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Libya Shuts Down .ly Shortener

     
5:10 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Libya Shuts Down .ly Shortener [readwriteweb.com]
Ben Metcalfe has sent out a warning after one of his domains was recently shut down "because the content of our website, in their opinion, fell outside of Libyan Islamic/Sharia Law."
5:21 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I agree with this move. While it was an interestng and "cute" use of the domain name, the assignment was to Libya.

I'm just trying to be objective...
5:26 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I think this is great. Too many countries whore themselves to the highest bidder because their ccTLD happens to make cute domain names.

Western Sahara and Tuvalu, I'm looking at you!
5:31 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Interesting topic. I run a fairly successful .TV name (.TV = islands of Tuvalu). Makes me a bit uneasy on the future of my business model.
6:29 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I'm pretty sure Tuvalu (.tv) is a different case because Tuvalu set out to make their domain open to all i.e. specifically waiving their option to restrict it to national use. While other countries (e.g. Norway with .no) make it clear their domain is for National use. Its up to each country.
7:15 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I gotta say, if you use domains depending on countries <:p><with leadership that is not universally admired></:p>, you're bound to encouter troubles.

[edited by: Webwork at 9:10 pm (utc) on Oct 6, 2010]
[edit reason] Perhaps not every Libyan deserves the epithet? [/edit]

7:25 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Though you may not use a .ly domain yourself, you may be using one for shortening in automated services. Twitterfeed uses bit.ly as one of their more popular shortening options for posting RSS feeds to Twitter, for example. Now would be a good time to ensure you're not using a .ly shortener in any of your automated postings to social network sites.
7:58 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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yeeeeeep guess im done using bit.ly although its never out on the web I just use it for handy email tracking stuff (1 time use)
8:07 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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therefor according to the letter of the law, vb.ly should not have been taken down


And that's where he/she made their mistake.

Flirting with the spirit of the law even in a free and open country like Canada is a big no no.

I'm not surprised a country like libya took this action.

'Rolf' left a comment on Ben's blog page that sums it up quite nicely:

How’s that any different from a Western government taking down a site or a domain because they think it promotes copyright infringement or child #*$!ography or something similar? If you host a site in a particular country you have to play by their rules, and there’s nothing to say they have to be the same as the rules in your own country. The Libyan action seems perfectly reasonable to me.
9:13 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I'm replacing the few bit.ly links I have with Google's new url shortener goo.gl
9:25 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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why not just go with budurl.com or something like that, atleast its just one less thing you are giving so goog can do something shady with the collected data.
9:54 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Because I'm a Google fanboy ;) Other smaller sites can also more easily come and go, as we've seen in the past years.
10:01 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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HOw could anyone not have seen this coming. I even wonder whether they deliberately chose a .ly domain to get some publicity out of being shut down.

How much demand was there for shortened #*$! links (which is what it comes to) in the first place?
10:42 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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^ the only thing I use it for is i can see some real time link click stats when I send an email.

other then that hmmm maybe shortening ugly long affiliate links?
12:22 am on Oct 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The Libyan action seems perfectly reasonable to me.


Ha! That's pretty funny.

Let's revisit the reason Libya gave for their action.

"in their opinion, fell outside of Libyan Islamic/Sharia Law."


Many will argue that Sharia law is far from reasonable when it comes to human rights and in this case commerce.
12:38 am on Oct 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Many will argue that Sharia law is far from reasonable when it comes to human rights and in this case commerce.


I would agree - so I wouldn't ever use a .ly domain for commerce.

Clueless dorks who don't know what a ccTLD is don't get my sympathy, they made their choice to use a TLD from an Islamic country to run an adult-content service and are somehow surprised when Islamic law applies?

The fact that ccTLDs are managed by their respective countries is a good thing. If you don't like that country's rules, then don't use their domain extension.
2:04 am on Oct 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I wouldn't worry to much about the bit.ly links:

Now, had your domain merely been a URL shortener for general uses similar to bit.ly (as you claim) there would have been no problem with it.

Alaeddin S. ElSharif NIC.LY, [techyum.com...]

It seems like vb.ly broke the rules and received several warnings.
2:26 am on Oct 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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If you compare vb.ly's alexa rank to that of bit.ly's... it looks like Libya is fairly prompt with these issues.

vb.ly has been around for over a year, but it's popularity was hardly even measurable. They nipped them before they ever got off the ground.

I think the title "Libya Shuts Down .ly Shortener Domains" is a tad misleading... and do not think that bit.ly or ow.ly or any of the other big .ly shortener domains are at risk.
4:12 am on Oct 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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A quote from their Twitter page: "World's first sex-positive url shortener"

Nothing to worry about here folks, vb.ly knowingly broke Libya laws by promoting their site as a sex-oriented URL shortener. vb.ly can spin it all they want - but that's the fact.
11:48 am on Oct 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I am surprised that people especially in the states touched .ly domains with a barge pole lybia is on a number of countries S5^T lists and there is the obvious political risk of annoying the us government ask the execs of the legal (outside of the USA) poker sites :-)

though I suspect that Violet may actually have used vb.ly partialy as a political statement.
12:53 pm on Oct 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Western Sahara and Tuvalu, I'm looking at you!

according to IANA, .eh is reserved but not assigned.

IANA — .eh — Domain Delegation Data:
http://www.iana.org/domains/root/db/eh.html [iana.org]
1:00 pm on Oct 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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@phranque

.eh is obviously a depreciated country code for New Zealand :-)

Back in the day I used to maintain the various country code files for part of British Telecom - there where some strange ones in the ISO blue books that even the world service didn't know where they where.
2:32 pm on Oct 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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@ Pontus_swe
It seems like vb.ly broke the rules and received several warnings.


Did you read the link you used as proof?

It clearly states:

It's official: the Libyan government has seized vb.ly. This was done with no warning.


Further, more evidence that this was done without warning from another source:

Our domain ‘vb.ly’ (which was joint owned by myself and my partner Violet Blue)was deleted by NIC.ly without warning or notice on or around September 23rd 2010.


Apparently the real reason is not this website's content but this rumored goal:

You may also not know that since June 2010 .ly domains less than 4 characters long may no longer be registered by anyone who isn’t in Libya – which suggests there is tension around foreign owned, high-value, short .ly domains.


Explanation given to domain owner by NIC.ly:

"your domain being removed from NIC.LY records and made available for re-registration for locals"


In my opinion, the Libyan's are stealing domains back.

It is interesting that the company that made this decision is run by Muhammad Qaddafi's, the eldest son, Muammar al-Gaddafi as the Chairman.
5:03 pm on Oct 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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.eh is obviously a depreciated country code for New Zealand :-)


Being Canadian, I would have thought that .eh would be for us.... :)
4:23 am on Oct 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Being Canadian, I would have thought that .eh would be for us

that's what i thought, eh?
8:42 pm on Oct 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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@frontpage, read the letter. It refers to several warnings that were supposed to have been passed on by the reseller.

It does not matter whether the law is a good law or not (I agree it is not). It is stupid to knowingly break it and then whine about it - or its clever and was intended to get a response.

Suppose I registered a .sa domain and put an online Bible on it, would you be as sympathetic?
2:06 am on Oct 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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In my opinion, the Libyan's are stealing domains back.


Show me evidence of an .LY domain they took back that was NOT breaking any Libyan laws then I'll agree. vb.ly clearly overstepped the boundaries. By the way, I don't agree with the laws over there, but when you invest in any ccTLD you must play by the rulebook of that country.
2:09 am on Oct 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I left a comment on that techyum site taking the side of the .ly rules, saying that the url shortener wasn't particularly original and that without the 'selling sex' angle, was pretty ordinary, and was also the reason it was shut down.

The comment has not passed moderation and was totally fair. I guess one set of rules for some people......
2:33 pm on Oct 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I'm replacing the few bit.ly links I have with Google's new url shortener goo.gl


Yeah, until Greenland begins to shut those down.