Alerted about unsolicited sales calls to new holders of domain names in recent weeks, Afnic has contacted all the companies incriminated to remind them of the proper procedures for using the information in the Whois database. These include the fact that any reproduction and/or use of all or a substantial part of the database without the express consent of Afnic is strictly prohibited. It should be noted that “individual” owners are not affected because of the anonymity by default of their data.
Afnic has also begun changing the format of the daily lists it publishes of registered domain names in order to control this type of practice. The purpose of the change is to comply with the legal obligations set out in Article 45 of the French Electronic Communications and Telecommunications Act (CPCE), while protecting companies against inappropriate solicitation.
As part of a broader action plan aimed at regulating the use of data relating to domain names, Afnic will soon launch work on the publication of Whois data on an Open License basis.
Afnic remains committed to these issues and informs users that are victims of these practices that they can rely on the legal framework governing sales prospecting and refer to bodies such as the CNIL.
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.