Registration of the domain name

My name is Jean-Noel Frydman. I was born in France and, in the early 80’s, moved to New York to study film at New York University’s Tish School of the Arts.

In late 1993, as my professional career was at a crossroads, I discovered the nascent Internet.

Excited by the prospects of this new frontier – where everything had yet to be built – I decided to launch a new service that would serve as a digital kiosk for Francophiles and francophones living in the United States.

When it came time to put the server live on the Internet, came up the issue of its address. A domain name had to be registered. The most obvious name for this new service came to me in a flash. If I had to choose the absolute best name it would be

That’s why on February 10, 1994, I registered the domain name. This decision was a no-brainer:

1,The name was immediately recognizable, infinitely memorable and the purpose of the service would be immediately understandable to prospective clients.

After some initial research it was clear I would be legally permitted to register the domain name because:

a. Registrations for .com extensions were only reserved for commercial entities as this document shows.


b. The state of France had no any exclusive right to the word France in the United States, since no country (even the United States) benefits from such protection. This fact is made abundantly clear by Atout France’s registration of its trademark at the United States Patent and Trademark Office :

Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS)

In fact, the perfectly legal registration of the domain name was duly acknowledged, no less than four times, by the then Minister of Tourism in front of France’s National Assembly:


Finally, to put things in perspective, the domain name was registered at the very inception of the commercial Internet, prior to the registrations of,, Facebook,com, and