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(for those not familiar with the back story, check here).

Having become clear Libya has no intention of ever releasing the domain back to Violet, we have course-corrected by reopening her url shortening service under the new domain

We had originally pursued a number of other 2-letter options (eg xx.yy) to relaunch the service under. However, given what has happened with Libya and the .ly space we decided to avoid any ccTLD that has regulations that were unclear or open to interpretation. Ultimately, we don’t want what happened with Libya happening again to the service’s users, so for the stability and assurance of the service going forward we elected to register a .us domain.

A .us domain, registered and owned by a US Citizen (Violet) and hosted on servers in US (Newark, New Jersey to be exact) ensures that the service completely resides under US jurisdiction and benefits from full First Amendment Rights.

The domain also means that you can easily modify your existing urls to work with the new domain. Thus becomes and will work as before. No urls were lost or forgotten during the downtime.

At a higher level, the “ saga” has been an interesting experience which I will write a more reflective post about shortly. Issues to be discussed range from the wonders of elastic server instances to meet the worldwide media influx through to dealing with a highly sensitive and emotionally charged issue such as Islam and the legal implications of Sharia law.

In the meantime, I’m sorry to all the users of the service who were let down by what had happened. With the .us registration we do not expect this to happen again.

Please follow the @vb_ly twitter account for further developments! You can also track this story on Hacker News.

Published in News Thoughts and Rants


  1. […] we’re back. The domain formerly known as is now Ben Metcalfe has a great post up explaining why we chose the domain and ccTLD. All of the links are there: when Libyan Spider […]

  2. Good for, but the loss was still significant.
    Only positive note, the article like this that make a minimum of publicity

  3. All those with .ly domains should be feeling tense. They can take your domain easily without any comeback.

  4. S. S.

    I often wondered about renewal process for those exotic domains… Anyone needs a US based ?


  5. So… for a U.S. citizen, what was the original point of using a .ly domain in the first place? It seems more so that the long standing Libyan cultural perspective and laws were over looked as opposed to a frontal attack on Violet for no reason. Yes perhaps her point of views were subjected to the opinions of the government, but then so are their ideals to someone who wants to publicize their disagreement against Libya’s point of view… “dot com”

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