The nation of France has seized the domain France.com from a man who owned it since 1994, prompting the man to sue the country.
Jean-Noël Frydman, who was born in France but now resides in America, is suing France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for seizing the domain which he was using as “a ‘digital kiosk’ for Francophiles and Francophones in the United States.”
In September, the Paris Court of Appeals reportedly decided Frydman’s domain “was violating French trademark law,” and ordered Web.com to transfer the domain to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, without any compensation for Frydman.
“I’m probably [one of Web.com’s] oldest customers,” declared Frydman in an interview with Ars Technica. “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.”
Frydman filed his lawsuit in April, the suit notes that, “Prior to the incidents complained of in this lawsuit, Defendants did not object to nor challenge Plaintiff’s ownership or use of France.com. To the contrary, and as previously demonstrated in Exhibit A, Defendants publicly recognized Plaintiff as a leader in the tourism industry.”
In response to Web.com, who gladly transferred ownership of the domain to the French government, Frydman proclaimed, “They claim to be a company that’s good for small businesses… What a joke. They’ve been absolutely horrible, not even answering our emails.”