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Liberalization of .fr and .re domain name registrations: studying opening to individuals

Home > Observatory and resources > News > Liberalization of .fr and .re domain name registrations: studying opening to individuals

The AFNIC is proceeding with its analysis of the in and outs of an opening to individuals, following the abolition of the “right to a name” in May 2004.
Let’s remind that the board of Directors had decided on November 7, 2003, the opening of the .fr and .re registration in two different moves: 1st: to organizations identified on-line in public national databases (companies, trademark owners, corporations listed in the INSEE or other public registries, independents,…); 2nd: to individuals, after an assessment of the first step.

The first opening took place from May 11th to May 14th 2004, without any technical problem. However, some legal or political issues arose, regarding especially AFNIC’s attitude towards infringements of the naming Charter and especially regarding straight name registration of local bodies under the format “”.
Both issues have not been settled yet:

No decree has enforced the July 9 2004 Law on Communications (art. L.45. I), in order to back up AFNIC’s position and means for the respect of intellectual property.

Regarding the registration of local bodies, a legislative proposal was voted last June by the French Senate, has not been placed on the agenda of the National Assembly

Facing such uncertainties, and also depending on the difficulty of individuals’ registration, the Board of Directors of the AFNIC, when meeting on the 19th of November, did not decide of the date of that opening.

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.