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Afnic CEO quits, heads to new mystery job

Kevin Murphy, April 25, 2017, Domain Registries

Afnic CEO Mathieu Weill has abruptly quit the French domain registry and is heading to a new job elsewhere.

The .fr registry said Weill will be replaced on an interim basis by his deputy, Pierre Bonis, from May 1.

A formal search for a permanent replacement will begin “in the coming weeks”, Afnic said.

Weill has been with the company, which also manages the ccTLDs for French overseas territories, since 2005.

He oversaw the growth of .fr from 300,000 names to 3 million in that time, according to his LinkedIn profile.

He told DI that he has a new job lined up with a different company, but that he’s unable to disclose his new role yet.

Afnic working with 16 gTLD applicants in France

Sixteen French new top-level domain applicants have selected .fr manager Afnic to provide the back-end registry for their applications, according to the company.

The applicants are from “local public authorities, companies and associations”, Afnic said in a press release. An application for .paris is thought to be among them.

The announcement puts Afnic in the customer-win lead in terms of European ccTLD operators branching out into the gTLD back-end market.

Austria’s Nic.at is involved with 11 applications, while .uk’s Nominet is involved with seven.

European ccTLDs liberalize policies

Kevin Murphy, November 30, 2011, Domain Registries

Afnic, the .fr registry, will adopt new policies next week enabling organizations from outside of France to register domain names for the first time.

Under the rule change, entities in European Union countries, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, will qualify for .fr names.

The new policy (pdf), which comes into effect December 6, also applies to .re, the ccTLD for the French terrirtory Réunion, which Afnic also manages.

The registry is also discontinuing a handful of second-level domains which were previously available for third-level registration by the public.

Existing domains in .com.fr, ..tm.fr, .asso.fr, .asso.re, and .com.re will continue to function, but Afnic will no longer accept new registrations in these extensions.

Elsewhere in Europe, the Norwegian registry Norid liberalized its registration policies this morning, raising its ownership cap from 20 to 100 domain names per registrant.

Evidently anticipating a possible increase in cybersquatting disputes as a result, Norid has said it has also instituted a loser pays model for its dispute resolution process.

Google Translate turns ccTLDs into .com

Kevin Murphy, May 12, 2010, Domain Tech

I’ve found Google Translate an invaluable tool for researching overseas news stories, but it’s a pain in the neck for reading about domain names in foreign languages.

The service seems to have developed the habit of turning all freestanding ccTLDs into “.com”.

For an example, head over to Norid and turn on Norwegian-to-English translation (or, if you don’t have the Google Toolbar, use Google Translate on the web).

Every instance of “.no”, Norway’s country-code domain, is translated into a .com, more specifically “. Com”.

Ditto for German. Translate this story about Denic’s troubles today to see all instances of “.de” translated into “. Com”.

However, the front page of Afnic sees .fr translated to “. Com”, leaving .re, for the Reuinion Islands, untouched.

I should point out that the service leaves domain names alone, so nic.fr is still nic.fr. But you’ve still got to wonder what Google’s designers were thinking.