Francesco is shutting down URL123, as a free service. :-(

"Dear Member,

First I would like to thank you for your support of URL123 over the past two years.

Unfortunately, over the past 6 months, the use of URL123 as a spamming tool has risen exponentially. Spammers have been using and abusing the system to create links to SPAM pages and ads. This is not appropriate use of the URL123 service. URL123 was created as a way to share shortened links with friends, not to be used as a spamming tool.

Due to increasing daily complaints from SpamCop, GoDaddy, our ISP, and in response to hundreds of SPAM complaints every week, I have no choice but to shut down the URL123 service temporarily until I am able to work on the code and turn it into a paid service. The URL123 service will shut down on September 10, 2006.

URL123 has been free since it opened in June 2004. When URL123 reopens it will no longer be free. Instead, it will become an enterprise-level link shortening, sharing, and tracking service requiring a monthly fee. This is the only way to curtail SPAM and make URL123 a legitimate service. We have 8,000 active members and I have no intention of deserting all of you and just going away.

[...]

Francesco Sanfilippo"