In 2015, France started legal action against Frenchman Jean-Noel Frydman, who had registered <france.com> in 1994. Almost two years later, a French court ruled in the government’s favour. This started actions to lobby domain host web.com to take control away from Mr Frydman.
But now that this has been successful, Frydman, who has been using the domain for an information hub for French people and fans of French culture living in the US, claims the seizures has been “illegal”, stating the domain was taken away from him without warning in mid-March.
Frydman is now suing the French Republic, its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Atout France tourist agency and domain registrar Verisign. He alleges the government did not ask to license or buy the domain and instead “misused” the legal system to seize it.
The court now has to decide who is right: the country or the countryman.