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A new step forward for the future legal framework for domain names in France

Home > Observatory and resources > News > A new step forward for the future legal framework for domain names in France

AFNIC welcomes this new step forward, achieved despite the tight deadlines imposed by the French Constitutional Council and the Parliamentary calendar as of October 6 last. Background:

On 6 October, the Constitutional Council ruled that Article L45 of the French Post and Electronic Communications Code would be unconstitutional as of 1 July 2011, handing the initiative over to the legislature to change it.

 On 1 December 2010, i.e. only two months later, the debate on the new legislative framework for domain names began in the French National Assembly: Lionel Tardy MP introduced an amendment to replace Article L.45 of the Post and Electronic Communications Code, to make it compatible with the French Constitution.

On Thursday 13 January, the French National Assembly adopted on first reading a bill to define the new legal framework for extensions applicable to the national territory.

On Thursday, February 10, 2011, the Senate passed the amended bill on domain names. The new Article L. 45 (et seq.) was submitted on February 16 to a joint committee, in order to have the two assemblies agree on a common text.

On 8 and 9 March 2011, the text was adopted respectively by the National Assembly and Senate.

With the passing of this bill by Parliament, a major milestone has been reached in the process of drafting the new law on domain names, a step welcomed by AFNIC.

The last stage in the legislative process is the enactment of the law by the President of the Republic within 15 days, then its publication in the Official Gazette, from which point onwards the new section L45 (et seq.) will be applicable throughout France.

Find out more:
 See Article 19 at

(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.