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legal France seizes France.com from man who’s had it since ‘94, so he sues

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Constantin S

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A French-born American has now sued his home country because, he claims, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has illegally seized a domain that he’s owned since 1994: France.com.

In the mid-1990s, Jean-Noël Frydman bought France.com from Web.com and set up a website to serve as a "digital kiosk" for Francophiles and Francophones in the United States.

For over 20 years, Frydman built up a business (also known as France.com)
Finally, on March 12, 2018, Web.com abruptly transferred ownership of the domain to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The company did so without any formal notification to Frydman and no compensation.

"I'm probably [one of Web.com's] oldest customers," Frydman told Ars.
Sources:
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy...com-from-man-whos-had-it-since-94-so-he-sues/
I also seen this on 1st page of Reddit:
https://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/8frmzc/france_seizes_francecom_from_man_whos_had_it/

EDIT: I see people wondering who's crazy to use web.com/NetworkSolutions, this should answer your question: :)
https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/networksolutions.com#trafficstats
 
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The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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Not nice to hear. Surprised that web.com would simply transfer the domain to another account without authorization of the existing account holder. Also I am very surprised that a country like France does not pay up but gets involved in such dirty tactics and ultimately theft.
 
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Constantin S

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Not nice to hear. Surprised that web.com would simply transfer the domain to another account without authorization of the existing account holder. Also I am very surprised that a country like France does not pay up but gets involved in such dirty tactics and ultimately theft.
Just another proof why people should NEVER use Web.com/NetworkSolutions.
 
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johname

Planet FutbolTop Member
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The Germany.com guy doesn't use Web.com so the Cat pic stays lol
 
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This probably sets a precedence for every country to get their .com domain as long as it is with Network Solutions?
 
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creataweb

Some Guy with Awesome Senior High School PhotoTop Member
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France = Thieves if this is all true.
 
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golan

GolanMedia.comTop Member
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Crazy shit. Down with France (((
 
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Finally, on March 12, 2018, Web.com abruptly transferred ownership of the domain to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The company did so without any formal notification to Frydman and no compensation.

Wonder if Web.com/Nethole will change their mind and give him the domain back? They flipflopped like that 3 times in the CQD.com case: https://www.namepros.com/posts/6690420/
 
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emadpino

Established Member
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Well, it is obviously a steal without going into details especially when the domain was running on a legit business for so long.

BUT does anyone here have a %10 confidence that the domain can be returned to its rightful owner ?

Can the domain owner take it back from THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT ?

Now every country is going to do the same and any domainer holding a country name in .com is at risk.
 
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alcy

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this is just crazy!! horrible in every sense..

it's interesting to see what excuse they used to do so.. as for sure companies will try to use similar tactics
 
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FolioTeam

Brandsq.comTop Member
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Yet another netsol saga. Who still uses them?
 
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WillW

Upgraded Member
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Constantin S

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This is why I have zero domains at netsol...
 
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omarte

only quality namesEstablished Member
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Why a country like france use a dirty way to get the domain while they can simply make a reasonable offer & get it legally!
 
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Galaxy Traveller

Established Member
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My dog name is France. I am afraid if french foreign minister seize my dog.
 
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Galaxy Traveller

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Probably french foreign minister raised his childhood with thieves and thugs or he learnt from his near relative, elders that theft and snatching is best policy. Next, Brazil will claim amazon (Though I think Brazil will never try to theft and robbery or claim as France did).

Why it is theft and robbery? Because France has no jurisdiction and thus even French court order is invalid, void and null.
 
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...Now every country is going to do the same and any domainer holding a country name in .com is at risk.

This is a real serious event - for the present and the future. "Every country will do the same" you say? Ha! Think higher! In my opinion, I think it's going to mean that domainers that hold ANY country, city, town, village, or municipality name will be at risk losing it and may be required to just give them up to whatever political entity is in charge. Sounds very socialistic, Communistic in nature.

The thought that French authorities just "scooped" this name with no recourse to the owner's rights is very, very scary and discerning. It's hard to believe there is not more to this story. I sure hope so
 
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Galaxy Traveller

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Probably french foreign minister raised his childhood with thieves and thugs or he learnt from his near relative, elders that theft and snatching is best policy. Next, Brazil will claim amazon (Though I think Brazil will never try to theft and robbery or claim as France did).

Why it is theft and robbery? Because France has no jurisdiction and thus even French court order is invalid, void and null.

Another possibility, after Brexit some EU ministers become mad, they now want .com fail, Google fail, Facebook fail, Britain fail who knows, but they will never succeed because EU people are not illiterate and backward, some crook, mad and thug mentality ministers cannot fool them.
 
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Soofi

Love Domain NamesTop Member
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Horrible precedence being set right there :(
 
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DnEbook

DataGlasses.ComTop Member
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France have always been very anal about their Identity ..... that's why I donk drink Champagne
@joestyler .. How would Godaddy handle something like this I wonder (just asking)
 
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BaileyUK

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It would be amazing if a 1994 registration of France.com was taken away from the original registrant. that's unless it was used in a misrepresentation of a French government or an authorised representative site.

a bit of digging should find out the answer
 
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Jv1999

Wander Aimlessly: Redeemed Knight of the Exo-TowerTop Member
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I saw this on reddit, and I feel like I was the only one who actually understood how horrible it was for him.

france.com is a multi-million dollar domain, and you wouldn't know that unless you were a domainer.

kinda messed up. but we don't know the whole story behind the laws he supposedly violated.
 
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offthehandle

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It has no URS or UDRP filed that I could find, nor court proceeding other than what was issued in France, that’s a big issue for domain owners.
Nothing on WIPO that I could find.

The registrants company name was France.com, Inc. imo, not too smart. Not sure if that will be an legal argument, or general public cares or would argued as to “be confusingly similar” to the country name trademark.

I looked at a screenshot in 2005, just a normal tourism website. Quite an archive.org collection available.

Here is the registrants lawsuit:
https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4446066-1-Complaint.html#document/p4/a420695

Here is the “hit list” for the next ones to be grabbed. Just kidding, but shows who owns what country.com

http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/amc/es/docs/annex12.pdf
 
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