AllofMP3 jeopardizes Russia’s WTO bid

“A Russian Web site that lets visitors download albums for less than $1 is a smash hit with music fans – but not with U.S. trade and music industry officials,” Alex Nicholson reports for The Associated Press. “According to a report by the Britain-based IXN data company, which compared traffic volumes on Web sites offering music downloads, Allofmp3 leapfrogged U.S. online music store Napster over the first half of the year to make it the second-most popular music site in the U.K. after iTunes.”

“But popular or not, the site is already under criminal investigation by Russian prosecutors and has been picked out by the U.S. Trade Representatives Office as an example of Russia’s bad record on tackling piracy. Allofmp3, officials say, is jeopardizing Russia’s WTO [World Trade Organization] bid as it seeks to reach an accession deal with the United States,” Nicholson reports. “The site warns users to check to make sure they are not violating the laws of their country before downloading songs and insists its mother company – MediaServices – is fully licensed to operate under Russian law. ‘MediaServices pays license fees for all materials downloaded from the site subject to the Law of the Russian Federation,’ the site says, citing an agreement with the Russian Multimedia and Internet Society.”

That group, which goes by the acronym ROMS, says it collects and distributes royalties for online use of copyrighted music. ROMS claims that under Russian copyright law, it does not need permission from copyright holders to license the sale of music on the Internet. ‘What can I say – this has to be decided by a court and no court has said this is illegitimate,’ ROMS general director Oleg Nezus told The Associated Press. ‘… Believe me – I’m a lawyer, you have to understand the law as a whole.’ But Igor Pozhitkov of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, which represents Western recording giants such as Universal, Sony and EMI, says Nezus is reading the law selectively,” Nicholson reports.

“According to IFPI’s lawyers, agencies such as ROMS do not need to seek permission from rightholders if they are licensing the broadcasting, performance or transmission of works by cable – but they do if it concerns their sale over the Internet. ‘They (ROMS managers) are using this as a money machine,’ Pozhitkov said. ‘Hopefully they will defend it for a while and then disappear.’ Allofmp3 provides no phone numbers and questions e-mailed to addresses listed on the site went unanswered,” Nicholson reports.

Full article here.

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60 Comments

  1. Goverment recently urged restaurants to serve less food , it is obvious that Obesity is probably more than just a problem in america.

    What will obese people do?

    They will try to buy Healthier food.
    and they will start exercizing more. Which means they will buy more Shoes.

    As far as i can tell , Future is all about healthy food and shoes.

    Nike is to big, however any small cap stock should do well.

  2. Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!
    Hurry to Yuri’s for reasonably priced western music.
    Act now and when you buy 4 freshly burned factory CD’s you get a free bottle of Vodka off back of truck that is parked in alley!

  3. Hmmmm?? I just don’t feel comfortable giving my credit card information to a russian site that is ripping off music labels. I am sure they are honest, I mean, look at their track record!!! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    Now if I could pay thru pay pal??????? That might be a different option. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    N.

  4. In Russia the legal retail price for a cd is around $2.00 to $3.00 per unit. Allofmp3 is charging around $2.00 for a cd quality product. They collect royalties and pay to ROMS. If the record companies refuse to take the money collected on their behalf that’s their business.

    For the record, the company is no longer under investigation as the relevant prosecutor decided against legal action because they hadn’t broken Russian law.

    Some might rail against the company but when we travel to other countries or purchase over the net we pay whatever the going rate is for that purchase. And that’s exactly what I do when I use allofmp3. I refuse to pay 99 cents for “near cd quality music. Likewise DRM just plain sucks. When I use allofmp3, I purchase what I want in whatever codec and whatever bitrate I want. In particular I purchase cd quality music in the AAC format.

    I have always found allofmp3 to be helpful when I’ve had technical problems. They ALWAYS reply to my emails within 24 hours. If you refuse to use the service that’s your problem. I take the view that main aim of the internet is to foster trade in information and products and that’s all that the company is doing. And if you want to pay $16.99 for sub cd quality that’s your choice as well.

  5. “Allofmp3 leapfrogged U.S. online music store Napster over the first half of the year to make it the second-most popular music site in the U.K. after iTunes.”

    That’s not saying much. I leapfrogged Napster after selling 3 CDs on eBay! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue wink” style=”border:0;” />

  6. When you use allofmp3 you do not pay though the company you pay through chronopay.com which is a European equivalent of paypal. I was at first reluctant to use the service but I’ve been using allofmp3 for a couple of months and my credit card account is intact and everything’s OK. I checked them out over the net beforehand and there were no complaints…except for the fact that at times their servers slow down.

    Oh one thing I didn’t say is that just because the music is cheap I’m still pretty picky about the music I purchase. In three months I haven’t spent more than $60.00.

    If you’re worried about the service do what I did use an account with a small amount of money that way you still have peace of mind.

  7. I think the music industry has way too much pull to allow this sort of thing to happen. To criminalize stealing music to some degree is just ridiculous. I mean after all the music industry has been robbing artists blind from the very beginning. Where’s the outcry?

  8. I’m sure allofmp3.com are loving all this publicity.

    I thought the Beatles weren’t on any download services ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

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