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The French Council of State rules on the former legal framework for domain names

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Four basic documents of the French naming policy had been referred to the Council of State in 2010: the “PREDEC” alternative dispute resolution procedure, the naming policies for the .fr TLD in force at that time, as well as the order and agreement of 2009 designating the registry for the .fr zone. The Council’s decision, dated June 10, 2013, follows on from the procedure initiated before the Constitutional Council in 2010, which led to the annulment of the former Article L. 45 of the French Electronic Communications and Telecommunications Act (CPCE) (1).

The Council of State annulled the texts, which were no longer in force. The reason for the annulment was the failure to notify the European Commission of the naming policy.

This important decision ends litigation that has been going on for nearly four years. It also confirms that Afnic is entrusted with a public service remit as the Registry for the .fr TLD.

The legal and regulatory framework currently in force is not affected by the decision of the Council of State, which therefore means there will be no immediate change in the role of Afnic or in the registration rules applicable to the French ccTLD.

Afnic will examine the medium-term consequences of this decision in the near future.

The Association intends to continue to fulfill its daily assignment of serving French Internet users, domain name holders and registrars of the .fr TLD in accordance with its initially stated purpose and, henceforth, with the requirement for continuity of the public service.