Thursday 6 December 2012, 11:28 | By

BPI tells ISPs to unblock Promo Bay

Digital Top Stories

The Promo Bay

Record label trade body the BPI has told the Open Rights Group that it has informed UK internet service providers that they should no longer block the domains promobay.org and promobay.com.

As previously reported, last week The Pirate Bay span what began as a promotion on its main website to champion new creative talent into a standalone service called The Promo Bay, which uses the two promobay domain names. However, it was quickly spotted that some of those British ISPs currently blocking access to The Pirate Bay on copyright grounds were also stopping users from accessing the new service, even though all content on the new site was there with the blessing of its owners.

Virgin Media, one of the ISPs blocking access to the new service, told reporters that it was doing so because the court order forcing it to stop customers from accessing the main TPB site listed the promobay domains as URLs to be blocked too. That court order, of course, stemmed from legal action by the BPI against The Pirate Bay at large on the grounds of copyright infringement.

As we assumed, the BPI had included the promobay domains in its legal action because, until recently, they forwarded to the main Pirate Bay site. Having been made aware that The Promo Bay is now a standalone service which is clearly not enabling others to infringe copyright, the trade body has requested ISPs remove those URLs from their web-block lists.

According to the BBC, in a letter to the Open Rights Group the BPI’s top man Geoff Taylor wrote this week: “Until very recently the domain name ‘promobay.org’ linked directly to The Pirate Bay and it was therefore a domain name blocked by the ISPs under the court orders. The newly reinvented Promobay.org website appears not to be engaged in copyright infringement and we therefore asked the relevant ISPs yesterday to no longer block it”.

Both the Open Rights Group and Pirate Party UK had hit out at the blocking of the new Promo Bay site, saying it proved the dangers of the web-blocking system, which might inadvertently block access to legitimate websites. The BPI will be hoping that, by acting quickly on the change in use of the promobay domain, they have proven that not to be so.

Of course, as much previously reported, web-blocks can be circumvented by users who know what they are doing or where to look. The Pirate Party itself provides a proxy link that bypasses the block, though the BPI has requested that it stop doing so. Pirate Party boss Loz Kaye has said he is seeking legal advice on the matter before responding to that request.

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