Daily Poll: Does the France.com Decision Concern You?

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:

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. just gonna make americans hate the french even more with the added bonus of letting people realize that netsol (web.com) is just as trashy an operation as it was 20 years ago when they had a monopoly on domain registrations and couldn’t be bothered to hire more than a handful of people to answer the phones for the entire domain community.

  2. This decision should concern all domain speculators, especialy those with geo domains.

    However, a trademark is recognized by judicial bodies based on usage in commerce or non-commercial use. If anything, the trademark rights sit with the original domain holder who was using the domain in commerce. Verisign handing over intellectual property arbitrarily to the French government should open them up to legal penalties as well…

  3. Reminds me of Barcelona.com. Looking at what happened Web.com were totally out of order tranfering the domain over without letting the real owner know what happening.

    France has its own domain its France.fr thats the correct domain. Im looking forward to Brazil laying claim to Amazon.com.

    The guy to me should win the domain back. But the problem being this is not at city level like Barcelona.com this is State laying claim to domain thats a whole different level.

  4. Hit them in the pocket books with a suit. It’s only fair. We are doing their legwork. I didn’t see any “registrars” at the Houston Offshore Technology Conference this year… I was! My time, my money, and my legwork. They sure do take our yearly renewal fees w/ ease!

  5. I find it not only appalling but shocking that you nor any of your peers in this space called domain investing have made an update to this issue. This past December, the US court ruled in france’s favor for immunity. Thus closing the case in France.com and giving it to France now and forevermore.

    Why haven’t any of you talked about this? This puts ALL of us in danger, even if you don’t have any geographical assets in your hands. This is just setting up a precedent for a series of shit shows to follow and I find it utterly disappointing professionals in this space just don’t care.

    This man was using it for TWENTY YEARS, and he got robbed. I think you and your colleagues should discuss this, the more any of you stay silent on this is the moment this is good to turn into a slippery Slope for all of us.

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