UK COPYRIGHTS FRONT the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) has had a change of heart and told the Open Rights Group that it's now happy for internet users to access The Promo Bay.
Legitimate website The Promo Bay reportedly was being blocked earlier this week. We confirmed that both BT and Virgin Media had been asked to block the website by court order.
The Open Rights Group (ORG) said it wrote to the BPI and asked why it was blocking the website. It has responded to the ORG and told it that it is now happy for the court order to be dropped and the website unblocked.
The issue was a confusing one. We could access The Promo Bay under some circumstances, depending on whether we used the "www" before the address or not, and the UK Pirate Party said that it was unclear what was going on.
"The lifting of the Promo Bay block vindicates everything the Pirate Party has said on site blocking all along," said Loz Kaye, the Pirate Party leader.
"There ought to be no question of the BPI, or any other organisation, getting to decide what should be seen on the net and what should not. The Promo Bay fiasco clearly shows that the music industry cannot be trusted with censorship powers. There can now be no question of any other blocks on sites or proxies. It is time to resolve the whole issue of web blocking."
The Open Rights Group's executive director Jim Killock echoed this, saying that it showed that there is a need for greater transparency.
"It shows that the BPI have been given a great deal of discretion over what may be blocked. [And] it shows an alarming lack of transparency about what precisely is blocked," he said. "Neither ISPs nor the BPI seem keen to disclose what is on the list. It is effectively secret."
The BPI told us that when it asked for the block The Promo Bay was a different kind of website. It added that it is happy with its present content.
"Until very recently, the domain name 'promobay.org' linked directly to The Pirate Bay and was therefore a domain name blocked by the ISPs under the Court orders," said a BPI spokesperson.
"The newly reinvented Promobay.org website appears not to be engaged in copyright infringement and accordingly we have asked the ISPs to no longer block it." µ