NEW YORK — Just one month after Mother Nature defeated Jeff Bezos in a battle for the .amazon domain name, a new conflict is fermenting in these Internet suffixes. This time around, the hotly contested properties are .vin and .wine, and the broad-based attack is being led by a very rankled France.
Winemakers in Europe, Australia and California are protesting a decision by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to move forward with the introduction of .vin and .wine as so-called top-level domains — the familiar appendixes to Web addresses like .com and .edu. The problem, as fine winemakers see it, is that opening up access to .wine and .vin will make it easier for unethical wine sellers to deceive customers about the origin and quality of their goods.
Geography is a big deal when it comes to winemaking and the European Union has strict rules that govern the use of “geographical indications” in marketing and labeling. The