Google users looking to find the home page of popular bit torrent file-sharing The Pirate Bay were met with a message explaining that the site had been blocked due to a so-called “cease and desist” legal letter from a copyright holder.
Google has now issued a statement declaring that The Pirate Bay should never have been blocked and a spokesperson explained to CNet News that the whole episode was a regrettable mistake.
“Google received a letter which erroneously listed Thepiratebay.org and that is why the address was removed from Google’s search index,” the firm explained.
The search engine giant initially referred to its decision to US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) passed in 1998 but later explained that an internal error was to blame.
The letter was sent from a company making pornographic films, trade magazine Computer Sweden reports.
“Cease and desist” letters are a common feature of the US legal system and are sent to private people or companies and include the threat of legal action if action to end a certain operation or behaviour is not taken without delay.