The British Phonographic Industry breathed down the necks of UK’s ISPs earlier this year to block The Pirate Bay from being accessed by UK users.
The Pirate Party UK then provided a proxy server that allowed UK users to access TPB but the BPI would have none of that and moved to have the proxy server taken down. Because of this, six members of the Pirate Party received letters from solicitors acting in behalf of BPI and threatened to pursue legal actions if the proxy server wasn’t taken down.
“We had been anticipating legal action ever since I received an email from Geoff Taylor of the BPI,” Pirate Party Leader Loz Kaye said. “What has taken me aback is that this threat is personally directed. I simply can not see what the music industry think can be positively gained by threatening to bankrupt me and other party officers. Throughout, the party and I have been open to dialogue. Contrary to reports I offered to meet Geoff Taylor for discussion, but this has been rebuffed, at this point we are talking our legal advisers and will respond to the solicitors in due course. The Pirate Party’s political position remains this- site blocking is disproportionate and ineffective.”
Though Pirate Party seemed unfazed by the legal threat and stated that they would do everything to keep the proxy server up, it was a lost cause. They regretfully informed their users that the proxy server was taken down.
“Despite attempts by elected members to resolve this situation, the law at present is clear and makes any decision to continue hosting the proxy untenable.
This is not the outcome the party wanted however, any challenge to this proposed action would make it financially impossible for the party to deal with other issues for which they actively campaign on a daily basis.
The Pirate Party strongly believe that site blocking is both disproportionate and ineffective and will continue to lobby for digital rights and their wider manifesto,” Frances Nash, IP Lawyer at Manchester solicitors, Ralli, commented on behalf of the Pirate Party.
The Pirate Party is a label adopted by political parties in various countries that support civil rights, direct democracy and participation, reform of copyright and patent law, free sharing of knowledge (Open content), information privacy, transparency, and freedom of information. The Pirate party also advocates network neutrality and universal, unrestricted access to the Internet as indispensable conditions to some of this.