Following up from its request last week for the Pirate Party UK to remove the Pirate Bay (TPB) proxy from its website, The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) has now threatened the political party with legal action if it doesn't comply. While so far PPUK has only received a letter, informing it that it will be receiving another letter from its solicitors, the threat is clear: the BPI is stepping up its attack on Pirate Bay access, by going after its supporters.
Since TPB was blocked earlier this year by the UK's major ISPs thanks to BPI demands, PPUK has been hosting its own proxy that allowed those affected by the block to access The Pirate Bay without a problem. The reasoning for the provision of this service, was that the blocks themselves were ineffective, damaging to those that use TPB and similar sites as promotional vehicles and an outright infringement on the public's freedom of expression. This turned PPUK into one of the most popular sites in the UK, but also the latest BPI target.
Loz Kaye, leader of PPUK has been front and centre discussing the threat, saying that his party will absolutely refuse to remove the proxy from its site and will fight the BPI in court if needs be. “Obviously our position is clear, we have done nothing wrong, we oppose site blocking and think that the whole area is one that requires clarification through legislation. After all the Pirate Bay is not blocked by all ISPs, it is available via any number of services and we were running our proxy before it became blocked in the UK,” Kaye says.
He also highlighted how blocks could also lead to collateral damage, like the blocking of unaffiliated artist promotional website, The Promo Bay, which was accidentally blocked last week.
Despite the determination of Mr Kaye and his party, a request has been issued for funds. In a two minute video featuring a somewhat slow speaking Loz Kaye, he puts the call out for activists to share the story and donate what they can. The BPI is an organisation made up of some of the biggest music labels in the world, with near unlimited financial resources. Comparatively PPUK is a minuscule organisation, but it has a big voice and a strong point to make.[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzPtxyDF-qo']
“It is clear that we are facing a significant threat, and we will have to fight it. And fight it well, not just for the sake of the Pirate Party, but because of the principles at stake. I have always believed that it is not just enough to have principles, you need to act on them too, even if it gets difficult,” Kaye continued.
Those wishing to learn more or donate to the cause, can do so here.
KitGuru Says: We've written here numerous times about how ineffective these blocks are, especially since it actually hinders independent artists that use the blocked services. The BPI knows these blocks don't work too, but it has to validate its existence somehow in a market that really doesn't need it.