Interesting little domain name related story in The Guardian last week. The domain name extension .yu, the country code for the now-disintegrated former Yugoslavia, was finally retired last Wednesday.

This extension has been replaced by .rs (Serbia) and .me (Montenegro), although at the time the Guardian article was written, about 4,000 .yu domains hadn’t switched to one of these new extensions yet. Any sites which didn’t make the move will now be unavailable.

It’s not often that domain name extensions get removed from use. And the relative ease at which .yu has been phased out seems to contrast quite strongly with .su, a relic from the days of the Soviet Union.

Despite the fact the Soviet Union ceased to exist in 1991, registrations of .su domains actually increased in 2008. There’s a plan to phase it out too, but it’s been met with a reasonable amount of resistance from people nostalgic for the days of the USSR – as well as from internet entrepreneurs who think that can make money out of these anachronistic domains.

Free market entrepreneurs making money from the old Soviet Union’s domain name extension? Surely we can’t be alone in seeing the irony in that.

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