And this, it turns out, is why we can’t have nice things. A week after the launch of The Promo Bay – A spin-off of the Sweden-based Pirate Bay file sharing website once described as “one of the world’s largest facilitators of illegal downloading” that was created with the explicit aim of legally promoting new work from independent artists, musicians, filmmakers and content creators, the Promo Bay has found itself blocked by multiple British Internet Service Providers. Is this a case of mistaken Internet identity, or simply the taint for many of any association with an illegal filesharing organization?
The Torrent Freak website reports that multiple British Internet Service Providers are apparently blocking The Promo Bay, a website launched last week spinning out of a months-old push within the Pirate Bay proper that sought to utilize the Pirate Bay community in a more constructive manner for content creators, offering them the chance to advertise to and share their work with an audience that is already actively engaged in trying out new things. “These artists are coming from the point of view that free, mass exposure – with smart measurement on who likes you where – is more valuable to an artist than trying to scrape money out of iTunes or Beatport or whatever,” Promo Bay spokesman Will Dayble said when talking about the Promo Bay’s launch as a stand-alone site, noting that “if we’re going to truly prove that the industry has changed, that the way we appreciate art has changed, we need to measure [the scale of the change].” The stand-alone launch came after the Pirate Bay had received thousands of submissions from artists for the service’s original Pirate Bay-hosted incarnation.
UK ISPs, however, aren’t necessarily on the same optimistic page about the new site; Torrent Freak notes that promobay.org is currently blocked by “BT, Virgin Media, BE and possibly several other providers” in the United Kingdom, something it attributes to a blanket ban on the Pirate Bay in general (That site has been censored by most of the UK’s ISPs since a High Court order last April). Dayble told the site, “These providers are pretty monolithic and old school, I’d imagine it’s just a broad-scale block against a bunch of Pirate Bay properties and we fell under the net. I doubt it’s a pointed move against the Promo Bay in particular.”
Dayble believes that the site will soon be available in the UK as soon as ISPs realize that it’s not a pirate site – “Here’s hoping some clever tech in their ranks does something about it,” he says – but in the meantime, there’s the by-now-traditional Internet petition to get the site unblocked, just in case ISPs need to know that there really is a demand for the sites out there.