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Author Topic: France seizes France.com from man who’s had it since ‘94  (Read 265 times)
bitmover
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June 30, 2018, 09:00:25 PM
Merited by suchmoon (5), LoyceV (1), paxmao (1)
 #1


France seizes France.com from man who’s had it since ‘94, so he sues
Jean-Noël Frydman: "If it happened to me, it can happen to anyone."

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), often collaborating with numerous official French agencies, including the Consulate General in Los Angeles and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

However, sometime around 2015, that very same ministry initiated a lawsuit in France in an attempt to wrest control of the France.com domain away from Frydman. Web.com locked the domain, and Frydman even roped in the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard Law School to intervene on his behalf.

By September 2017, the Paris Court of Appeals ruled that France.com was violating French trademark law. Armed with this ruling, lawyers representing the French state wrote to Web.com demanding that the domain be handed over.

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. "I've been with them for 24 years... There's never been any cases against France.com, and they just did that without any notice. I've never been treated like that by any company anywhere in the world. If it happened to me, it can happen to anyone."


On April 19, Frydman filed a federal lawsuit in Virginia in an attempt to get his domain name back. The suit names the French Republic, Atout France (a government tourism agency), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the minister himself (Jean-Yves Le Drian), and VeriSign as defendants.

None of the defendants has yet made a formal appearance in the Alexandria, Virginia, courtroom.

Web.com, the original registrar, is not a party to the lawsuit. However, the company seems to have taken it upon itself to heed the French legal ruling and give up the France.com domain name without a fight.


The lawsuit accuses France of cybersquatting France.com and "reverse domain-name hijacking," among other allegations.

Web.com's chief legal officer, Matt McClure, did not respond to Ars' request for comment.

"They claim to be a company that's good for small businesses," Frydman said. "What a joke. They've been absolutely horrible, not even answering our emails."


I found this article today and I remembered that Jet Cash and other members here invest in domain names.
It's impressive how the French state took the domain from this man.

This is one more example of governments abusing their power. Why can't they negotiate this domain name like any other person would do? Everyone has a price, and this domain name, France.com, is worth a lot of money.
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June 30, 2018, 09:22:19 PM
Merited by paxmao (1)
 #2

Poor Jean-Noël Frydman. Sorry for the injustice that you received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of a county. It's a shame.

It's true that Jean-Noël Frydman is using a domain for other purpose ("digital kiosk" for Francophiles and Francophones in the United States or whatever) than the domain actually should be used for. The domain is directly branded to a country name that's a big thing and you can not ignore it.

Anyway, I am not supporting the incident in favorite of France. What they did is very nasty robbery, took advantages of centralized power and it was poor, very poor. I do not think it gave a good impression for the French nation. It was injustice for Frydman. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs should have given a fair price to Jean-Noël Frydman. What surprised me is the action of Web.com. Seems like they did not care to keep the asset safe for a loyal customer. In fact it does not matter if a customer is loyal or not, a customer is a customer and s/he should feel safe about the service they are buying from you.

Shame Web.com, I will never be your customer. Shame for The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs too. The price to pay for the domain seems very higher than the bad impression you have earned from the world.
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June 30, 2018, 09:36:14 PM
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That's really a shame for web.com

The coercion capabilities of a government are enormous.

A government can make your business unfeasible by inspections, excessive oversight.
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July 01, 2018, 02:26:43 PM
Last edit: July 01, 2018, 02:42:39 PM by Jet Cash
Merited by suchmoon (5), Foxpup (2)
 #4

I'll post some links, and then comment afterwards.

https://www.compumark.com/blog/getting-right-happens-brand-name-country/ - Iceland vs. the Supermrket chain
https://dnattorney.com/monaco-no-you-cant-trademark-a-country-name/ - Barcelona and Monaco lost their claims for domain names.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out. I wonder why they didn't use the WIPO procedure. It will also be interesting to see if they claim damages from the registrar. I own English.gold, and as far as I know, there are no problems with my ownership of that name.

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July 04, 2018, 07:25:42 PM
 #5

Does that mean that they can seize:

France.org
France.net
France.au

What about france1.com

French.com ?
français.com ?

and all the .net .org etc versions.

Frenchfries.com ? They are not even French but Belgian.

Where does the madness start and end ?

Perhaps it ends here:
http://www.ca4.uscourts.gov/Opinions/Published/021396.P.pdf

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July 04, 2018, 08:01:27 PM
 #6

Anyone who's spent any time in France will know that they have an authoritarian streak that no other Western population society would put up with. The state there will rape you and the population will shrug and assume it's for the greater good despite their fondness for coating civic buildings with shit and burning tyres.

If they decide they're building a railway through your face, it's going to happen no matter what.
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July 12, 2018, 03:45:11 PM
Merited by Foxpup (6), Jet Cash (2), bitmover (1)
 #7

Does that mean that they can seize:

France.org
France.net
France.au

What about france1.com

French.com ?
français.com ?

and all the .net .org etc versions.

Frenchfries.com ? They are not even French but Belgian.

There's no real reason why not.

And let the precedent this sets sink in: france.com is a valuable domain name. That means any domain name in the DNS registry with any commercial value (or otherwise) can be arbitrarily seized, if the thief is sufficiently powerful that the registrar can be pressurised. Do you own a small business that competes with a large business? This sets the precedent for any powerful entity that feels threatened by your web presence to snatch "your" domain name, you only own what powerful people are willing to let you keep.


Where does the madness start and end ?

france.bit

.bit domain names are no different to your BTC, cannot be obtained by force because they're secured by cryptographic keypairs stored on a decentralised network.


The more often this happens, the more domain name holders will feel unsafe, prices will tank and people will move to decentralised domain names so that a proper capitalist system is enforced (you cannot rely on state legal systems to uphold rules written on pieces of paper). I hope the Namecoin dev waits till it gets popular, then at a crucial tipping point, enables alternative .com and .org etc domain names and people like web.com and the French gangsterment will have their domain name "assets" rendered inoperable and worthless
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July 12, 2018, 08:05:26 PM
 #8

They could of at least offered some compensations for the domain name.

For fucks sake, it's not gkdlsjgsdlhlsk.org, it's france.com

The domain name is worth a lot and the guy centered his business around it.

Since they're abusing their power, they could of at LEAST done that.
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July 12, 2018, 09:10:34 PM
 #9

"France" is also a brand name since few years, It's surely the reason he lost his domain name
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July 12, 2018, 10:39:44 PM
 #10

"France" is also a brand name since few years, It's surely the reason he lost his domain name

How were they able to brand a name that someone else is already using?

*if we assume country names can be branded lol*
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July 13, 2018, 10:30:08 AM
 #11

"France" is also a brand name since few years, It's surely the reason he lost his domain name

How were they able to brand a name that someone else is already using?

*if we assume country names can be branded lol*

You can buy any brand name (but not LeGaulois  Grin ) It costs only 200€ in France. Also, the guy didn't own a brand but just a domain name.
There are 2 others websites hosted on the same server as france.com and both are related to tourism in France (1 in a Brazilian website and the second a Hungary) both a clone of each other and both owned by the same agency. It surely has been bought stolen with the same method. When the state wants something they get it soon or later no matter if you agree with
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July 13, 2018, 01:11:52 PM
 #12


France seizes France.com from man who’s had it since ‘94, so he sues
Jean-Noël Frydman: "If it happened to me, it can happen to anyone."

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), often collaborating with numerous official French agencies, including the Consulate General in Los Angeles and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

However, sometime around 2015, that very same ministry initiated a lawsuit in France in an attempt to wrest control of the France.com domain away from Frydman. Web.com locked the domain, and Frydman even roped in the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard Law School to intervene on his behalf.

By September 2017, the Paris Court of Appeals ruled that France.com was violating French trademark law. Armed with this ruling, lawyers representing the French state wrote to Web.com demanding that the domain be handed over.

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. "I've been with them for 24 years... There's never been any cases against France.com, and they just did that without any notice. I've never been treated like that by any company anywhere in the world. If it happened to me, it can happen to anyone."


On April 19, Frydman filed a federal lawsuit in Virginia in an attempt to get his domain name back. The suit names the French Republic, Atout France (a government tourism agency), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the minister himself (Jean-Yves Le Drian), and VeriSign as defendants.

None of the defendants has yet made a formal appearance in the Alexandria, Virginia, courtroom.

Web.com, the original registrar, is not a party to the lawsuit. However, the company seems to have taken it upon itself to heed the French legal ruling and give up the France.com domain name without a fight.


The lawsuit accuses France of cybersquatting France.com and "reverse domain-name hijacking," among other allegations.

Web.com's chief legal officer, Matt McClure, did not respond to Ars' request for comment.

"They claim to be a company that's good for small businesses," Frydman said. "What a joke. They've been absolutely horrible, not even answering our emails."


I found this article today and I remembered that Jet Cash and other members here invest in domain names.
It's impressive how the French state took the domain from this man.

This is one more example of governments abusing their power. Why can't they negotiate this domain name like any other person would do? Everyone has a price, and this domain name, France.com, is worth a lot of money.


state < cryptos...

good luck taking an .onion done... or a freenet, zeronet and co...

and rather than be like little sluts go to the new world... where the things are being created, like the internet before the (wow) kevins and their (hypergamists selling themselves) sisters took over the public net...
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July 19, 2018, 10:27:46 PM
 #13

"France" is also a brand name since few years, It's surely the reason he lost his domain name

How were they able to brand a name that someone else is already using?

*if we assume country names can be branded lol*

You can buy any brand name (but not LeGaulois  Grin ) It costs only 200€ in France. Also, the guy didn't own a brand but just a domain name.
There are 2 others websites hosted on the same server as france.com and both are related to tourism in France (1 in a Brazilian website and the second a Hungary) both a clone of each other and both owned by the same agency. It surely has been bought stolen with the same method. When the state wants something they get it soon or later no matter if you agree with

What are you going to do to stop me?

 Cool

muahahahahah

ohh, wait, you can call the cops
fuk shiet
nvm
I'm out
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July 23, 2018, 08:07:40 PM
 #14

I see that I worth a lot in the UK  Grin
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July 30, 2018, 10:10:30 AM
 #15

Low IQ got looted...

.onion.

namecoin.

etc...

don't be a servant of the middle men, because you don't serve, you slave.
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