Today, days after the domain shorter Vb.ly was basically seized by the registry of the Libyan ccTLD .Ly, we have a statement from the registry regarding this seizure.
Basically as you can read below the Libyan government has decided that it wants any .Ly domain with 4 or less letters to be reserved for people and companies located in Libya.
This should be a cautionary tale that ccTLD’s are different than TLD’s.
Libya of course has the right to set up whatever rules and restrictions they would like on their ccTLD, including limiting domain registrations to those with a presence in Libya.
However, it would have been nice if they would have done that at the outset, rather than years after non-Libyan businesses used the domain to build up their online presence.
“””NIC.ly rules and regulations were set by the local Libyan internet community (in accordance with best practices for ccTLDs) to reflect it’s identity and content. It’s a bottom up module in which the Community’s feedback, opinions and remarks are taken into decision-making consideration, and it is our duty to uphold these rules and regulations to serve the better interests of the community we represent.””
“”In reference to the vb.ly incident: the domain’s purpose (proclaimed by its registrants themselves) was to serve as a ‘sex friendly URL shortener’, mainly for adult uses. This means that vb.ly had a policy different than the other URL shorteners, not using filters and encouraging the use of this service for creating links to adult sites and other “NSFW” links, thus placing vb.ly by definition in the porn/adult site category.””
“”This use was deemed as unacceptable by our local internet community, regardless of whether or not the site hosts adult material or redirects traffic to 3rd party sites””
“”Contrary to vb.ly’s claims, they were contacted on numerous occasions to investigate these concerns, and over the course of these contacts vb.ly has ignored our efforts and even changed their contact numbers.””
“”When our repeated warnings were ignored, and after over 3 weeks of failed attempts to contact the owners of vb.ly, NIC.ly had no alternative but to apply its regulations that clearly state that it reserves the right to suspend or remove a .ly domain name in violation of rules and regulations.””
“”The domain has also been excluded from future registrations so that no other entity (local or abroad) can re-register it.”””
“”As to the decision to keep the registration of domain names shorter than 4 symbols long under .ly only for entities with a local Libyan presence, this comes in accordance with NIC.ly’s concern that the rise in popularity of URL shorteners from abroad taking up all these names has deprived locals of their right to register the important 3 letter abbreviations of their various businesses and interests.””
“”We as a Registry would prefer seeing art.ly used for a website about Libyan art for instance, or lda.ly used by the Libyan De-mining Association, rather than adding more URL shorteners under our National TLD.””
“””For over 5 years, we as a Libyan Registry recognized by ICANN have been open for domain name registrations from all around the Globe, and we pride ourselves on being the online destination of thousands of domain names from all over the World””
“”Over this span of time never once have we abused the trust invested in us by the Global internet community, nor have we ever taken advantage of having an attractive extension like ‘.ly’. Only when our Community’s rules and regulations were compromised was when we had to act.””
So as the announcement 5 years after running the registry the rules are changing.
Those who have short .Ly domains I guess your registrations maybe at risk.
They Certainly seem subject to the whim of the government.