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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. For 20 years, we have been the registry for the management of Internet addresses under the .fr TLD suffix. We also manage the French overseas TLDs for .re (Reunion Island), .pm (St. Pierre and Miquelon), .tf (French Southern and Antarctic Territories), .wf (Wallis and Futuna), and .yt (Mayotte). In addition to the more than 3.2 million domain names they represent, we are also the back-end registry for 14 companies as well as local and regional authorities that have chosen to have their own TLD suffix including .paris, .bzh, .alsace, .corsica, .mma, .ovh, .leclerc and .sncf. We actively support the digital transformation of small and mid-size businesses in France with our system Réussir en .fr ( and offer a free online presence support package ranging from diagnostic tools to on-site training throughout France. As an association, we federate a community of more than one hundred members with varied profiles but all of whom are stakeholders on the web: registrars, companies, federations, users, institutions, etc. Our role is part of a broader assignment involving the common good, which consists in helping to make the Internet more secure, stable and open to innovation each day, in which the French Internet community plays a leading role. In addition, we pay 90% of the profits from the management of the .fr TLD to our Afnic Foundation for Digital Solidarity ( which each year finances some thirty projects designed to reduce the digital divide throughout France.