The United Kingdom Pirate Party took down their highly popular Pirate Bay proxy site due to legal threats from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).
The U.K.’s Pirate Party’s political movement, which is said to be based on the freedom of information sharing, is experiencing difficulties at home once again. Now six members of the Pirate Party have come under direct fire from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) with threats of a costly lawsuit in regards to the upkeep and operation of the Pirate Bay Proxy site. Loz Kay who represents the U.K. Pirate Party fired back arguing that BPI had no right to threaten party members with what would amount to a costly legal battle.
On December 23, 2012, fearing personal bankruptcy and fear of a drawn out fight, the party bowed to BPI and took down the proxy site for The Pirate Bay. Immediately other foreign support groups of the party, which includes the Argentinean Pirate Parties, organized and began their own proxy service for The Pirate Bay.
This drawn out legal dispute began back in April 2012 when the U.K. High Court ruled that all U.K. Internet service providers were to censor and block The Pirate Bay website. In response to the ruling, people began using proxy sites in order to access the site, which included the proxy supported and set up by the U.K Pirate Party, when the ban went into effect. It was clearly accessible through the party’s website and soon became the most popular proxy used in the U.K. and accessed by the millions every month.
The BPI demanded that the proxy offered UK Pirate Party be removed or face legal action, but the party refused to comply with BPI. In reply, the music group went with what could be described as a ‘Plan B’, which was to attack the individual members of the party with personal legal action, and according to party leader Loz Kaye, bankruptcy.
“Elected members of the party's National Executive Committee, along with the head of IT, received letters from lawyers acting for British Phonographic Industry (BPI), threatening them personally with High Court legal action,” writes Pirate Party leader Loz Kaye on their official website. “After seeking exhaustive advice, as well as attempts to open dialogue with the BPI, it has become clear that the law as it stands makes any decision to continue hosting the proxy impossible…”
Contrary to what Kaye has stated, the BPI denies any threats of bankruptcy on party members. In a recent story published at the torrentfreak.com website, BPI’s Adam Liversage said the recent allegations made by Loz Kaye were untrue and that “BPI has not threatened Pirate Party UK officers with bankruptcy.”
The Pirate Bay was founded in Sweden in 2003 and it operates as a magnet link hosting site that helps to facilitate peer-to-peer file sharing using BitTorrent. In 2009 four of the founders of the site were charged with illegal downloading of copyrighted material. All four men were sentenced to each serve one year in prison and pay a fine of nearly 4 million U.S. dollars combined. Currently The Pirate Bay is supported by the Swedish Pirate Party who claims to serve as The Pirate Bay site's ISP.