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Censorship Media United Kingdom

The Promo Bay Blocked By UK ISPs 132

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the culture-police dept.
hypnosec writes "The Pirate Bay's artist promotion platform (the Promo Bay), despite being perfectly legal, is being blocked by several UK Internet service providers including BT, and Virgin Media. The Promo Bay was launched this week as a promotion platform for content creators like filmmakers and musicians enabling them to showcase their talent and work to thousands of people across the web. Even though the idea is novel, The Promo Bay has somehow found itself on a block list alongside the Pirate Bay."
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The Promo Bay Blocked By UK ISPs

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  • by hubang (692671) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @02:05PM (#42162049)
    If you were confused by the Napster saga, the big media companies only care about squashing competition. Napster helped their bottom line. ANd taking it down hurt their bottom line. It wasn't about infringement, anymore than the radio is about infringement.

    It's about control.

    If this succeeds, they're unnecessary. They are the gate keepers. An artist needs them. But they don't need artists. They can take any dancer or model who can't sing and turn them into a pop star.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yup, you can make them stars, but you can't make them artists.

    • by brit74 (831798)
      Big companies care about profits, not controlling you (as much as your conspiratorial mind might like you to believe). You say that Napster helped music companies. Oh really? Napster was released midway through 1999, so most people didn't have Napster in 1999, but it was building momentum. Do you know the peak year for music sales? Well, it was going up through the 1990s, and peaked in 1999. It's been a steady downhill ever since. The average consumer in 2009 in the US spent 30% as much money buying
      • by gizmonic (302697)

        Yes, the ability to purchase the one good song on an album and not having to pay $15.99 for the one song you like and the other 9-12 pieces of crap they called music had absolutely no impact on that. Neither did the fact that the economy took a huge downturn for a lot of industries when the .com bubble burst. Then get hit with 9-11, a recession, and the housing crash. That couldn't have a single thing to do with it. Yeah, it was ALL piracy's fault. Damn Napster.

    • by epSos-de (2741969)
      BT and Virgin Media are actually in a legal mess now. They can be forced to pay legal fines up to a billion, if they continue blocking competitors. You do not need a business model, if the competition is as stupid as Microsoft was in the 90's. EU governments are constantly looking for big companies to pay their wages. The European governments are in debt, so they find the most wealthy legal offenders and let them pay the fines. It is happening in Spain already. The Chinese mafia in there was kept loose u
  • http://thepromobay.co.uk/ [thepromobay.co.uk] http://promobay.org/ - The URL in the OP. Looks like 4 (featured) artists. No torrent for anything. Weird.

  • by troll -1 (956834) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @02:14PM (#42162099)
    It seems like anything that even remotely challenges today's established copyright dogma is the modern day equivalent of blasphemy that deserves absolute censorship so the old fashioned doctrine of intellectual property can be allowed to continue, unchallenged by more futuristic ideas.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Uhh... http://thepromobay.co.uk/?loadurl=/browse/200/0/7 It's essentially a TPB proxy. No surprise here.

  • Conspiracy to Censor (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Blue Stone (582566) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @02:21PM (#42162131) Homepage Journal

    What exactly is the rationale in blocking the Promo Bay? It's not and never has been the Pirate Bay. Different servers. Different owners. No complaints of copyright infringement. No cases, lawsuits or petitions to the court.

    What is the process that has gone on behind the scenes to block it accross almost all of the UK's ISPs? Where is the public oversight of this process? Who met, talked and how was the decision arrived at?

    Where is the scrutiny over decisions to censor the internet in a (supposedly) free and democratic country?

  • The Puppy Bay (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @02:32PM (#42162213)
    UK ISPs would block any effort by the Pirate Bay, even if they launched the Puppy Bay. Its about the source, not the content. The Promo Bay is essentially a PR tool for the Pirate Bay, and blocking that ability is as strategically important to Big Content (and their allies) as blocking actual sharing.

    This sets a rather curious precedent, I wonder how much further they might take it?
    • Re:The Puppy Bay (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jessified (1150003) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @03:43PM (#42162599)

      Aw so now the UK censors speech based on the speaker, rather than the speech.

  • But then, I'm using one of the small (semi) independent ISPs.
  • The page you're looking for has been blocked. We're complying with a court order that means access to this website has to be blocked to protect against copyright infringement. So basically it's a court order. An ISP issued with a court order can't really do anything except obey it, so blame the courts not the ISPs. I'm on Be Broadband which is a subsidiary of 02.
    • Does it say which court order? Other comments indicate that they might just have interpreted the court order regarding the Pirate Bay a bit, um, widely.
      • by mrbester (200927)

        Quite. If they can put up a page saying a site is blocked by court order they can include a link to the public domain information of that court order.

        Otherwise it can be used as a "don't blame us" get out clause for blocking anything just because they feel like it / fucked up.

        • February's judgement [bailii.org] which appears to have been conducted ex parte (without the respondents or their representation present) and resulted in summary judgement for Dramatico et. al.

          Telling in para. 17:

          For the purposes of these proceedings, the Claimants rely in particular upon the copyrights which the relevant Claimant owns in each of the recordings in the following sample albums:
          Recording Claimant
          "The House" by Katie Melua Dramatic Entertainment Ltd
          "It's Not Me, It's You" by Lily Allen EMI Records

  • motives (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @03:44PM (#42162605) Homepage Journal

    This pretty much proves that the MPAA/RIAA is not so much about "piracy" as about maintaining control over an industry.

    There no longer is a need for big record labels, and very soon there will no longer be a need for the big Hollywood conglomerates. If you look at many of the biggest blockbuster movies, once you get past the first screen for "Dreamworks" or "Universal" or "Fox" you find that the actual work (including the funding) was done independently for the most part.

    For now, the big labels and studios are like aging crime bosses that still get their cut from everything that happens in their respective industries. But their day is coming to an end.

    The only question now is whether the most successful indie labels and film production houses are going to try to use the same obsolete business model of consolidation or if they're sufficiently enlightened.

    Either way, The Pirate Bay (and others) presents the best reason why they need to change how they do business.

    Same thing with games: This week, Ubisoft released Far Cry 3 in Europe (it doesn't come out until Dec 4 in the US). Their "uplay" DRM server immediately crashed, making the game unplayable for all the people who legally bought the game, even for the single-player campaign. Meanwhile, those who downloaded the RELOADED release from Pirate Bay had no problem playing their game, whether they were in the EU or US. And still they don't get the hint. Instead of realizing that their DRM was nothing but punishment for their paying customers, Ubisoft probably came away thinking, "We need more better DRM!@!".

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Nyder (754090)

      ...>

      Same thing with games: This week, Ubisoft released Far Cry 3 in Europe (it doesn't come out until Dec 4 in the US). Their "uplay" DRM server immediately crashed, making the game unplayable for all the people who legally bought the game, even for the single-player campaign. Meanwhile, those who downloaded the RELOADED release from Pirate Bay had no problem playing their game, whether they were in the EU or US. And still they don't get the hint. Instead of realizing that their DRM was nothing but punishment for their paying customers, Ubisoft probably came away thinking, "We need more better DRM!@!".

      I've been playing Farcry 3 here in the U.S. for a week now. DRM has failed, it doesn't keep it out of the hands of anyone but paying customers.

  • by Duds (100634) * <dudley@enterspace. o r g> on Sunday December 02, 2012 @03:56PM (#42162665) Homepage Journal

    So if they're blocking it might be pure DNS since I use OpenDNS.

  • OK for me on Virgin (Score:1, Informative)

    by dhaen (892570)
    I can see it and it has a link to a Pirate Bay proxy. Seems like the story is bullshit.
  • It's not blocked on Plusnet, a BT subsiduary
  • I'm on Virgin media in London, UK and I can see the promo site just fine
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @06:31PM (#42163713) Homepage Journal

    Any ISP can block any traffic for any reason.. We best get used to it, it will only get worse.

  • by pointyhat (2649443) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @06:34PM (#42163739)

    It's blocked on O2.

    My contract is up on 19th January. I will vote with my feet. I'll switch to Andrews & Arnold who publicly state that they don't censor, filter and track. It's a whopping £4 a month more.

  • I can't believe I haven't read this one yet:

    $ host promobay.org
    promobay.org has address 62.239.4.146
    $ host thepiratebay.org
    thepiratebay.org has address 62.239.4.146

    BT gives me "Error - site blocked" for both TPB and PromoBay.org which means they've hijacked the IP address itself. What I will have to see next is if anyone goes and tell the court that BT is doing more blocking than they've been ordered. They've been ordered to block TBP, but not anything else that may be hosted at the same IP address.

    My conclusion: TPB is playing one of their games. Popcorn may be recommended for this one if the ball gets rolling.

    • Re:Same IP (Score:5, Informative)

      by advantis (622471) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @07:35PM (#42164133)

      Replying to myself because I just got the brilliant idea to see if BT aren't actually hijacking DNS itself, making me look like an idiot. Well... they succeeded:

      $ dig +trace thepiratebay.org
      #snip#
      thepiratebay.org. 3600 IN A 194.71.107.50

      $ dig +trace promobay.org
      #snip#
      promobay.org. 3600 IN A 108.59.2.74

      Promobay.org works once I add its IP to /etc/hosts.

      Why are BT hijacking the DNS for promobay.org? I have no idea, but a judge might be interested.

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