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Further information about Mr. Laurent N.'s domain names blocking

Home > Observatory and resources > News > Further information about Mr. Laurent N.'s domain names blocking

The AFNIC noticed that, shortly after
Mr Laurent N.’s domain names blocking announcement
(October 22, 2004), some press articles would misunderstand the identity of the person aimed by the decision and on what grounds it was taken.

Identity of the person aimed at

The AFNIC took a blocking step solely on the domain names hold by Mr. Laurent N. in his own name, since Mr. Laurent N. was identified during name registration on public databases in his quality of French tradesman.
EuroDNS as a registrar is not concerned by the decision. Sufficient evidence is given by the fact that whenever registered via EuroDNS and not showing Mr. Laurent N. as a holder, domain names are not blocked.

Grouds of the measure

The AFNIC wants to remind that such a measure was taken in order to cope with an exceptional situation, in which a unique holder (and not “hundreds of holders” as sometimes written up) would hold a huge number of names, obviously interfering with third parties rights and not in keeping with article 19 of the naming Charter.
Being unable to arbitrate on whether the whole 4465 domain names would correspond or not to third parties’ rights, the AFNIC decided to block all these names together and to publish the list on the AFNIC’ s website so as to let third parties the opportunity of reacting.

It should be recalled that the AFNIC would have put itself in its wrong when not reacting to such a matter and if overlooking numerous complaints received during the last months.

Case where organizations or individuals registered .fr and used Mr. Laurent N. as holder to the AFNIC

Since the announcement of the blocking, a few tens of third parties (among 4465 names) got in touch with the AFNIC and complained about the blocking, asking for support in finding a solution.
In response, the AFNIC recommended transferring their domain name so that Mr. Laurent N. be no more holder of this name. Such transfers, duly accepted by Mr. Laurent N., are carried out in quite a short time. A good many of these names stayed by the EuroDNS registrar, since a transfer towards a new holder doesn’t necessarily imply a transfer towards a new registrar.

We notices that in most cases, third parties might very well have registered their .fr in thein own name, insofar as their organization could be identified in France or was a trademarks’ holder registered by the INPI . Thus, registration in the name of Mr. Laurent N. wasn’t called for. In very few cases though, third parties might not have registered .fr names, without any identification in France.

It should be reminded that the AFNIC considers as sole acceptable partner committing its legal responsibility in the matter of .fr domain name the holder of this name. The AFNIC doesn’t have means to know whether the holder is acting in his own name or in that of third parties. Therefore, and according to the AFNIC’s Names Charter regulations, Mr. Laurent N.’s responsibility towards legal trademark holder is involved as soon as his .fr name registration matches the latter.

03/02/2005 update:
of blocked domain names on February 3rd 2005

07/04/2005 update:
of blocked domain names on April 6th 2005

04/05/2005 update:
Domain names list updated
in real time subject to omissions or pending operations.

19/03/2007 update:
The AFNIC and EuroDNS end the litigation that opposed them; the lists of blocked domain names are removed.

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.