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Russia Agrees To Shut Down AllOfMP3.com

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the call-that-multilateral? dept.

Music 550

Pro-SEO writes, "An official document (PDF), dated November 19, summarizes an agreement between the U.S. and Russia in which Russia has agreed to close down AllofMP3.com, and any sites that 'permit illegal distribution of music and other copyright works.' The agreement is posted to the Web site for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. It summarizes the joint efforts of the two countries to fight content piracy, an issue in which Russia and Eastern Europe figure prominently." From the document: "This agreement sets the stage for further progress on IPR issues in Russia through the next phase of multilateral negotiations, during which the United States and other WTO members will examine Russia's IPR regime."

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550 comments

Asshats (5, Funny)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030344)

And if the RIAA does not see a corresponding increase in their music sales, will they then realize that "stealing" is not the problem, but rather a lack of sanctioned paid music sites which offer the quality, convenience, unencumbered formats, and broad selection that piracy offers?

Re:Asshats (2, Insightful)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030400)

Indeed, this is a disgrace! So they forced Russia to shut off basically a single website, and otherwise just don't let them enter WTO. What if they had refused, would the US have invaded them? Also notice that this was actually mainly the wish of the US, the rest of the WTO just following like sheep there I suppose.

I wonder how long this ass-licking of the US will go on. Decreasing value of the dollar, increase of the value of foreign currencies, and by now everyone except the UK is pissed of with how the US brings immense problems to the world, without having the slightest idea how to solve them. Such a democracy we have in Iraq now that the troops will be moved out there, or not? Maybe you can vote for a government, but they'll be blown to pieces by the end of the month.

In any case, I was hoping that of all government leaders at least Putin would have enough backbone to withstand these ridiculous demands of the RIAA^C^C^C^C US government. But maybe on the other hand they just don't give a damn out there in Russia, their citizens will find a way to get their cheap stuff anyway, and the foreign trade of allofmp3 probably wouldn't have gotten into the Russian state anyway, where there's a will, there's always a way to avoid tax. Then so be it, if the governments of the world are all too weak to protect their citizens from the claws of the RIAA (remember the police raiding of pirate bay in Sweden?), then maybe these governments and unfortunately their citizens deserve to be treated like shit.

Re:Asshats (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17030470)

>> In any case, I was hoping that of all government leaders at least Putin would have enough backbone to withstand these ridiculous demands of the RIAA...

A ridiculous demand? I wonder, if it is was your money that was being stolen from you, would you be spouting the same rubbish?

These sites are robbing the artists and companies of the revenue they are entitled to. Because they don't get this, they raise prices to cover what they lose...and so the spiral continues upward.
If you bothered to buy the music from real stores (online, or at a shop), then maybe we'd be seeing some cheaper prices for CD's etc.

Support the artists....not the pirates !

Re:Asshats (0, Troll)

darien (180561) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030500)

if it is was your money that was being stolen from you, would you be spouting the same rubbish?

-1, does not understand difference between crowdable and non-crowdable assets

Re:Asshats (4, Insightful)

linuxci (3530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030622)

These sites are robbing the artists and companies of the revenue they are entitled to. Because they don't get this, they raise prices to cover what they lose...and so the spiral continues upward.
If you bothered to buy the music from real stores (online, or at a shop), then maybe we'd be seeing some cheaper prices for CD's etc
It's been said many times but I might as well repeat it back before most people had internet access then buying on CD, tape, etc was the only real option. Effectively at least one person in a group of friends had to buy the CD, but as CD often had more benefits than tape then people would often still buy their own.


So back then more people had to buy a CD if they wanted music but did the price ever go down? NO! What people forget is money doesn't magically appear, if someone has no money then them downloading 10,000 illegal tracks online doesn't mean any loss of revenue as they wouldn't be able to purchase the songs legit. Most people tend to be honest when they can and tend to support things that they like, so if the RIAA embraced a legal store on the AllOfMP3 model then it'd be popular as it would provide convenience. People are paying for AllOfMP3.com right now (when they could get it for free on P2P), a similarly priced legit store would make a fortune for the RIAA.

Re:Asshats (0)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030768)

if someone has no money then them downloading 10,000 illegal tracks online doesn't mean any loss of revenue as they wouldn't be able to purchase the songs legit.

Who cares? We're not talking bread and water here. If they can't afford the music, they don't need to download it or pirate it. Whats so hard about investing in some instruments and making their own music? Or just learning how to sing?

Re:Asshats (1)

wolf369T (951405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030856)

I thought music (and art, in general) is done not for money, but for the pleasure itself. Obligatory South Park flashback: "Oh, look at poor Britney, she can't afford to buy this shiny new jet..." (or something like that) An as far as I know, a very small procentage from CD selling goes to the artist, the big part is taken by the record company. Am I wrong?

Re:Asshats (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030896)

I thought music (and art, in general) is done not for money, but for the pleasure itself.

You could say the same about anything. Ultimately, what takes time to do costs money. The more people it takes to do it, and the more skill required, the more money it costs. Saying art is done purely for pleasure is nonsense.

An as far as I know, a very small procentage from CD selling goes to the artist, the big part is taken by the record company. Am I wrong?

They shouldn't have signed the contract without reading it then, should they?

Re:Asshats (1, Flamebait)

robzon (981455) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030918)

Yeah.. If they can't afford it why should we care? They are the worthless part of our society, they have no rights to make use of our culture! They have no rights to enjoy their miserable life, let's force them to buy some instruments instead of food, so that they see how hard it is to be rock star!

Think again.

Re:Asshats (1)

heroofhyr (777687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030750)

Shutting down one website in Russia will not end piracy. Have you ever been to Moscow? You can get practically any piece of software, DVD, or CD ever printed for nothing by just walking to an outside market. I have the first five Led Zeppelin albums in 256kbps MP3 format on CD which I got in Russia for the equivalent of about 1euro. How much are those albums worth retail? About 14eu apiece? I had a friend who moved here from the Ukraine and every time her parents would visit Russia on vacation they'd actually go around asking all of their relatives beforehand if they needed anything from Moscow (and I don't mind souvenirs or clothing or what-have-you, but copies of Windows XP or movies or things of that nature). Piracy is built into their culture. Hell, for 80 years they didn't have any private copyrights at all. Thinking that shutting down this one website will turn the citizens of Russia into sudden international-law-abiding retail purchasers, especially without a sharper increase in their standard of living and disposable income, has got to be the stupidest idea in the world.

Re:Asshats (2, Insightful)

Antiocheian (859870) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030756)

> Support the artists....not the pirates!

You can instead support a broader sharing culture by supporting pirates and not artists.

Re:Asshats (2, Insightful)

Redlazer (786403) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030820)

Honestly, i would buy the CD of every song i have downloaded in a heartbeat if i knew that it would actually lower the prices of CD's.

I actually had this conversation with my mother recently, and she agrees that 15 bucks for a CD is retarded. Part of the "high cost" is the staggering amount of profits publishing companies expect from each CD - not how much they are actually worth to the populace at large.

It all boils down to value - i cannot value any cd on the market at 15 Dollars. No way. Wether or not that is its ACTUAL COST is irrelevant - if it doesnt seem valuable to people for the price you have to pay, then people will find alternate methods.

A good example - i've been trying to find a copy of a game i fancy, but so far i can only find the demo. It's pretty good, but it costs 20 bucks to buy. Clearly some reasonable talent went into the game, but i doubt i will get much replay value out of it, as its essentially a beefed up version of Scorched Earth, so itll really be the same game over and over again, therefore killing its value. I would pay 5 or maybe 10 in a heartbeat, but not 20. So they lost a sale and now im looking for "under the table" means of getting it. Ironically, i've failed miserably, but thats my sob story.

Companies have started including easter eggs, video DVD's, and other goodies with CD's to increase their value, which is good, and works better than just staying "deal with it". Although many times, the extra content is lame, and when i get home and put it in my computer itll either install a rootkit, or itll be really lame.

Its not our job to bend to their rules. It is their job, as the provider of a service, to make us want it.

Obviously, they arent doing a good job.

-Red

Re:Asshats (5, Insightful)

estarriol (864512) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030652)

and by now everyone except the UK is pissed of with how the US brings immense problems to the world, without having the slightest idea how to solve them.
Speaking from and as part of the UK, I can assure you that the majority of the UK is extremely pissed off with US foreign policy, and the weakness of our own administrators who go along with it. This is most certainly not our finest hour.

Credible? (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030684)

The official document does indeed read like the Russians caved in on all fronts. To an extent where I wonder if it is telling the whole truth. Russia is still a considerable power and I don't think they need to suck up everything the US is telling them.
Maybe the US government is just spreading propaganda here??

Re:Asshats (3, Insightful)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030738)

First off, at the end of the day AllofMP3 was not giving artists and production / media companies their required due, so what they were doing was immoral, if technically legal at the time. No matter how you cut it, these goods and services have a value set by the vendor; if the market doesn't want to pay the price demanded, the market can simply not purchase them. It doesn't give people laissez-faire to take other people's work without paying for it. Before I get jumped on by the million-boot slashdot hive mind, I am completely opposed to the RIAA and MPAA and thier ilk, and think they are dinosaurs that should be expunged from the bodies social and politic.

Secondly, the US has vast amounts of wealth, which few other groups have. This is the reason for the "asslicking". How long the US will continue to be comparatively wealthy is another question entirely. Once the greenback stops being the de facto currency of global trade, it will decrease in value sharply, and US spending power with it. The natural inheritor of that throne is the euro; not only is it based in a group of stable democracies with no expansionist ideals, the EU market is what, double or triple the size of the US. Also you have to factor in enrmous foreign debt and a looming housing price collapse. What I do strongly object to is the US tying IP laws to deals for trade with third world nations, thus denying these nations the very means by which the US became so powerful (ignoring IP laws).

Iraq is a nasty snarl up, but to be honest you can lay the blame for that at the feet of Winston Churchill when he drew the lines on the map that bundled a group of unrelated cultures into one single country - fairly typical English ignorance in their colonial matters, I have to say. The most recent debacle involving the US is not going to end well.

This is a bit rambling, but the upshot of my post is, if you don't like the price, don't buy it. Its not like theres a steep barrier to entry. Buy a guitar. If you want to get worldwide audiences with your music and maybe get rich, into bed with the *AA you climb. Or set up your own one.

Re:Asshats (4, Informative)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030834)

First off, at the end of the day AllofMP3 was not giving artists and production / media companies their required due, so what they were doing was immoral

Allof MP3 offered to pay royalties. All anyone had to do was fill out a form. The **AAs refused to deal with them, so they could do exactly what they've done today: call them pirates and get the US govt to force them out of business.

Re:Asshats (-1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030860)

Allof MP3 offered to pay royalties. All anyone had to do was fill out a form. The **AAs refused to deal with them

How does that change anything? The *AAs have the right to refuse to deal with them, or any vendor they like. That doesn't give vendors the right to go ahead and sell their music anyway.

Re:Asshats (5, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030932)

The *AAs have the right to refuse to deal with them, or any vendor they like. That doesn't give vendors the right to go ahead and sell their music anyway.

Under Russian law there is a compulsory licensing; i.e., a fixed rate mediated by a copyright bureau that collects from broadcasters and publishers and disburses payments. Something similar operates in many countries for radio broadcast rights, it's not a "communist" idea, just in case you were thinking that. Of course, if a rights owner and a publisher make their own contract, that will take precedence.

Re:Asshats (5, Insightful)

xtracto (837672) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030902)

First off, at the end of the day AllofMP3 was not giving artists and production / media companies their required due, so what they were doing was immoral, if technically legal at the time.
Allof MP3 offered to pay royalties. All anyone had to do was fill out a form. The **AAs refused to deal with them,

The Russian Organization on Collective Management of Rights of Authors and Other Rightholders in Multimedia, Digital Networks & Visual Arts (ROMS) [www.roms.ru] is the Russian equivalent to RIAA. Until September 1st 2006 the fact that Allofmp3 site payed the requird fees for the distribution of the intellectual property to this organization made the AllOfMp3 distribution legal. It did not made the "reception" of such intellectual property legal on your country but what they were doing was completely legal and moral in their country.

It is as simple as selling mariguana in the Netherlands. It is legal and moral to do it there, and in contrast it is illegal and immoral to sell it on the USA. It is legal to publish DIY methods for mariguana production while in other countries might not be the case.

Now, I do not know if *after* the amendment (see the link) the allofmp3 current practices became illegal, that would need to be tested in A RUSSIAN COURT. I hope it is tried there, and I hope Allofmp3 win. However, we will have to see that int he following months.

Hope this helps.

Re:Asshats (1, Troll)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030928)

It did not made the "reception" of such intellectual property legal on your country but what they were doing was completely legal and moral in their country.

And your weak link is that the orginal vendors were not receiving their required due, regardless of the laws of the land. This would be the people that create the content. Analogies about marijuana fall flat here, I am afraid.

Re:Asshats (2, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030930)

"these goods and services have a value set by the vendor;"

Oh, bull. The price is set with the assistance of coercive government monopoly powers; as such most of the price is entirely derived _from_ that particular legal construct, and has little to do with the inherent value of the good. And has nothing whatsoever to do with morality.

"if the market doesn't want to pay the price demanded, the market can simply not purchase them."

Yes, that's how monopolies work and why they're such a destructive force on the wealth of an economy.

In a competetive market, the market can simply purchase the good from another vendor. I dont see five brands of specific modern recordings for sale that often, yet I have no trouble finding five brands of spaghetti in the store.

"Its not like theres a steep barrier to entry."

Mmmhmm. Try duplicating hammers and selling them for a while, then try duplicating a number of CD's and selling them, and I'll betcha you'll notice the barrier to entry fairly soon.

But even ignoring that, and playing along with your train of thought, pick up that guitar and go compete with the payola radio and monopoly financed media blitzes, and you'll find that, oddly, the 'protection' of copyright appears mainly to be protecting the *AA from playing on a level field.

But you knew that already. So, really, take a good look and examine that barrier.

Re:Asshats (1)

temcat (873475) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030804)

Well, I don't think that powers that be will need to do anything special to shut down AllOfMp3.com. The IV part of Civil Code passed recently which deals with all sorts of so-called "IP" effectively prohibits what the site was doing, though it used to be actually legal here.

Re:Asshats (2, Informative)

pubjames (468013) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030944)

and by now everyone except the UK is pissed of with how the US brings immense problems to the world

Just so you are aware, most people in the UK are very pissed off with the US (or more accurately, Bush and his cronies) as well.

Re:Asshats (4, Insightful)

kentrel (526003) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030408)

And if the RIAA does not see a corresponding increase in their music sales, will they then realize that "stealing" is not the problem, but rather a lack of sanctioned paid music sites which offer the quality, convenience, unencumbered formats, and broad selection that piracy offers?

And if they do see a corresponding increase in their music sales, will you then realise the opposite?

Re:Asshats (5, Informative)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030428)

And if they do see a corresponding increase in their music sales, will you then realise the opposite?

Yes, for I am not an asshat.

Re:Asshats (2, Interesting)

Helix150 (177049) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030454)

no, why would they? they have been blissfully disconnected from reality for years, chances are they will be too busy declaring victory to notice any change in sales or lack thereof.

It's a sad fact of human nature- we naturally see things from our own POV and don't look at it from any other perspective. That's why the music industry sucks so much- they (the ones in charge) see things from their own POV. From their POV things are nice and cozy, they are ass raping the artists, and the consumers, and just about everybody else; and congress is on their side.
They don't think of it like this though, they see business as usual, and the internet threatens that.
For better or worse they (collectively) are a monopoly. People NEED music. And most people don't invest the energy to go looking for music they like- they absorb it via exposure, which comes from friends CDs, radio, etc. So most of the time, nobody with a clue can get big enough to actively change anything. As long as teens will buy ten million copies of "Grind That Ass Bitch" by 'D. Gangsta and da Thugz', they are all set.
Their only threats come from two sources- 1. that people will stop buying major label music (unlikely and if it happens they will just buy all the smaller labels), and 2. that the music scene as a whole will change into something they cannot control or profit from.
It's that which scares them- change. But the fact is people still like their music. So they react with the only weapon they have- their music. They increase their ownership of it to the point that artists are getting ripped off way worse than consumers, and then use this as a weapon, demanding that people stop 'pirating' and 'stealing' 'their music'.

Looking at the future- in 10-20 years none of this will matter. It's already cheap enough to record your own music at decent enough quality that anybody can do it, and there are a gazillion companies that will happily press CDs for a few hundred bucks. Suddenly the total cost of making a CD is down to under a grand and anybody can afford it.
The only things that the labels can add to this are sorting (only backing artists that don't suck), branding (creating a promotable brand for the artist) and marketing (pouring tons of $$ into getting ppl to buy the thing).
Currently we often see this applied as wholesale creation- label or producer will take somebody with *some* talent, give them a few catchy songs to sing, market them to death and reap the reward when ten million 14 year olds buy the album because the dude is good looking.

However many of these things can be done by other groups- websites and music store sites already provide ratings and let people discuss music to an extent that the separation may not be required. Promoting online is dirt cheap and Internet radio has already exposed a ton of new artists.

Where this leaves the concept of a record label is where it should be- helping an artist deal with the business end of music when they don't have to.

So I expect that over the next 10 or 20 years, this whole argument will become moot. Megacorp record labels will continue to produce trash but people will stop listening to it. Don't get me wrong, things will get worse before they get better. But as everybody gets more informed people will start to see what is actually going on and it will be routed around.
Satellite radio will help with this, because they cater to their listeners (who cancel their account if it sucks) not advertisers. Also, useful 3.5-4g wireless broadband will help with this... you will be able to listen to online radio in the car or from a cell phone, further opening up artist discovery.

And besides, there is (today) already a growing backlash against DRM and the labels lawsuits. I expect the MS Zune will move this along when everybody that bought music from walmart / napster / etc realizes they have to buy it AGAIN to make it work with the zune. This will educate a lot of people to what DRM actually is, and if they get pissed off enough to act then DRM will very shortly be a thing of the past.

Re:Asshats (1)

Cartack (628620) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030564)

Sorry to be the voice of dissent If I had an option between free music and paid music ... regardless of how well built the paid music infrastructure was, I would take the free music.

Re:Asshats (4, Insightful)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030576)

No, they will find someone else to blame instead.

Re:Asshats (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030886)

After all, if their revenue drops, it must be because of a third-party actions. What else? Then, the only problem remaining across their path to rentability is to find these third-party terrorists and break them.

As simple as that.

Arcade game (5, Funny)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030346)

There's an arcade game, where you have a dozen jack-in-the-box little heads which pop up, and a hammer, and your goal is to hit as many heads as you can as quickly as you can, as they pop up again a little while after you've hit them down.

Re:Arcade game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17030528)

whackamole

They should sue. (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030912)

Whack-a-mole's creator - Aaron Fetcher - should sue the RIAA and MPAA because their business model infringes his game model [wikipedia.org] .

(That would be fun. The bad the Fetcher didn't acually patent his invention...)

Unrelated (5, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030352)

In completely unrelated news, the entire body of the WTO has gone home early today feeling ill and glowing slightly after being served tea by a thickly bearded new manservant.

Re:Unrelated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17030560)

LOL (seriously) at the +1 interesting. Pick up a newspaper!

Re:Unrelated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17030766)

... wearing a trench coat and one of these [studio8.net] while innocently whistling Russian folk tunes. On-site security officers immediately recognized the person as potentially dangerous and forced him to surrender his toenail clipper before being allowed to enter the building.

The real PlaysForSure (5, Insightful)

linuxci (3530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030368)

Although I've never used it I would have to say this site was the real Plays for Sure of the music world. It's a shame the record companies did not embrace this model as a lot of people would be willing to pay iTunes prices for DRM-free audio in a choice of formats. Instead the only site that offered consumers choice is being closed down which would be fair enough if a viable legal alternative would spring up, but until the RIAA start embracing technology that won't happen.

Re:The real PlaysForSure (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030506)

As I understood it, the artists never earned a penny from sales through this site, so it might be great for the consumers, but why on earth would you expect the music industry to embrace this? The RIAA might be bastards, but if they championed a model where the artists got zero, as opposed to 'not very much', you'd hate them even more.
I'm pretty sure theres enough economists working at sony etc to decide (with all the data they have) the sweet spot for music pricing. This just means that a lot of people who won't pay that will whine that its too expensive, but thats true of pretty much every product. I think cinema tickets are too expensive, so I dont go, but you can bet that the number of people who *do* go outweigh the small loses by losing me as a customer.

Re:The real PlaysForSure (1)

hopopee (859193) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030662)

Actually, the money didn't go to the artists only because RIAA/MPAA/IPFI-affiliates would not them register to the Russian counterpart. Mainly because their rules state something along "we retain all rights to license your stuff from now on", but still. It was _not_ an unlawful operation.

And better yet, you could ask yourself _why_ they demanded closing the shop instead of trying to change the policies of the Russian copyright association or put up a competing "more lawful" operation themselves? Using WTO negotiations to shut down one company that operates by it's local laws but pisses you off otherwise (remember, it's the copyright association's rules that were the main problem here) is pure evil.

Re:The real PlaysForSure (1)

tttonyyy (726776) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030870)

Actually, the money didn't go to the artists only because RIAA/MPAA/IPFI-affiliates would not them register to the Russian counterpart. Mainly because their rules state something along "we retain all rights to license your stuff from now on", but still. It was _not_ an unlawful operation.
That's a very interesting statement. Do you have any evidence/links to back it up?

That aside, you're right, it's a total disgrace that the US would use joining the WTO as leverage to shut down one (locally legal) website, regardless of what it promotes or sells. That the argument is over a commercial rather than political website is even more bizarre.

There's not so many differences between the behaviour of Microsoft and the behaviour of the US administration. It would appear that the actions of both are increasingly seen as unfair by the rest of the world.

It's also sad that this paints a distorted picture of the citizens of the US to the outside world, most of whome are equally disgusted by this.

Way to go Mr Bush, creating rifts between cultures where there are none.

Re:The real PlaysForSure (5, Insightful)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030702)

As I understood it, the artists never earned a penny from sales through this site, so it might be great for the consumers, but why on earth would you expect the music industry to embrace this?

Well if that is true, that's a shame. But he doesn't expect the RIAA to embrace the website; he expects them to embrace what the website offered: Choice of formats without DRM restrictions. Allofmp3, even at 320kbps MP3, was only like 20-30 cents per song and the grandparent rightly supposes that people would pay more for those same choices, even the $0.99 an iTunes track costs. I can vouch for this myself. I do not purchase from iTunes because of the DRM issues (the lack of choice too, but to a lesser extent) but would be happy to pay $0.99 for that 320 kbps MP3 if that is what I want a particular song in.

I doubt Allofmp3 was a charity operation, so they were making money even with the low prices. That means that if the RIAA were to set up an identical system, and increase the prices such that the highest bitrate MP3* was $0.99, they would have roughly 60 cents per download of guaranteed profit on top of whatever the production/distribution costs of the files are that they can split amongst the artists. Does the artist get 60% right now? Heck, even if the RIAA pocketed half I think the artists would still end up making more under this scheme than they do for the current incarnation of iTunes.

I think cinema tickets are too expensive, so I dont go, but you can bet that the number of people who *do* go outweigh the small loses by losing me as a customer.

That is a different issue. Cinema tickets are a limited resource. Once all the tickets for a show are sold out, they can't sell more. In that sense, losing you as a customer only matters if demand is less than the number of seats available. Otherwise, they simply won't even notice you did not come. If supply is great, they either need to add more show dates (which is not always feasible) or expand the theater size and hope that the next show that comes through has similar demand. If not, they're losing money.

Online music distribution is different. The costs to distribute another copy of a given song are miniscule, nearly negligible. The fact that you only produce that extra cost when somebody purchases the song means you ALWAYS make a profit on expansion. It would be like if every time somebody new wanted a ticket to that cinema show, a new seat--equally as good as every other seat in the place--would spring magically into existence. In this case, if you refused to buy a song because of the cost it would be a direct impact to them. Even if there are five buyers for every non-buyer, they'll still feel it because it's essentially free money to them. They had five sales where they could have had six, instead of having a sell-out where they could have had... a sell-out.

Allofmp3 obviously made this system work at less than $0.99 a song, so it's doable. The only explanation I can think of as to why the RIAA doesn't give it a shot is because they're control freaks who are desperately trying to prove to the world that they were somehow still needed when they really are not.

I'm sure piracy is a problem for them, although I'm also sure it's not nearly as big a problem monetarily as they would have us believe. The don't seem to realize that they can eliminate a large segment of that piracy by offering low-cost products. Pirating a $17 CD might be worth it. Pirating a $0.99 song becomes significantly less so. If I care enough about the song that I would want it at a high bitrate, such as this hypothetical new RIAA service would offer me, it would be even harder to find and less worth pirating.

But meh. Logic doesn't seem to be high atop the RIAA's list of traits.

* I keep mentioning 320kbps MP3 because that's what I got when I wanted a high-quality version. I could do OGG I suppose, but I don't; and honestly, I could personally hear no difference between the 320 MP3 and the FLAC when I compared once.

Re:The real PlaysForSure (1)

linuxci (3530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030732)

As I understood it, the artists never earned a penny from sales through this site, so it might be great for the consumers, but why on earth would you expect the music industry to embrace this? The RIAA might be bastards, but if they championed a model where the artists got zero, as opposed to 'not very much', you'd hate them even more.
I don't think they have to support AllOfMP3 but they needed to offer an equivalent but legit service first before killing it. AllOfMP3 showed it was possible to sell loads with this model, in theory people didn't have to pay anything (P2P) but were willing to pay for the conveneince of AllOfMP3. I think people would be willing to pay more than the AllOfMP3 price if the royalties are being distributed. As long as the format is unemcumbered.

AoMP3 *did* pay (4, Insightful)

DrYak (748999) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030880)

As I understood it, the artists never earned a penny from sales through this site


AllofMP3.com did pay money to the local state copyright licensing organisation, as required by Russian law.
(Per Russian law, if you want to broadcast music, all you have to do is to pay that organisation. Which will, in turn take care of sending the money were it's due).
The problem is not at the level of AllofMp3.com. The problem is in the next step : that organisation then in turn paid the money only to local band and other cultural events.
That's because, as other /. pointed in this thread, the western artists aren't registered at the Russian copyright organisation. Neither are there arrangement between the Russian organisation and foreign counterparts.

By shutting down the AllOfMP3.com site, the USA doesn't solve the root problem. They only hide one of the most visible manifestation of the phenomenon.
Nothing technically forbids another company to set up a similar service elsewere (say, a website that sells audio albums in FLAC DRM-less format, and uses international bank-2-bank money transfers as payment). As long as they follow Russian law and pay the money they're supposed to pay to the local copyright company, they won't be illegal.

The real solution would be to find an arrangement between western artists and Russia. But that's highly unlikely, mostly because those artist have signed exclusive rights with the western companies. There for the only possible arrangement is between Russian an western companies. And that's something Russia doesn't want because probably the **AA, IFPI, etc. are going to ask for way too much money and nothing will be left for local projects. That's something Russia want to avoid. Therefor the current solution is what they find best as a way to earn an entry to the WTO.

Be sure to see more AllOfMP3.com clones to appear and go unharmed once the Russia has secured its place within the WTO.

(The Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] has more detailed informations about the problem)

Re:The real PlaysForSure (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030514)

Although I've never used it I would have to say this site was the real Plays for Sure of the music world. It's a shame the record companies did not embrace this model as a lot of people would be willing to pay iTunes prices for DRM-free audio in a choice of formats.

I just bought three tracks with my last 48 cents of balance. For the $10 I put in I got a lot of music and I would start buying at a higher price iff I can get it in high bit rate ogg. I have e-books in PDF as well and I don't walk around the office offering copies of the stuff I have bought to other people. Quite frankly I can't be stuffed. They can get it themselves.

I am sure that something else will pop up. Wait and see.

Re:The real PlaysForSure (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17030734)

I guess the best alternative for now is probably emusic.com. Their catalog is a bit smaller (about 1,000,000 songs), but I find it has good quality music and a lot less junk than allofmp3. Of course they don't offer the same choice of formats (nothing free as in OGG), but at least they use LAME/APS encoded mp3's which are of course DRM-free. And they don't transcode mp3's like allofmp3 was reported to have done. No DRM means no big artists like Britney Spears, but I could care less when you've got Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo, Cat Power, Johnny Cash, and the likes.

Their base plan (in Europe, at least) works out to 0.23 cents per song, and the more you buy, the cheaper it gets. I've signed up for a free trial a few times now, and every time I cancel they come back a few months later inviting me for another free trial. It's not our good 'ole friend allofmp3, but it beats iTunes hands down. So, there's at least one legal site which is getting closer to something worth using...

So much for the new enlightened Russia... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17030370)

Where else would you be able to make a deal with the government to shut down a private company that follows local laws? Of course it's not bribery if all you are giving in exchange is favorable trading regulations and a chance at WTO membership.

Re:So much for the new enlightened Russia... (1)

YouTalkinToMe (559217) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030840)

It looks like according to the agreement, the Russian government also has to pass legislation to close the "loophole" that allows collection societies to act without the consent of the "rights holders".

If I remember correctly, allofmp3.com was getting licenses from these "collection societies", so probably the Russian government will first close down the societies, then close down allofmp3.com.

Damn that WTO (3, Interesting)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030382)

Well, AoMP3 was nice while it lasted. But mostly I care about http://www.lib.ru/ [www.lib.ru] - it's the best Internet library in Russia.

But we still have a hope, there's a Russian proverb: "Drastic Russian laws are softened by their loose observance". So I hope that lib.ru will continue to work 'underground'.

Re:Damn that WTO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17030420)

> I hope that lib.ru will continue to work 'underground'.

Definitely. All of the lib.ru staff will work underground for a long time - in a mine belonging to a gulag penal camp somewhere in Kamchatka. That is how affairs are conducted there and actually be glad they did not shoot you in the back of your head. Most people in the west still have no idea how terrible the USSR / Russia was/is. It is worse than hell on Earth!

Re:Damn that WTO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17030502)

No probs, this Legal entity has till 1 June 2007 to run. Rights legally bought from collective societies before then, should be saleable afterwards. It was named as an 'example', so should continue after then if compliance can be reached.

The pharmaceutical test data provision is pretty blatent, but can be got around by submitting no test data, or by saying if its safe enough for Germany, Sweden, UK or France, it can and WILL be be automatically approved. Vioxx proved that having test data had no real value.

'Russia' is to enforce and police all the 'no-nos'. Apparently there is only one person in Russia with a firstname of Russia, so he/she is going to be busy, or on stress leave. IANAL.

Polonium-210 export is more important than MP3! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17030384)

Good news. P2P is communism and this means Russia finally left behind the last remnants of communism. She is now a honest to god capitalist dictatorship, like Pinochet's Chile or the generals' Turkey, where enemies of the state are assasinated or mass exterminated. Progress is undeniable. As an added bonus, Russia as a member of WTO will be able to export more of Polonium-210, which is a good news to anybody who has had enough of their mother-in-law.

Crap. Any idea how long this will take? (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030394)

This was too good to last; now there are no decent (note that word) outlets for unemcumbered music. Anyways, anyone have any clue how long this will take?

Re:Crap. Any idea how long this will take? (1)

DuncanE (35734) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030614)

Its still working at the moment, but I suggest you clear your balances quickly.

As it happens I've decided to switch back to CD's. I like the nice packaging. I don't buy many RIAA recordings anyway - there is plenty of quality independent music out there. Plus I can rip them at a reasonable bit rate and format of my choice.

The only thing that annoys me about CD's is that its not easy to "try before you buy". Nothing worse that spending your hard earned dollars on a CD only to realise that its total crap. I wonder what the law says about returning CD's? You can walk out of a movie and get a refund right?

On a sadder note for russian citizens (4, Interesting)

sylvainsf (1020527) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030442)

TFA also mentions that pharmaceutical companies can't apply to sell generics of a drug in Russia without doing all their own clinical trials and submitting that documentation. I'm guessing that previously they could just use common sense and say IT'S THE SAME MOLECULE.

Western civ, we hardly knew ye... (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030448)

Russia has agreed to close down AllofMP3.com, and any sites that 'permit illegal distribution of music and other copyright works.'

One of the most significant contributions to human rights in all of human history came from Hammurabi - The concept of a written code of laws, which everyone could know and which applied equally to all people, thus making "justice" less subject to the biases of the king / emperor / caliph / whatever. He may not have quite lived up to that ideal, but as a basis for all modern reasonably-fair legal systems, it forms a cornerstone on which we've built everything since.

AllOfMP3, whether the RIAA like it or not, operated within Russian law (or at least, they did so until this past September [techdirt.com] ). Whether or not the new law closes the "loophole" (if you can call strong fair-use rights and lax copyright enforcement by-design a "loophole") will have to wait for the Russian authorities to make a case against someone.

Either way, to announce the closing of AllOfMP3 as practically the basis of an international trade agreement strikes me as the most capricious undermining of the concept of modern jurisprudence imagineable. This announcement effectively says "The rule of law does not apply to the king's friends, and its protections do not extend to the king's friends' enemies".

Buildings do not remain standing very long if you undermine their foundations. This should chill us all for a much, MUCH deeper reason than merely the loss of a way to get cheap music. I personally never even used AllOfMP3, and this scares the hell out of me. Imagine the same precedent applied, 20 years or so from now, to the US trying to get some economic favor from China...

Re:Western civ, we hardly knew ye... (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030634)

This announcement effectively says "The rule of law does not apply to the king's friends, and its protections do not extend to the king's friends' enemies".
Never forget the Golden Rule: "He who has the gold, makes the rules.".

Nothing unusual is happening here. (3, Interesting)

Narcogen (666692) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030952)

AllOfMP3, whether the RIAA like it or not, operated within Russian law (or at least, they did so until this past September). Whether or not the new law closes the "loophole" (if you can call strong fair-use rights and lax copyright enforcement by-design a "loophole") will have to wait for the Russian authorities to make a case against someone.

People can repeat that site's FUD ad infinitum if they like, but it cannot make falsehood into the truth.

AllofMP3's rights derived from a Soviet government asserted right to any and all intellectual property being broadcast within the Soviet Union. That the Soviet government had no such rights to distribute intellectual properties from the holders of those properties was irrelevant to the Soviet government. The only intellectual property rights they were interested in were those of the state's. Anything the state produced or condoned was fine, and rights to those were distributed (if needed) by the state. Intellectual property that was not condoned was forbidden, and rights to those were irrelevant.

Any western films and music that were not officially allowed were prohibited, and any copies of them that might exist were contraband.

With the opening of Russia to the West and the collapse of the Soviet Union, western media were not so tightly controlled. However, the state still had agencies within it granted sweeping rights to control intellectual property anywhere within the Russian Federation, regardless of the fact that the government was no longer the sole source of all those rights.

When you watch a movie, the warning says that the intellectual property is protected by local laws and international agreements. The only way that companies who deal in intellectual property are willing to set up shop overseas and officially distribute their wares is if they know there are not just local laws, but international agreements in place so their rights can be protected.

Allofmp3 can have whatever rights it wants given to them by the Russian government, but the fact of the matter is, the Russian government did not have the authority to give the site those rights because it didn't have them. You can't just pass a law that says that any intellectual property that happens to come within your borders (no matter how it got there) is fair game to be bought, sold, and copied by anyone who likes without any compensation to the owners of the rights to those properties.

Or, rather, you can, but as Russia has finally come to grips with, you cannot have a situation like this and enter into trade organizations like WTO.

Either way, to announce the closing of AllOfMP3 as practically the basis of an international trade agreement strikes me as the most capricious undermining of the concept of modern jurisprudence imagineable. This announcement effectively says "The rule of law does not apply to the king's friends, and its protections do not extend to the king's friends' enemies".

You have grossly misunderstood the situation.

The only concept that is being underscored here is the universal concept that international agreements supersede local laws. If the duly designated representative or representatives of a government of a country have entered into international agreements that state that the producers of intellectual properties from outside that country's borders will be respected within that country's borders, then other elements of that government, such as the legislature, cannot supersede that arrangement.

Rights granted to AllofMP3 were null an void because the government agency granting them did not have the authority to; and now, Russia has signed an international agreement that does nothing more than recognize that fact.

Buildings do not remain standing very long if you undermine their foundations. This should chill us all for a much, MUCH deeper reason than merely the loss of a way to get cheap music. I personally never even used AllOfMP3, and this scares the hell out of me. Imagine the same precedent applied, 20 years or so from now, to the US trying to get some economic favor from China...

There is nothing chilling about this whatsoever. This is international business as usual. The unusual part was that Russia allowed this site to continue as long as it did.

What kind of bogeyman you're trying to summon up by mentioning China I can't really imagine, but that's a pretty tired old tactic. If the United States doesn't want to have to bow to economic pressure from China in the future, and perhaps be bullied into signing international agreements that give China an unfair advantage in trade, then they'd better work now to ensure they're in a good position.

Russia, like most of the CIS states, wants and needs WTO membership. One of the requirements for WTO membership is ensuring that inasmuch as possible, similar legal frameworks exist to keep businesses operating on a level playing field across all member states. New applicant states constantly pressure the organization for exceptions to these rules due to special circumstances in their countries, and many times these are granted, usually to protect strategic sectors or fledgling businesses in developing countries from competetion from mature international companies.

That simply isn't the case here; the WTO was never going to grant an exception that would allow a site like AllofMP3.com to operate, because it sets the precedent that any country can abrogate a company's intellectual property rights just by dragging a few discs across a border.

Imagine if I managed to secede and make my apartment a sovereign country. As leader of that nation, I grant myself rights to duplicate and distribute all intellectual property which exists within my borders. Inside, I copy every DVD I own and burn more. I invite citizens of other nations to visit my apartment and buy these copies, or for a small fee (just to cover bandwidth) download them from servers located therein.

I might, conceivably, be within my rights to do so, assuming states around me recognize that I exist.

However, if I want to join a private club to which the countries that produce those materials belong, you can be damn sure they're going to tell me to change that situation, or else. That's all that has happened here.

Russia's intellectual property protection laws are so weak and so weakly enforced that it is not a level playing field. The vast majority of music, movies and software sold within the territory of the Russian Federation, and indeed within the CIS, are copies made illegally for profit. It is in no way fair use, any more than it would be fair use if I decided to copy my own personal Windows installation disc a thousand times and sell it for ten bucks a pop, which is exactly what goes on. And a local law passed to say that it is legal for me to do so does nothing to change what is going on-- I am selling something that does not belong to me, which is wrong no matter how you slice it.

None of us like the RIAA, that's a given. None of us have any particular affection for large entertainment businesses. They are certainly big and rich enough to look after themselves and don't need or deserve any sympathy.

But in this case, this is the US government looking out for the interests of US businesses overseas, in places where the local laws may allow (or lax enforcement permits) activities that are not allowed in other markets.

Piracy in Russia?!? (1)

skeldoy (831110) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030458)

Well.. When I last visited Russia I saw ONE STORE that sold unpirated cds/dvds. I am only guesstimating here, but I would say about 30 stores selling pirated stuff. Even if Russia cracks down on one site, that will mean nothing for the black marked of pirated music. And *nothing* on a global scale, there being enough people interested in starting up a site for distributing music/movies in a "user-oriented" manner.

How about court decision? (4, Insightful)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030478)

agreement between the U.S. and Russia in which Russia has agreed to close down AllofMP3.com [CC]
Excuse me, but when such decisions became governments' jurisdiction? Doesn't this require some investigation and then court decision? We are not even trying to _play_ democracy anymore, are we?

Re:How about court decision? (3, Insightful)

SkoZombie (562582) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030720)

Governments are no longer about the will of the people, but the will of the corporations.

Re:How about court decision? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17030862)

Yep. Corporatism, which they (Mussolini, and he must have known) used to call Fascism in the old days.

But how could this happen? The Conservatives would never have let this happen, cause they are conservative, right? And the Socialists^WDemocrats also would never have let corporations grab power and would never have passed laws against the Little Man, because they are against corporatism.

Or maybe the Austrian economists are right and interventionist parties CAN ONLY reach the same vague goal of interventionism: some kind of socialistoid fascism.

NOOOOOO!!1! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17030484)

BASTARDS!

Lemme check real quicklike :
Current balance: $-0.02
ok, safe there.


But honestly they should learn from allofm3. ( don't hate; appriciate ;-> ).

Total moneys spent at allofmp3 since 6/05: > $200.
Total spent on music in traditional stores or rip-off $.99 per song websites over the last 5 years: Maybe $20. That doesn't include my vynil which probably totals about $40 at used prices.

The market is speaking!!! (Yes, I know I am the market and no one else matters)
 
Screw all the crap that says "Ohh wahh but the record companies are the good guys promoting the bands and making the sales" No. What are they talking about? payola stuff? The radio (with the exception of some indy internet stations) sucks. And we have the history of the industry being fair to their artists and always being law abideing. Rubbish.

Democracy (4, Interesting)

Sub Zero 992 (947972) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030490)

I was going to write a post critizing the Russian government's ability to mug [bbc.co.uk] , steal [guardian.co.uk] , kill [hrw.org] and rob [businessweek.com] at will.

But really, Russia is no worse than the USA, thanks to global hegemony induced TRIPS [state.gov] .

I'll be sad to see it go (1)

Genocaust (1031046) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030496)

I loved Allofmp3.com :(. I've paid to download so much nice DRM-free music from there, especially older works that are near impossible to find anyplace legal or otherwise. Guess I best burn through my remaining credit fast!

Re:I'll be sad to see it go (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030754)

I loved allofmp3 too, I always got credit from xrost (via debit card when it was possible) however the last time I wanted to buy the Xrost service did not accept CC so I could not buy (I did not want to give my CC details to whatever other company they where using.. even if the Debit card I used is one I have specifically to buy things on the interent [thus I only add funds accordingly]).

I always downloaded in ogg 0.7 and I found the quality pretty fine. I loved the fact that just 2 mintues after I remembered a specific song I could have it in my desktop without any problem. And of course the price in my opinion was fair.

Now, I hope that, the fact that the government signed an agreement wont mean it will be able to shut it down so easly. I really wish Allofmp3 people fight for their rights (in Russia). I also remember getting into other mp3 sites from russia sometime I was searching in google... so allofmp3 is not the only one (and there are other sites that have a lot of anime mp3s).

I like buying CDs, but I have not bought one in the last 2 years or so, since I arrived to UK because I refuse to pay £15 (thats US$29.2274 according to xe.com) for a CD which real value is USD$15 (Kamelot Hlack Halo amazon.com vs amazon.co.uk prices). And I would never "lease" music with the iTunes, Napster or any other "legal" online services available (ignoring the fact that the quality, at 128kpbs is terrible).

So yeah, I really hope Allofmp3 can stand. Also, does anyone know of a country where the ALLOFMP3 buisness model could be used? maybe Iceland or any other of those countries.

How much does an Island cost? we could buy one to make our own country and screw all copyright laws... then create a service ala allofmp3 =oP. Viva la revolución!!

Re:I'll be sad to see it go (1)

Peet42 (904274) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030850)

Yup. I used it as a reasonably-priced alternative to ripping all the vinyl that I already own - I don't see why I should have to pay the RIAA and their stooges a fortune just because I want to change the media I listen to my music on.

it might sound strange (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030504)

but I hope that they don't try and give people their money back automatically, I have about 5cents on the site and if they put it back in my account I'll get charged about £1.50 for it to go back in, which will annoy me no end. I don't want a few cents back, they can happily keep them. I only worry because they did say in their agreement that they would should the site stop opperating.

Damn exchange rates!

The Government of RIAA strikes again... (5, Interesting)

Soloact (805735) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030522)

,... also, what's with these "agencies" of the RIAA and MPAA? They don't want to allow fair-use copying of digital media, yet, when a movie comes out on DVD, or an advertised CD is released, all of the commercials say, "Own it today". This should be considered false advertising, because one doesn't actually "own" the movie or music one buys, despite the commercials. I continue to be disgusted by their tactics.

My allofmp3 account (1)

NoGuffCheck (746638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030532)

Well i just went and spent the last $5.15 that was outstanding in my account. Now if I here they are going to move the operation to another country and continue to trade as they have been (or for that matter stand and fight), I may just be tempted to put another $50 in my account as im sure they could use the cash for the move.. fingers crossed i guess.. I use their service a lot and guess what I dont have a problem paying a for music, i just believe allofmp3 is closer to a fair price that itunes et al.

In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17030538)

All your AllOfMP3.com are belong to us.

Oh no! (1)

SendBot (29932) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030570)

I just bought $40 of credit there!

To, um... buy copies of music I have on LP and lack the means to digitize. Yeah...

Did any artist receive any AllOfMp3 "royalties"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17030608)

That would be interesting to know.

In Soviet Russia... (3, Funny)

suparjerk (784861) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030612)

... song pirates you!

Re:In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17030934)

i don't understand, why is this Russian reversal thing still mod funny after all these years?

Don't panic! (1)

Captain Kirk (148843) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030628)

From TFA "The government will be expected to begin complying by June 1, 2007."

In other words, no need to rush to use up any credit you have bought - we have 7 months before they begin complying. And given how fast legal process work in Russia, we are most likely looking at 2008 before things get serious.

Just like Aljazeera (3, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030648)

What amazes me is that allofmp3 is being shutdown due to selling to Americans. It is not that they are selling "illegal" or cheap music.

This is akin to American Gov's interest in Aljazeera. Roughly, they come down hard on it whenever they put Al Qaeda info on the English side. Interestingly, they do not mind if the info is on the main arabic site. I have seen what appears to be OBL tapes on the Arabic site, but once it is translated into English, then it gets stopped.

Re:Just like Aljazeera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17030836)

They only want their official sound bites, god forbid someone go back to the source to see if the sound bite is taken out of context, etc.

New name? (4, Interesting)

xenobyte (446878) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030668)

If the allegations about not paying for the music are correct, the people behind AllOfMP3 must have made a profit beyond belief. Sure some fund have gone to pay for servers, hosting and staff, plus some bribes I'm sure, but there must still be an enormous profit that must have made the owners incredibly rich. And if you are rich in Russia (and not on the Polonium 210 recipient waiting list) you can get away with everything, including simply moving the entire business elsewhere. So it must be just a matter of finding out what the new name will be and start shopping again.

The real troublesome issue here is that we again have seen the US bullying another nation into line, closely aided by (MP/RI)AA. We saw it with the highly illegal raid on The Pirate Bay in Sweden which was the result of government level pressure and thus a conflict between the separated powers (trias politica). We see the same here because there has been no trial against AllOfMP3 and thus their legality has not been questioned the proper way. That is the real thing that must be stopped.

Weird (1)

ishmaelflood (643277) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030838)

That's a weird point of view.

If allofmp3 charges 30c for a track, and iTunes charges 99c, do you really believe the artiste sees 69c? More like 3c, at a rough guess. I wish allofmp3 had set up a fund to pay the artiste via a VOLUNTARY donation equivalent to whatever pittance they normally get from a track.

Possible effects (4, Informative)

Vadim Makarov (529622) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030728)

I'm in Russia, and I am an avid and price-sensitive media consumer. So let me make a prognosis.

1. Allofmp3.com will be closed, law or not, if the top of the government, i.e. Putin personally, orders it. Our government regularly follows such orders regardless of the law (by the way I'm not happy at all with it). The question is if Putin finds it fitting to "bow to the demands" of a foreign state, which I hope he will not, for the national pride reasons.

2. A slower solution that would satisfy the U.S. in the internet trade would be changing our Law on Copyright and Neighboring Rights [wikisource.org] . Here it depends on the Duma, which I think will not act on this without a request from the executive branch (see above). (Even given such a request, Duma may decide to refuse to bow to external demands, or simply not see it a high priority in their lawmaking.)

3. "Keeping raids at the same level" is not going to stop domestic sale of unlicensed disks. I often hear staff of media outlets complaining about raids and mass confiscations of their stock, but all that it has achieved by now is intermittent supply of some quality DVD copies (like DVD-9 of obscure titles), and somewhat higher prices (at most +50%).

Goodbye allofmp3.com (1)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030742)

Hello allofmp3.kz, or allofmp3.vu, or even allofmp3.va

That last one would be great, I doubt even the US would have the balls to go after that government.

This I learned from the robot devil (1)

Nanpa (971527) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030760)

Remember kids

"Selling bootleg tapes is wrong, musicians need that income to survive

Hey bender, gonna make some noise with your Hard Drive scratched by the Beastie Boys

That's what you get (on level five)!"

AllOfMP3's Response (1)

aarku (151823) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030776)

In a press released issued just now, AllOfMp3.com replied, "No, AllOfMp3 agrees to shut down Russia."

Good riddance to bad rubbish (1)

MisterSquiddy (905066) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030852)

I am delighted that AllOfMP3 are finally being shut down. I don't give a toss about the RIAA and their ill-intentioned campaign against downloaders but I fully support any organization which seeks to defend the rights of musicians to hold and maintain copyright in their intellectual property. The fact of the matter is that a lot of you are bleating because an illegal cheap source of music is being closed off to you. Quite why you want to give your money to Russian pirates is beyond me, unless it is some misguided protest against the RIAA. btw, if any of you want to buy music unencumbered by DRM I have some information for you. In many high streets and shopping malls and in online stores you can buy things called 'Compact Discs' which contain digitally encoded music, usually in a non-DRM format. You get a backup disc and case, information about the recording and the recording artists, and best of all, the musicians get paid for their work.

In RIAA-USA (1)

tommten (212387) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030874)

the music downloads you!

Now where will I be able to purchase good (and drm-free)russian music, like ?

Re:In RIAA-USA (1)

tommten (212387) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030910)

and of course ceryllic text is not accepted in plain text posts :)

The line should have been:
Now where will I be able to purchase good (and drm-free) russian music, like Diskoteka Avaria?

Why? Just... why? (1)

dysfunct (940221) | more than 7 years ago | (#17030884)

Why is America so damn currupt? I mean, what kind of threat does the RIAA see in a simple Russian web site, hosted in Russia, operated in Russia and completely legal over there that they are so intimidated to fucking *lobby* your government into forcing Russia to sign a contract that explicitly states the closing of this web site. Remember, we're not talking about one of the many business contracts between Russia and the US but rather conditions to their application to the World Trade Organization. The World Trade Association! This is so absurd I can't possibly believe this.

AllOfMP3.com made me purchase music for $45 within two months which is exactly $45 more than what I have spent over the last couple of years. They offer exactly what I want in the format I want for a price I find highly attractive. The RIAA is not even losing money on this since they could just have applied for their fair share of the profits by filling out a form or two at the Russian broadcasting association. Now that it will be shut down they very likely won't see a cent from me again for a long time.

What pisses me off the most is the fact that I am not even an American. Why exactly do *I* have to suffer from your style of government where you apparently can purchase politicians for a dime a dozen? I couldn't even write a letter to your senators or congressmen since a vote is all that they care for and I can not cast a vote in your country.

At least there appears to be a loop hole: Apart vom closing allofmp3.com and generally limiting piracy there is no mention of actual business names or concepts. What would prevent the allofm3.com team from opening a similar business once Russia is member of the WTO? Russia could argue that allofmp3.com is down as stated in the contract and moreofmp3.com is a legal Russian business.

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