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The Battle for France.com: The Tricky Fight For Ownership

2018-05-23T02:48:29+00:00 By |0 Comments

Conflict ensues for the rights to own the web domain France.com, particularly between the French government and Jean Noel Frydman. The “battle,” which may be pointed to have begun last 1994 when Frydman first registered the domain, appears to be up for a heated climax soon.

france battleTo those who may have been interested to get to know about France, chances are you’re likely to enter “france.com” in a browser’s address bar. Those expecting to be led to something about France may be surprised to see quite a different website. This was because Frydman registered the domain back in 1994 and has turned it into the focus of his business.

This was until 2015, when France (the country) had begun legal action against Frydman over the domain. Last year, 2017, a French court decision was in France’s favor, which led to the French government contacting web.com, the domain host for .com websites, to take France.com away from Frydman.

The Frenchman decried this move, saying the government has “illegally” taken the website from him without warning him back in mid-March, 2018. In retaliation, Frydman took matters to Virginia and seeks legal action to regain possession of the domain.

Aside from the French Republic, Frydman is suing the domain registrar Verisign, the Atout France tourist agency, and the French Foreign Affairs Ministry. He added the government didn’t ask to buy the domain or ask for the license, but instead abused the legal system to gain control of the domain.

The federal lawsuit was filed last April 19, and none of the defendants have yet to make a formal appearance in the courtroom.

 

Frydman and France.com: In ‘Bad Faith’

france.comFrydman told technology website Ars Technica that the move was unfair. He added he is starting the legal battle because if this happened to him, it can then happen to anyone.

To add insult to injury, Frydman’s France.com was supposed to be an information network of sorts of French culture enthusiasts in the United States, as well as French citizens. He added much of the information in the website was retrieved with collaboration of French government agencies such as the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Unfortunately, even with this collaboration, the 2015 legal action says Frydman’s usage of France.com was allegedly “in bad faith,” and that he didn’t get “permission” to officially use it.

 

Unfair France

Those interested to learn more about the event can look at unfairfrance.com, a website Frydman had launched, to detail what had happened to France.com since its conception. Notable events in the website’s timeline included:

France.com was officially registered back in February 20, 1994. Frydman and his team immediately started coordinating with startups, government entities, and media companies to help the website get up and running, and it did so without a hitch during its 1995 launch.

Aside from gaining support from other government entities and groups, Frydman and his team came up with various ideas to promote French culture both inside and outside the internet. One such effort was the Les Webs d’Or competition, which Frydman and his team conceptualized to promote French-speaking websites. The unfairfrance.com site added the Ministry of Culture promoted the competition, and France.com became the internet’s top French-speaking website for a time.

France.com’s popularity also perhaps became reason for the push to become the outside contractor of Washington’s French Embassy when it wanted to create its first online presence. France.com also built the first travel-centric French website.

Parts of the timeline also included promotions of France.com by agency Atout France in various trade shows. France.com even won a couple of Atout France awards.

 

 

 

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