France liberalises regulations for registering .fr domain names

United Kingdom

Under the current .fr regulations, only registered trade marks or company names may be registered with AFNIC, the authority responsible for administering .fr domain names. This has resulted in less than 180,000 .fr registrations, compared with 4.5 million registrations. However, over the coming months, AFNIC has announced that it will ease the restrictions and therefore many .fr domain names which could not previously be registered, will now be available on a first-come first-served basis.

The liberalisation of the .fr domain will occur in 2 stages:

  • from 11 May 2004, any person who is identifiable in an official French online database (undertakings, craftsmen, associations registered with INSEE, rights holders) may register any available .fr domain name; and
  • late summer 2004, it will be possible for any natural or legal person who has a connection with France, and who is not identifiable in an official online database (for example, unregistered associations), to register any available .fr domain name.

Further information can be found at AFNIC's website