23 June 2014

ICANN vs France, Spain, Portugal, and the EU over .wine and .vin

As reported here yesterday, a storm is brewing in Europe over ICANN's intentions to delegate new .gTLDs .vin and .wine. ICANN Board Chairman Stephen Crocker apparently spent a busy day Saturday, June 21, 2014, signing what appear to be "form letters" to various governmental officials who have "sounded off," pro and con, on the .wine and .vin issues, including the following (all bearing the date June 21, 2014):

Letter from Stephen Crocker to Lawrence Strickling (USA)
Letter from Stephen Crocker to Keith Besgrove (Australia)
Letter from Stephen Crocker to Axelle Lemair (France)
Letter from Stephen Crocker to Victor Calvo-Sotelo Ibanez-Martin (Spain)
Letter from Stephen Crocker to Nuno Crato (Portugal)
Letter from Stephen Crocker to Neelie Kroes (EU)
Letter from Stephen Crocker to Bruce Parkes (New Zealand)

Dr. Crock may think he has "blown off" Ms. Lemair (France) et al, but sources in London and Paris say the Crocker has no idea who or what he is dealing with--just read what the staid London financial newspaper, the Financial Times, is reporting:

France lashes out at internet naming body ICANN - FT.com: " . . . France has linked the issue [new gTLDs .wine and .vin] to the broader question of how ICANN is structured and governed. “The problem is it is totally opaque, there is no transparency at all in the process,” Axelle Lemaire, minister for digital affairs, told the Financial Times... Ms Lemaire also wrote this month to the ICANN board saying the domain name process threatened to “undermine confidence in your organisation”. The US agreed this year to give up its ultimate control of ICANN exercised through the commerce department, but Ms Lemaire made clear France wants to go further, seeking to rally support for a global conference on its overhaul. Paris wants it set up under international law with a redefined mission and overseen by a “general assembly” of stakeholders that would include governmental representation on a “one country, one vote” basis, Ms Lemaire said. In her letter to the ICANN board she wrote: “The lack of adequate redress mechanisms and, above all, the lack of accountability demonstrate the need for significant reform of ICANN even before the current debate on the global internet governance system comes to a conclusion.”..."

I have a feeling Ms. Lemaire et al are just getting started. Vive la France!

--report submitted by contributing editor, John Poole, Domain Mondo

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