Pirate Party drops proxy after BPI legal threat

19 Dec 2012
Pirate Party

Proxy to The Pirate Bay has been shut down after BPI called in its lawyers

The Pirate Party UK has agreed to shut down a proxy to The Pirate Bay following legal action by music industry body the BPI.

Earlier this year, the BPI won a court order forcing ISPs to block access to the file-sharing site. Proxies offering access immediately popped up, including one hosted by the UK branch of the Pirate Party.

At the beginning of December, the BPI asked the Pirate Party to remove it. The political party initially refused, but has now declared it cannot afford to fight the case in court.

The law at present is clear and makes any decision to continue hosting the proxy untenable

"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," said the Pirate Party's lawyer, Frances Nash of Ralli.

"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," Nash added.

"The Pirate Party strongly believes that site blocking is both disproportionate and ineffective and will continue to lobby for digital rights and their wider manifesto."

Executive targets

At the end of last week, party leader Loz Kaye released a statement saying the BPI's legal claims were "personally directed" at six executive members of the party, rather than the party itself.

The BPI said it did write to the executives as individuals, but only because that was the only legal recourse it had. "Because the Pirate Party is not a limited company and has no form of legal personality, the proper legal course was to write to the executive members personally," the BPI said in a statement.

"We asked Pirate Party UK to remove the proxy because The Pirate Bay is an illegal site that is undermining the growth of legal digital music services," BPI CEO Geoff Taylor added in a statement. "We believe its executives should respect the law, and the basic right of creative people to be paid for their work."

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