Posted March 9th, 2009
Sylvain Hirsch is an expert on many things French, but particularly Internet issues and of course, .fr. Here’s his inside take on AFNIC, restrictions on registration, options for dispute resolution and other tasty tidbits.
In Cyberspace, the French (AFNIC’s ) touch is about the specific regulations for acquiring a (domain) name, searching, protecting your personal data and defending your brand on the Internet under .fr.
Acquiring a .fr domain is a pretty straightforward process, provided you either:
• are a corporate entity located in France and can evidence it with your SIRET Number (Registration number at the Trade’s Registry) and/or be identified in an online dartabase;
• are the (happy individual or corporate) owner of a registered trademark valid in France (i.e. a national French registration, a registered CTM or an International Registration designating France). In that case, it is very interesting to note that the requirement is of any such registered trademark. The domain which registration under .fr is requested does not need to have any link to the trademark. A US company which would own say a registered CTM for “NameSmash” would be eligible on that basis to apply for any number of any available .fr domains
• are an individual resident in France, i.e. with an address in France (this liberalization dates from June 20, 2006);
Whatever your situation with respect to the above eligibility criteria, the administrative contact MUST be based in France and have an effective address in France to which legal and extrajudicial documents can be sent.