As Was Predicted, Libya Is Shutting Down Some .ly Domains With No Notice
from the watch-out-bit.ly dept
A year and a half ago, Rogers Cadenhead wrote a post, right after the company Bit.ly raised a bunch of money, pointing out that the .ly top level domain (TLD) is from Libya. He wondered if that might lead to trouble down the road, pointing out that the registrar states clearly that no .ly domains can be used in a way “contrary to Libyan law or Islamic morality.” Cadenhead pointed out:
So the names must conform to Islamic morality, and it’s possible that the use of the domains could fall under the same rules. What are the odds that some of those 20 million clicks on a Bit.ly-shortened URL end up at sites that would be considered blasphemous or otherwise offensive in an Islamic nation? Bit.ly conveniently provides search pages for such topics as Islam, sharia, gambling and sex, any of which contain links that could spark another controversy.
Since then, of course, the .ly TLD has actually become popular with lots of webby startups. I’d guess that most companies registering those domains didn’t even think about it. But… exactly as Cadenhead predicted, it appears the registrar has actually started to remove domains it doesn’t like. Ben Metcalfe, who had been using vb.ly for a project discovered that the domain had been seized by the registrar, for apparently violating Libyan Islamic/Sharia Law.
Apparently, this has some other .ly domain owners running scared. Even presidential hopeful Mitt Romney stopped using the Mitt.ly domain he’d been using. Bit.ly also uses j.mp (the .mp stands for the Northern Mariana Islands — which shouldn’t be much of a problem, especially since they just licensed the TLD to some other company), so perhaps they might want to start pushing people towards that URL shorterner. Of course, given how many Bit.ly links are out there, I would imagine that it would create quite a bit of havoc if Libya suddenly deleted bit.ly.