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Introduced23 April 1997[contradictory]
TLD typeCountry code top-level domain
SponsorGeneral Posts and Telecommunications Company
Intended useEntities connected with  Libya
Actual useA smattering of sites with various connections, both Libyan and foreign; URL shortening (e.g. bit.ly)
Registered domains15,156 (16 October 2017)[1]
Registration restrictionsThird-level sub-domains have varying restrictions
StructureRegistrations have been made directly at the second level as well as at the third level beneath various second level labels
Registry websitewww.nic.ly

.ly is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Libya. .ly is also the file name extension of the LilyPond format.


A .ly registration is the process of registering a user domain name within the country-code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Libya. The .ly domain, introduced in 1988,[contradictory] is administered by the registry LYNIC on behalf of the General Post and Telecommunication Company.[citation needed] This domain is mainly for the use of the general public of Libya.

LYNIC appoints recognized registrars to offer .ly domain names, and these registrars perform all the domain registration tasks on behalf of LYNIC. Libya Telecom & Technology (ltt.ly) is one of the pioneers that offer .ly domains to companies and organizations. Sub-domains are also provided within the .ly domain, at the second level and also at third levels beneath various second levels.

According to the registration site, registered .ly domain names must not be "obscene, scandalous, indecent, or contrary to Libyan law or Islamic morality".[2]

LYNIC registers domain names on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants may apply for domains with a registration fee of $75 for each domain. Before registration, the domain name, company name, trademark registration and other legal documents must be provided. In addition, the .ly domain names being registered should not violate any rules set forth by the registrar. Domain names may be registered for a minimum of one year.

Applicants may register domains online or through official registrars list.[3] After completing the registration process, an email will be sent to the applicant's billing contact address. The .ly domain name will become active within 1–2 minutes of that email notification.

Second-level domains[edit]

The second-level domains which are open to third-level registrations are:

  • .com.ly: Commercial services
  • .net.ly: Internet-related services
  • .gov.ly: Government and ministries
  • .plc.ly: State-owned companies
  • .edu.ly: Educational and training institutions
  • .sch.ly: Schools
  • .med.ly: Health-related services
  • .org.ly: Non-profit organizations
  • .id.ly: Individuals.

Strings shorter than four symbols long are to be registered only through Libya Telecom and Technology to guarantee that registrants have local presence.


IANA delegated registration authority for .ly to Khalil Elwiheishi at the Alshaeen for Information Technology[4] in April 1997.[5]

During the weekend of 20 August 2011 at the start of the 2011 Battle of Tripoli, the main nic.ly registration site appears to have been defaced by hackers on the side of the National Liberation Army,[6] though other sites such as bit.ly remained unaffected.[7]

Domain hacks[edit]

Many Libyan domains were reserved for English words that end with the suffix "ly", such as name.ly, musical.ly (now TikTok) and sincere.ly – so-called domain hacks. As the annual fee for .ly domains remains high ($75 a year), many domain names remain available on the domain prime market, and some popular ones can be bought on the domain secondary market – the result of the domain name speculation.

Many popular URL shortening services are registered in the .ly domain: brief.ly, adf.ly, bit.ly (former default for Twitter), ow.ly (default for HootSuite), and 3.ly.

In October 2010, the domain of "sex-positive" URL shortening service vb.ly, which had been registered in 2009 by Violet Blue and Ben Metcalfe, was seized by the Libyan web authorities for not being compliant with the law of Libya. A Libya Telecom spokesman stated to Blue: "Pornography and adult material aren't allowed under Libyan Law.... Therefore, we removed the domain."[8] According to one blogger, as of 2014 this was the only known domain seized by nic.ly, and it was seized only after several failed attempts to contact the registrant.[9]


  1. ^ "NIC.LY – Libya ccTLD..." Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Regulations..." www.nic.ly. Archived from the original on 30 May 2021. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  3. ^ "Libya Telecom & Technology Tripoli Dealers". Ltt.ly. Archived from the original on 12 April 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  4. ^ IANA Report on the Redelegation of the .ly Top-Level Domain, October 2004
  5. ^ Libyan Spider Announcements Archived 13 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, 29 July 2004
  6. ^ Staff report (22 August 2011). "Hackers Disfigure Top Libyan Registry Domain with Anti-Gadhafi Messages". International Business Times. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  7. ^ Grannell, Craig (22 August 2011). "Nic.ly website defaced by hackers; Concern for 'unstable' short URLs could speed uptake of Twitter's t.co". .net Magazine. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  8. ^ Horn, Leslie (6 October 2010), "Libya Seizes URL Shortener Vb.ly", PC Magazine, archived from the original on 10 October 2010, retrieved 10 October 2010
  9. ^ "The .ly domain space to be considered awesome". hack.ly. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 29 November 2018.

External links[edit]

IANA .ly whois information

Domain registrars[edit]