UK ISPs will unblock The Promo Bay

Earlier this week, I wrote about how UK ISPs were blocking The Promo Bay, a site launched by The Pirate Bay to promote independent artists who didn't having their material shared. The ISPs had been ordered by a court to block The Pirate Bay, but seemed to have added The Promo Bay on orders from the record industry. Now the UK record industry body, the BPI, has graciously decided that it won't insist on blocking a site dedicated to promoting artists who have the audacity to make music without signing up for one of their awful record deals.

"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," wrote BPI chairman Geoff Taylor.

"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."

The BPI could not be reached for further comment on Wednesday, but the BBC understands that Promobay.org will be made available again within 24 hours.

Note how Geoff Taylor implies that when The Promo Bay was associated with The Pirate Bay that it was engaged in copyright infringement, but isn't any longer. Of course, this is utter rubbish -- the site was never engaged in copyright infringement. If the record industry asked to have it censored, the industry was either incredibly cavalier about censorship, or it cynically opted to screw over the artists who had the audacity to go it on their own. Either way, the industry has demonstrated (again) its total unfitness to act as judge, jury and executioner on the Internet.

Pirate Bay spin-off site Promo Bay to be unblocked [Dave Lee/BBC]

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  1. Cory, I like your writing and outlook a lot. If you wish to give credence to the subjects and issues you obviously care about, may I suggest applying a little quality control to the text. And I quote: “a site launched by The Pirate Bay to promote independent artists who didn’t having their material shared.”

    1. uncompressed,

      Sometimes you about give subjects. Sometimes subjects about give you. 

      I don’t know about you, but I take comfort in that.

  2. Is this not just to distract us? Why would the gov care about indie artists sharing anything? They just care about the major movies/music. Just to make us mad and give us a “win.”

  3. If you’re in the UK and you’re missing Pirate Bay then there is a mirror site called pirateshit.com that is exactly the same! :-)

  4. The lumbering dinosaur of the “record industry” is very jealous of artists making money without them.  I doubt blocking promobay was even remotely accidental. 

  5. So if I have this straight, the record companies want to be the sole source for music distribution, even for unsigned, independent artists?
    Where they also bill all the up front recording and distribution costs to their contracted artists so many of them never see a dime in royalties for all their creative work and have to sell T-shirts at concerts for gas money?

    This loathsome business model is a lot like a combination of vanity book publishing and the mafia.

  6. While I don’t doubt that they would have done it deliberately out of malice, be careful assigning malice when the explanation is more likely common incompetence. Someone probably just pulled down a list of all the sites owned by TPB and sent that to the ISP’s.

    Also, I think props should be given to Virgin Media for speaking up publicly. Since they don’t have the best track record on the subject, I suspect maybe the hand of Branson behind the suits. His kind of style.

  7. “… the industry was either incredibly cavalier about censorship, or it cynically opted to screw over the artists who had the audacity to go it on their own.”

    My money’s on “both of the above”.

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