries are trying to capitalize on the move. Nike and McDonald’s have looked to get on board, as has the Republican Party

The new domain names are creating headaches for some industries, however.

Wine groups in and around Eshoo’s California district and around the world have protested the plans to create extensions for .wine and .vin, the French word for wine.

Industry groups have said that the move could make it possible for cheap imitations to buy up sites like Napa.wine or Champagne.vin to profit off of the famous regions.

Eshoo said new website endings should be “carefully scrutinized" and “and take into account the concern of impacted stakeholders.”

Her letter was sent last week but released on Wednesday. 

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