|Registry Provider:||Minds + Machines|
|Registry:||Top Level Domain Holdings|
|Category:||Food & Drink|
|PIC Submitted:||Download Here|
|Priority #:||577 - Top Level Domain Holdings|
|Parked Domain %:||60.4 %|
|Delegation:||31 March 2014|
|General Availability:||15 September 2014|
.vodka is a proposed TLD in ICANN's New gTLD Program. It is one of 68 applications that Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd. has filed for on its own behalf. Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd. is the only applicant for .vodka. The proposed application succeeded and was delegated to the Root Zone on 31 March 2014.
.vodka is a new generic top-level domain targeted to vodka brands and products, nightclubs, bars, restaurants and alcohol bloggers worldwide.
Saudi Arabia's Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) filed an objection against the TLD, on the grounds that it could glamourise the consumption of alcohol.
The Independent Objector is responsible for determining if a new gTLD application is in the best interest of the Internet community. If not, he or she will file formal objections against a new gTLD application. Alain Pellet, a law professor from the University of Paris and a former member of the United Nations International Law Commission and International Court of Justice, was chosen by ICANN to serve as the sole independent objector for the New gTLD Program in May, 2012.  The position was created by ICANN in accordance with the implementation of the New gTLD Program. As defined, the IO may be an individual or organization and must not be affiliated with any applicant and must carry out their responsibility without bias.
In December 2012 Mr. Pellet released his first correspondence on actual TLDs, commenting on so-called "Controversial strings". Those strings include: .adult, .sex, .porn, .sexy, .hot, .gay, .lgbt, .persiangulf, .vodka, and .wtf. A string seemed to have been deemed "controversial" by Mr. Pellet if it received a substantial amount of objections during the public comment period. He addresses each TLD separately and at length, noting the objection, and turning to International law and precedent to determine whether an objection from his point of view, of defending the public interest, is warranted. In each case he concludes that the objections are not supported by international law and that regional, cultural, and personal issues influence the objections rather than broadly accepted treaties, laws, or international cultural trends. He has reserved the right to later object to the strings, but at that time it was deemed that the "controversial strings" are in fact not offensive to the greater public interest and Internet users.
With regards to .vodka, the IO notes that all objections come from persons or entities where cultural or religious norms find alcohol to be immoral. and that alcohol is even banned in some countries. The IO defers to the World Health Organization (WHO), noting that the group has taken measures to mitigate the risks and harms of alcohol consumption, and has documented the dangers of alcohol well, but that the organization also recognizes that alcohol consumption is an important aspect of social and cultural traditions all over the world. Mr. Pellet notes that prohibition of alcohol is extremely limited on an international level.
The following is excerpted from the applicant's response to question #18:
"The mission of the .VODKA top-level domain is to provide consumers of vodka an easy way to find and evaluate information about vodka, and in some cases to purchase it online (laws permitting). In turn, we expect that vodka manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers will use the .VOKDA top-level domain to reach their consumers. Vodka is the most popular of all spirits consumed in the United States, accounting for 26.6% of all distilled spirits sold, and is the single most popular alcohol in Russia and other parts of Europe. Small-scale production of vodka by micro-distilleries is growing fast, and the .VODKA top-level domain will serve them as well as established manufacturers. We also expect those providing information about vodka to use the .VODKA gTLD. ..
"We specifically examined more restrictive registration policies, such as limiting registration to members of organizations with a specific tie to vodka. We rejected such limitations because they would interfere with .VODKA’s primary mission, purpose and goals--which is to encourage as many registrants as possible to associate themselves with vodka for any legal purpose. Factors that we took into account when considering a more restrictive registration policy included:
"Our recognition that registrants of a .VODKA domain name will self-select because they have an interest in vodka, naturally reducing the number of potential registrants; and, because restrictive policies such as, for example, requiring membership in a specific organization or organizations, would exclude many legitimate registrants from obtaining a .VODKA domain name. For example, and by way of illustration, if membership an organization were required for registration, businesses and charitable organizations that would find a .VODKA top-level domain name an effective marketing tool would be excluded from registering a .VODKA domain name as they might not be eligible to be members in an organization that accepted only natural persons for membership."
- gTLD Application Update 92 applications submitted, TLDH.org
- Delegated Strings, ICANN.org Retrieved 15 April 2014
- Saudi Arabia opposes .gay internet domain name, bbc.com
- Independent Objector for New gTLD Program Selected. ICANN. Published 2012 May 14.
- Wanted: somebody to object to new gTLDs. Domain Incite. Published 2011 November 23. Retrieved 2012 November 15.
- The Independent Objectors Comments on Controversial Applications, Independent-Objector-NewgTLDs.orgRetrieved 8 Jan 2013
- Vodka General Comment, Independent-Objector-newgTLDs.orgRetrieved 8 Jan 2013
- Application Download, gTLDresult.ICANN.org Retrieved 18 Feb 2013
- Registry Agreements, ICANN.org Retrieved 30 Dec 2013