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The new legal framework for domain names: the things that will change on 1 July

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The Law of 22 March 2011  has changed certain aspects of the legal framework for domain names in France. AFNIC has identified the key changes that will come into effect on 1 July 2011.

Disputes between rights holders and holders of .fr domain names

The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedure will be suspended by WIPO on 15 April 2011,

The dispute resolution procedure for obvious breaches of the Decree of 6 February 2007 (PREDEC) will be suspended as of 15 May 2011.

The measures have become necessary due to the lead-times required for each procedure, since no decision can be handed down after the deadline of 30 June.
AFNIC is currently working on the draft of a new procedure for resolving disputes which, under the new legal framework, will have to be approved by the Minister.
In the meantime, disputes can be brought before the courts or submitted for online arbitration by the CMAP (Paris Mediation and Arbitration Centre).

Prohibited and reserved terms
As of 1 July, AFNIC will amend the registration procedure for the terms included in the lists  including the names of French towns.
Applicants must state the grounds for registration requests, AFNIC only being entitled to refuse to register a domain name if there is evidence it has been made in bad faith and lacks legitimate interest.

Access to the list of .fr domain names registered
As of 1 July, every day AFNIC will publish on its website the list of domain names registered on the previous day in a standard format for viewing and downloading.

In the coming weeks AFNIC will continue to consult the stakeholders on the means of implementing these provisions. To do so, it is organising:

an on-line discussion / information session open to all with the AFNIC Legal Affairs Department, on:

5 May, from 14:00 to 16:00
1 June, from 10:00 to 12:00

a legal affairs working group open to members of AFNIC, on the morning of 29 April.

Find out more
– on the AFNIC website:
– on Facebook: AFNIC
– on Twitter:

(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, donates 90% of its profits to its 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 80 employees.