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France faces lawsuit for seizing domain

France faces lawsuit for seizing domain

France wanted domain of its domain. Not so fast, says the longtime owner of

The 24-year owner of the website is now suing the country over its seizure of the domain, according to media reports this week.

Jean-Noël Frydman had been using the domain to draw France-loving American tourists ever since he bought it in 1994, according to reports. At one time, he partnered with French government agencies, but that ended in 2015 when the country sued to take over the domain.

A Paris Court of Appeals ruled in September 2017 that the website violated French trademark law, and so the seizure ensued. The latest suit names the French government, including Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian, and VeriSign, which currently handles domain registry.

The suit references that the French government had explicitly acknowledged that it didn't own the right to the word "France” and that officials also didn't make any effort to buy or license the domain before trying to seize it. The lawsuit accuses country officials as feeling "inherently entitled" to take control of the domain.







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