Cyrus Farivar, writing for Ars Technica:
[…] sometime around 2015, that very same ministry initiated a lawsuit in France in an attempt to wrest control of the France.com domain away from Frydman.
By September 2017, the Paris Court of Appeals ruled that France.com was violating French trademark law.
[…] on March 12, 2018, Web.com abruptly transferred ownership of the domain to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The company did so without any formal notification to Frydman and no compensation.
I wouldn’t blame Web.com — it seems like they had to follow the rule of the law, but not notifying an old client of theirs of such a thing — that’s just lousy and also very bad customer service.
This story also makes me wonder how much of our identities — what people know us for — are dependent on a single decision maker at some online service company. It’s incredibly scary how easy it is for someone to flick a switch, for example, and stop you from accessing your primary domain, email address, or account.