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.

Filed Under: ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “As Was Predicted, Libya Is Shutting Down Some .ly Domains With No Notice”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
21 Comments
interval (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

1) Don’t know what “taking down ninja video” means, I speak English, can’t read your gibberish.

2) Libya took down the domains because it offended Sharia law. Sharia is law by precedent of a religious book, hundreds of years old. This also means that any old man who calls himself a mullah with a stick up his ass about a picture of a woman on the internet and they control the domain can take the domain down. No recourse, no appeal, simply because some guy said “God says”. That’s a ridiculous way to run an internet. Suppose the old man says “God says computers are evil, the internet should be destroyed.” Remember, no jury by peers, no appeals, no nothing. Its “God’s” will.

3) In the United States any legal decision can at least be appealed.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Libya took down the domains because it offended Sharia law.”

More correctly, they took them down because they offended LIBYAN law. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that this is a sovereign nation we’re talking about, and the rest of the world should have fuck all to say about how they run their country.

“This also means that any old man who calls himself a mullah with a stick up his ass about a picture of a woman on the internet and they control the domain can take the domain down.”

That’s simply not true. The Libyan government is far from a beacon of freedom, but they do have both Executive and Legislative branches that are voted in. The country is 97% Islamic, so one would expect those branches to reflect that, which they do.

“That’s a ridiculous way to run an internet.”

Agreed. Still, it’s their choice.

Crosbie Fitch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

ACTA may bring about similar legislation (DEAct, HADOPI, etc.) based on the idea that a ‘copyright’ holder is god concerning a work they ‘own’.

They don’t need any evidence, they just accuse anyone who offends them as an infringer (who is promptly disconnected from their ISP), and any website they don’t like as promoting infringement (which is promptly censored).

But, you’re right. If you’re really wealthy you might be able to afford to appeal the excommunication.

Law should be based on the individual’s natural rights, not privileges of immortal corporations nor commandments of supernatural beings.

Ramon Casha says:

That comes of misusing country TLD's

There’s lots of country TLDs that, by pure coincidence, form a nice-looking domain. Examples are Italy (.it), Byelorussia (.by), Dominical Republic (.do), Iceland (.is), Montenegro (.me) and, of course, the island of Tuvalu (.tv).

Problem is, when someone buys a domain like “touch.me” or “this.is” from a generic “buy-your-domain-here” site, they might not realise that this implies more than a cool name, it also means it’s subject to whatever laws that country happens to impose.

Fentex says:

The domain name system is fundementally mistaken.

There’s no reason at all for there to be a restricted quantity of top level domains let alone their being restricted geographically.

It’s just an accident of history that the evolving Internet was birthed in a world where limitations of current investment and technology created bottle necks and past political arrangements seemed reasonable arbiters of allocation.

This is no longer true, and restrictions on TLDs ought be done away with promptly.

Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

The Right Way To Do It.

If you want to create a distinctive domain name, the simplest way to do it is a common word, plus a hyphen, plus a couple of characters, plus another hyphen plus a another couple of characters, than dot whatever. That’s enough to ensure that you don’t collide with other peoples’ domain names. Depending on what restrictive rules you apply, four characters gives you anything from about 10,000 combinations (consonant plus vowel, consonant plus vowel) for each common word, up to more than 400,000.

Twitter’s official use of bit-dot-ly was a dumb idea, of course. They will no doubt have a bad few days writing scripts to go through their files and change all the bit-dot-ly references to something else. More fundamentally, they can just display tags with long URL’s and short texts, and not count the URL size against the 140 character limit.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...