Risks In Using Obscure, Small ccTLD For Domain Registrations

Priceonomics logoIn recent years there has been a small but significant number of registrants choosing ccTLDs such as .ly (Lybia), .sy (Syria) and io (British Indian Ocean Territory). But there are risks in using some of these.

The Priceonomics blog has outlined some of these in a recent post. A few examples of registrants having problems with their ccTLDs as outlined are:

  • Art.sy – a social platform for sharing and purchasing art. The .sy domains, the article says, “are ultimately registered with and purchased from a Syrian Internet authority. Although Artsy had registered Art.sy in 2011, before sanctions were imposed, Artsy’s annual payments to maintain the domain meant they were breaking sanctions.”
  • Vb.ly – Violet Blue used this domain but “in 2010, vb.ly — a domain owned by ‘sex-positive url-shortener’ Violet Blue — was removed from the .ly registry, on the grounds that it had violated Libyan law and the terms of its registration.”
  • .io – the .io ccTLD has gained popularity with start-ups in recent years given it’s “for the British Indian Ocean Territory – and thus under stable British rule.” But there are questions over “Britain’s history of colonialism over the 1,000+ tiny islands that make up the British Indian Ocean Territory is complex, and it isn’t clear where the registry money is going nor whom it benefits. The native population was ‘evicted’ in the 1960s and 1970s, and remained exiled despite continuous efforts to return. Right now, the only people who live there are a couple thousand British and US military personnel.”

So choose carefully when looking for a little known ccTLD. Your choice may cause problems if it’s seized and you lose your web presence, costing customers. Or if your ccTLD gains a bad reputation, people may think twice about visiting your site.

To read the Priceonomics blog post in full, go to: