Now Redirects To As Conflict In Syria Worsens Now Redirects To As Conflict In Syria Worsens

The news broke yesterday how an online art tech start-up, that their site was not resolving. It now appears that now redirects to – You would have thought it would be redirecting to however they don’t own that domain – It is under Whois Privacy and parked at Kevin Ham’s domain monetization company raised $7.4 million when they launched in 2009 and made the mistake of many start-ups by not securing the dot com, The domain is listed for sale at which makes me believe that the domain name might be owned by Kevin Ham’s main company who has many of their domain names currently for sale and if I was – I would be using some of that $7.4 million to buy the dot com.

Who are is a new way to discover art you’ll love, featuring work from leading galleries, museums, and private collections around the world. launched at Disrupt in New York in May 2010 winning the Rookie award. The site then shifted focus from a general-interest art-buying site to one more focused on high-end art dealers and collectors. signed up powerful New York city art dealer Larry Gagosian as an adviser.

The Story is being covered in and you can read it in full below.

artsy, the New York City-based startup that has created a Pandora Radio-like discovery engine for artwork, has attracted some controversy over the years because of its domain name — .sy is the official domain suffix for the Syrian Arab Republic, a currently war-torn country which is the subject of several U.S. sanctions.

Now, as violent conflict in Syria continues to escalate, it looks like may be feeling some side effects — and making changes of its own.

Yesterday,’s main webpage went down, and the company was redirecting traffic to a backup site at At the time, a spokesperson confirmed the issues via email but could not provide details on whether the outage was related to the Syrian conflict. The spokesperson did say, however, that things would be back to normal soon:

“The only information we have now is that our domain, which was registered and paid for through the end of 2013, is incorrectly appearing as expired, but we should be back tomorrow.”

Now today, it does appear as if the domain has been re-registered — but apparently only for three days, until January 6th, 2013. More importantly, is serving an HTTP 301 response redirecting to The key here is that a 301 redirect is a permanent move, not a temporary one — that is typically done with an HTTP 302.

Here is an image of that 301 redirect:

It bears mention that obtaining the domain did not come easily. The company’s founder Carter Cleveland originally got into purchasing Syrian domain names at least three years ago when he gave a Syrian law firm power of attorney to represent him in the country. He also had to go through lots of little bureaucratic hurdles and legal red tape as regulations in the country changed: He had to get his signature authorized by the Syrian embassy, for example.

Since then, though, the country has descended into brutal civil conflict over the past year and a half, following the Arab Spring demonstrations throughout the Middle East early last year. The United Nations said yesterday that Syria’s conflict, which has decimated historic cities like Aleppo, has now seen more than 60,000 casualties (which is 15,000 more than human rights agencies had previously expected).

Internet access has also been unreliable in Syria. In more than one instance, the government has blacked out Internet access in the country for several days. Renesys also reported that access has been unreliable in the first few days of the new year.

We’ve reached out to today for more details on the situation, but have yet to hear back; we will update this with any information we do receive. But at the moment, it looks as if, which has been steadily growing in stature with millions in backing from some of the industry’s most serious investors, has decided that having a more dependable web presence is more important than a snappy domain name

About the Author

Robbie Ferguson is an Internet Entrepreneur, Domain Investor, Domain Broker, Blogger and founder of various websites and eCommerce businesses such as

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