France seized France.com from a man who owned it for 20 years — so he's suing his country

The former owner of France.com has filed a lawsuit against his home country after the domain name, which he had used for more than two decades, was expropriated.

New York, first registered the domain name France.com on February 10, 1994. The site, which was launched almost 18 months later, was created to serve as a “digital kiosk” for France-lovers based in the U.S.

For over 20 years, Frydman’s website steadily built up its profile and often collaborated with official French agencies including the Consulate General in Los Angeles and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Frydman claims the French government was aware of France.com’s activities and frequently supported its initiatives.

However, in April 2015, France launched legal proceedings in order to try to expropriate the domain name. The French government said Frydman’s business had created France.com in bad faith and was not authorized by the state to use it.