The Pirate Bay Returns to Yahoo!
February 22, 2008
On Tuesday, the BitTorrent news site TorrentFreak
reported that Yahoo! had filtered The Pirate Bay from its search engine. The news quickly caught on globally, as other news organizations reported similar blockages in Australia. In the Slyck forums, members noted that geographical location played a role in determining whether The Pirate Bay was blocked. For example, users in the United States found that Yahoo.com and Yahoo.co.uk failed to index The Pirate Bay, while United Kingdom users found the site to be completely accessible.
The issues surrounding The Pirate Bay have been contentious, with ramifications felt around the world. As one of the world's largest BitTorrent trackers, The Pirate Bay has taken pride as the preeminent avenue of media distribution online. This has established The Pirate Bay as heroes for many, and as enemies among the entertainment industry. It's no secret that the ISP Tele2 was recently forced in Denmark to block The Pirate Bay from their paying customers. Such a move might help thwart copyright violations, however many remain mystified how such a policy can be rectified in a democratic society.
Yahoo has come under tight scrutiny over the last two years for its dealings in communist China. In particular, Jerry Yang, founder and CEO, underwent a blistering tongue lashing in Congress in 2007 when it was discovered that Yahoo had assisted the Chinese government collect evidence against journalist Shi Toa
. Shi Toa had emailed information with his Yahoo email account to a New York based website, which communist China felt contained "state secrets". China demanded that Yahoo turn over the emailer's identity. Yahoo obliged.
Yahoo's Jerry Yang
justified its actions by saying, ""To be doing business in China, or anywhere else in the world, we have to comply with local law[s]."
Considering Yahoo's questionable track record, few were surprised by The Pirate Bay's disappearance. However, as inexplicable as its disappearance was, today The Pirate Bay is once again indexed by Yahoo. com. The Australian, UK, and German versions of Yahoo are also indexing The Pirate Bay, as well as AltaVista.com.
Slyck tried to contacting Yahoo’s public relations department regarding the bizarre incident for an explanation. We were told that our request for information was passed on to their search department. That was on Wednesday. No one has since followed up.
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