[IRP] French Constitutional Council - French ccTLD
Thu Oct 7 16:47:04 EEST 2010
A very important ruling was published yesterday by the French
Constitutional Council on the .fr management. This is in the
framework of the new procedure, where one can question the
constitutionality of an already adopted law, in the course of legal
proceedings related to the application of this law.
The plaintiff was questioning the constitutionality of an article of
the telecommunication code, adopted as part of the French e-commerce
law (2004), and related to the transfer to the AFNIC the whole
management of .fr domain names, including through the establishment
and application of the naming charter.
The council ruled that this article is unconstitutional, in that the
legislator, by only providing that the domain names should be
attributed "in view of the general interest, according to non
discriminatory rules made publicly available and ensuring the
respect, by the domain name holder, of intellectual property rights",
has not guaranteed the freedom of communication and the freedom of
entrepreneurship (both in case of domain name attribution and
removal, e.g. following a UDRP procedure -- there is one for the .fr.
The major outcome of this decision is the constitutional recognition
that domain names have not only an interllectual property value, but
also a value in terms of freedom of expression and communication as
well as in terms of freedom of entrepreneurship (when a domain name
is e.g. transferred or removed).
In its ruling, the Council makes reference to its decision on HADOPI/
3 strikes law, where it already affirmed the freedom to access the
The whole documents are (in French as for now) at:
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