‘Ho.ly Mo.ly Batman! The Libyans seized our URL shortener!’

by Carl Natale on October 6, 2010

Having a cool domain name is so 1995. These days you can’t have a cool Internet startup unless the domain name ends in “.ly” and has less than six characters.

So something like vb.ly is so cool that can’t be legal. At least not in Libya – the country that is assigned the “.ly” domains. They seized vb.ly because:

“Clause 3.5 clearly states that: ‘The Applicant certifies that, to the best of his/her knowledge the domain name is not being registered for any activities/purpose not permitted under Libyan law.’ Pornography and adult material aren’t allowed under Libyan Law, therefore we removed the domain.”

via Vb.ly Domain Seized for Violating Libyan Law.

But some people say Libya is coveting the very short domains and is in the process of seizing them all.

What does it mean for bit.ly and ow.ly? Could they be seized because users shortened links to pages that promoted pornography and alcohol? I don’t know. I never finished my work on that Libyan law degree.

This is a reminder for all of us who registered domains with cool endings to read our user agreements. How many foreign laws are we breaking?

Maybe this doesn’t mean an onslaught of government forces upon our clever domain names.  But how well do we understand the rules that govern our Internet business?

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