As you have probably heard by now, the French government seized control of the France.com domain name following the conclusion of litigation it filed in French courts. Apparently, Network Solutions honored the French court’s decision and gave control of the domain name to the French government.
I don’t understand why France should have trademark rights over France.com. I can’t think of many cities or countries that own their matching .com domain name because they are highly valuable and most are owned and operated by private entities. Could this mean any geographical region could file suit in their local court to try and get possession of their valuable matching .com domain name?
From my non-legal perspective, it also seems peculiar that a US based domain registrar would abide by a foreign court order when it involves a .com domain name registered to a US company. It seems peculiar to me that the French court would have jurisdiction and be able to get the registrar to hand over the domain name when the registrar (NetSol/Web.com), .com registry (Verisign), and registrant are located in the US.
This news has been covered by many mainstream tech publications from around the world, including Ars Technica, BBC, The Verge, Fortune, and the New York Times. Ron Jackson also published an article citing other legal precedents showing that geographical domain names can be owned by entities unrelated to the matching geographical region.
I want to know if this decision concerns you because of the potential impact it could have on other domain names. Please vote in the daily poll below and share your thoughts in the comment section: