14 things you can’t do with .AI domain names

Beyond the obvious, there are rules about faking it til you make it and many more.

Ai written on a computer chip

The growth of artificial intelligence has led to a surge in .AI domain name registrations.

.AI isn’t like .com, .net, or .org, though. It’s a country code domain, and these can be a wild west. It’s up to each country code operator to decide how they run their domain.

In the case of .AI, that means it’s up to Anguilla, an island of about 15,000 people, to make the rules.

Registering and using .ai domains has become easier over the years, although there have been challenges.

Earlier this year, the registry made a controversial decision to start fining registrars when it was not happy about how a registrar handled an abuse complaint—and then fining them more money if the actual domain registrant reaches out to the registry more than once to complain about their domain being suspended!

And the list of what’s not allowed on sites using .ai sites has been growing. There were seven things last year, and now there are 14. Here’s the current list, with my notes in parenthesis:

1. Anything that would be illegal in Anguilla – I haven’t looked at Anguilla’s laws, but take note!

2. porn that would be illegal in Anguilla, like child porn, revenge porn, etc. – This rule has been relaxed. It used to be porn of any kind.

3. violating copyrights

4. Hate speech site. Any site just hating on some group. – Yeah, don’t be hating…and realize it’s up to the registry to decide what hating on some group means.

5. Phishing – for example pretending to be another site to get users to enter username and password

6. Has logos or trademarks from a company when they are not affiliated with that company – This one is interesting when you look at #14.

7. Dishonestly making false representations for financial gain

8. any site promising to help people get rich quick for a fee

9. anything looking like a pyramid scheme, ponzi, or multi-level-marketing site (mlm)

10. Doing any of the following without an Anguilla license to be a bank, broker, public company, ICO, exchange, or gambling site

  • Holding client deposits
  • managing investments for clients
  • offering guaranteed returns of any rate
  • asking for investors
  • offering trading or exchange services for stock, bond, crypto or other similar markets
  • any kind of gambling
  • any site for attacking other sites, like DDOS or other

That’s a big one. Take note, crypto companies.

11. Any sites on a list of scam sites will be suspended. – The list is on a Government of Ukraine website.

12. Sites reported by reputable domain monitoring agencies – like Netcraft

13. if owner of the site has done any of the above with previous domains (even non .ai domains) we can disable a current domain

14. If a site says something like “trusted by” or “in partnership with” and has trademarked logos for other companies and one of those companies says this is not true, the whole site comes down. – This one is very likely to ensnare some artificial intelligence companies. The “as seen on” or “trusted by” section with customers’ logos? That could take your whole site down if one of the companies complains. No fake it til you make it.

There are no second chances, according to the registry:

If we decide that a site has violated any of the above the domain will be suspended. Even if the registrant promises to modify the content we will not enable the domain.

So, by all means, use a .ai domain name. Just be aware of the rules and understand that they can change anytime. There were just seven listed reasons for suspending a domain a year ago. Now there are 14.

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