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Bit.ly and the Dangers of ccTLDs

Is it wise to run a web service using a questionable country code domain?

I’ve warned about the dangers of country code top level domains. Rogers Cadenhead made some interesting observations about Bit.ly, a URL shortening service that just scored $2M in funding.

You see, .ly is the country code for Libya, which has a not-so-great history with the United States. He also points out some of the rules attached to country code domains. I’ve written before about .AE for United Arab Emirates that restricts uses within Muslim law. There’s no poker.ae, for example. The same thing goes for .ly. This presents a problem since the Bit.ly service let’s you forward to just about any web site with any topic. Technically the content isn’t hosted on a .ly domain, but the danger is there that Libya would lay the hammer on this.

No serious business should use a country code domain name other than a major, unrestricted domain without special content rules.

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Reader Interactions


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  1. Slavi says


    Kevin is right.

    Even 1M should be enough to buy 2 letter domain however if the goal is to have to shortest domain possible then the extension should be 2 chars as well.

  2. Munir Badr says

    Dear Author, just a correction about .AE domains: you mentioned there is no poker.ae, however after the entry of aeDA in August 2008, there is now poker.ae and even casino.ae!

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