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A new legal framework for domain names in France

Home > Observatory and resources > News > A new legal framework for domain names in France

In particular, the law is designed to replace section L45 of the French Electronic Communications and Telecommunications Act, deemed unconstitutional by the Constitutional Council on 6 October 2010.

AFNIC welcomes the promulgation of the new law less than six months after the decision of the Constitutional Council, a clear sign that the legislature recognises the importance of the issues involved in domain names.

Scheduled to take effect on 30 June, the new text is a step forward for the legal framework for domain names in France, particularly in terms of clarity and balance. All the French domain name Top-Level-Domains (.fr, .re, .gp, .mq, .gf, etc.) are concerned, except for .pf (French Polynesia) and .nc (New Caledonia).

A number of procedures established by AFNIC will be affected; for example it will change those for resolving litigation (rules and procedures), it will slacken certain restrictions on the registration of domain names, and affect the opening of the .fr TLD to Europe scheduled for 31/12/2011…

At the end of its next Board meeting, to be held on 8 April, AFNIC will unveil the practicalities and details of these developments. They were already discussed last March during the Consultative Committee meetings with registrars and user members of the association.

Find out more:
See article 19 of the law at
(In French only)

(Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération )
Non-profit organization, AFNIC is in charge of the administrative and technical management of the .fr (France) and .re (Reunion Island) Internet domain names.
AFNIC brings together public and private members: representatives from the French government, Internet users and Internet Service Providers (Registrars).
Further information.


About Afnic

Afnic is the acronym for Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération, the French Network Information Centre. The registry has been appointed by the French government to manage domain names under the .fr Top Level Domain. Afnic also manages the .re (Reunion Island), .pm (Saint-Pierre and Miquelon), .tf (French Southern and Antarctic Territories), .wf (Wallis and Futuna) and .yt (Mayotte) French Overseas TLDs.

In addition to managing French TLDs, Afnic’s role is part of a wider public interest mission, which is to contribute on a daily basis, thanks to the efforts of its teams and its members, to a secure and stable internet, open to innovation and in which the French internet community plays a leading role. As part of that mission, Afnic, a non-profit organization, has committed to devoting 11% of its Revenues from managing .fr Top Level Domain to actions of general interest, in particular by transferring €1.3 million each year to the Afnic Foundation for Digital Solidarity.
Afnic is also the back-end registry for the companies as well as local and regional authorities that have chosen to have their own TLD, such as .paris, .bzh, .alsace, .corsica, .mma, .ovh, .leclerc and .sncf.

Established in 1997 and based in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Afnic currently has nearly 90 employees.