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Publication of the decree on the new legal framework for domain names

August 3, 2011


The decree specifying the conditions for implementing the law of 22 March 2011 has been published in the Official Journal.

AFNIC welcomes the move and will now be able to carefully review the applications to register prohibited or reserved terms filed since 1 July.

- The implementing decree of the law of 22 March 2011 which has just been published in the Official Journal gives a precise definition of "legitimate interest" and "good faith".

To date, some 6168 requests have been filed. To help applicants follow up on AFNIC's feedback within the 15 days allowed for by the procedure, AFNIC will send them its answer starting August 29.

- In addition, the decree specifies the accreditation criteria with which registrars will now have to comply. AFNIC will begin considering the introduction of this process in the coming weeks. During the transition phase, the decree provides that registrars under contract with AFNIC will continue to carry out their business in accordance with the conditions specified in the contract.

As a reminder, on 6 October 2010, the French Constitutional Council declared unconstitutional section L. 45 of the French Electronic Communications and Telecommunications Act and gave the legislature until 1 July to amend it. On 22 March 2011, the Act replacing the article was passed, establishing a new legal framework for domain names under the .fr TLD, with the main changes coming into effect on 1 July.

The changes introduced by the Act included the easing of registration requirements for terms previously classified as prohibited and reserved. Find out more about the decree Find out more about the law.


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Afnic (the French acronym for "Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération" i.e. the French Network Information Centre), is a non-profit association. Appointed by the State to manage domain names under the .fr TLD, it promotes use of the namespace by entrepreneurs and individuals. As the incumbent manager of the .fr TLD with more than 3.2 million domain names to date, it is also positioned as a provider of technical solutions and registry services: it currently manages 14 projects for new gTLDs, including .paris and .bzh. Afnic is located in Saint-Quentin en Yvelines, where its staff of 80 work for the common good of the French Internet. Afnic donates 90% of the profits from the .fr TLD to the Afnic Foundation for Digital Solidarity, which finances inclusive Internet projects in France and its overseas territories.