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RIAA Members Sue Allofmp3.com Over Infringement

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the long-time-coming dept.

Media 323

fair_n_hite_451 writes "To the surprise of no one, several members of the RIAA have filed suit against MediaServices, the operators of Allofmp3.com. The suit was filed for Wednesday, primarily by Arista Records LLC, Warner Bros. Records Inc., Capitol Records Inc. and UMG Recordings. The language of the litigation was very confrontational; The companies claim the site sells millions of songs without paying them 'a dime'. 'The defendant's entire business ... amounts to nothing more than a massive infringement of plaintiffs' exclusive rights under the Copyright Act and New York law.' AllofMp3 has always maintained that a Russian licensing group makes their business legitimate, while the RIAA here claims the organization has no authority to make such a deal."

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Prost it firsting! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17328254)

No you're making the first post!

Of course they haven't paid a dime (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328266)

Its obvious why they haven't paid a dime:

Russians pay in Rubles and kopeks.

Re:Of course they haven't paid a dime (2, Insightful)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328334)

So....shouldn't RIAA being suing the licensing organization, instead? Oh, right, the American philosophy is to file a suit shotgun style and see how many people to whom you can get it to stick.

Re:Of course they haven't paid a dime (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17329178)

As opposed to the slashdot style of posting a comment on any RIAA related story bitching about the American legal system in hopes of a quick +5, insightful.

Re:Of course they haven't paid a dime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17328618)

I know parent post is a joke, but just a minor sidenote: most prices in Russia are actually set in dollars (because ruble not the most stable currency in the world). However they don't say "dollars" (because using foreign currency directly is supposed to be illegal) - instead there's a term for it "uslovnaya edinitsa" which translates roughly as "conventional unit".

Re:Of course they haven't paid a dime (1)

andreyw (798182) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329118)

The u.e. is more like the euro these days with the dollar slowly going down the crapper... That said, the ruble is pretty stable against the falling dollar, so heh.

fp? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17328274)

fp

filed lawsuit where? (5, Funny)

RelliK (4466) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328302)

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court in New York

Yeah. Good luck with that.

Re:filed lawsuit where? (5, Interesting)

melikamp (631205) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328456)

My sentiment exactly. I lived in Russia long enough to understand how this cookie crumbles. I cannot predict the outcome, for it depends on many things. I just want to note that, unfortunately for RIAA, it does not depend on the law. It mostly depends on two things:

1. How much a decision will piss off the USA (the more--the better).

2. The amount of a bribe. This seems to be in RIAA's favour, but I have a feeling that (1) might play a bigger role here.

Re:filed lawsuit where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17328628)

You are a moron. The only thing that matters is that US law is not valid in Russia. Period.

Re:filed lawsuit where? (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328652)

I am a bit off-topic here. What I said concerns the decision made in Russia. Whether or not RIAA will win the NY case will have about as much impact as the case against De Beers. At worst, the company's operations will be declared illegal in US, but the consumer will shrug and resume downloading.

Re:filed lawsuit where? (1)

IDontAgreeWithYou (829067) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328964)

What I never understood is why anybody would use this service. I mean you can find high quality songs in multiple formats and of questionable legality for free on p2p. So along comes AllOfMP3 and offers me high quality songs in multiple formats and of questionable legality, but they want me to pay. At least on a p2p network, you didn't initially pay for songs that the RIAA might sue you for anyway.

Re:filed lawsuit where? (0)

melikamp (631205) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329128)

I, personally, stopped paying for recorded music a long time ago. When I have money to burn, I head to a local venue and pay $5-10 for a few hours of excellent, live music.

But for people who are still building their collections it actually makes sense. The major difference is that you cannot be sued.

Re:filed lawsuit where? (1)

sulfur (1008327) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329304)

Because I can cover my ass this way. Average user is supposed to know that downloading music for free is illegal, but in case he downloads it from allofmp3.con he can cay that he "legally bought" this music and didn't know that they operated illegaly.

Re:filed lawsuit where? (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328474)

Yeah, but hope the owners never want to travel anywhere, (see recent arrests of online gambling site bosses)...

Should be simple to decide (3, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328308)

Check the organization that allofmp3.com claims has given them the right to do what they are doing. If the organization is legitimate, and has doucmented everything correctly, then the RIAA hasn't a leg to stand on.

If the organization is not legitimate or doesn't have the proper paperwork, the RIAA wins.

Instead of litigating this to death, just show the damn paperwork and prove your point.

Re:Should be simple to decide (1)

Starteck81 (917280) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328338)

You forget, the RIAA relys on fear mongering.

Re:Should be simple to decide (1)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328468)

And this is a former communist countries, with "interesting" intellectual property laws.

Re:Should be simple to decide (4, Interesting)

novus ordo (843883) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328718)

Allofmp3 was legal until this [wikipedia.org] legislation passed by Putin. Also with the recent spy scandals and Putin's dissolution of democratic institutions one has to be concerned. All Putin wants to do is join the WTO [theregister.co.uk] and RIAA is waving the USA stick with the help of their big pockets. Gotta love capitalism and free markets...

Happily infringing... (5, Insightful)

Bright Apollo (988736) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328326)

... because AllofMP3 does what Napster and Rhapsody and iTunes cannot: offer a comprehensive music catalog at reasonable rates. To wit: if you really like jazz, this is the only place to find nontrivial Art (or Chet!) Baker, Charlie Parker, Buddy Rich, Charles Mingus, or Dave Brubeck.

Is it illegal according to US law? Sure. Do I care? No. This is the modern equivalent of civil disobedience. Call it corporate disobedience: the ad infinitum extensions of copyright protection for works of long-dead artists, as a benefit to corporate parents, says the balance of power is most assuredly in the hands of the sociopathic corporate citizenry and not the voting public. The weapons I have against Big Business are economic, and this is just the first of many conflicts to come, all along the same lines.

Just mull it over. Corporate disobedience might be the only option now.

-BA

Re:Happily infringing... (2, Insightful)

The_Spud (632894) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328644)

... because AllofMP3 does what Napster and Rhapsody and iTunes cannot: offer a comprehensive music catalog at reasonable rates
And the reason they can offer such 'reasonable' rates is that they are not paying the copyright holder for the rights. I fail to see how giving money to the Russian Maffia is sticking it to the man or Corporate disobedience. You seem to be very proud that you paid money for pirated music that you could have got from filesharing networks for free with the exact same legality.

Re:Happily infringing... (4, Insightful)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328756)

Actually they do pay the money to ROMS - all the RIAA has to do is prove ownership and ROMS will hand them the cash. The RIAA would rather sue it appears.

Re:Happily infringing... (3, Insightful)

m0rph3us0 (549631) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328804)

Copyright is artificial scarcity and thus economic manipulation by the gov't for the promotion of one sector over another. (Think min wage laws, rent control, farm subsidies, taxes for various industries) Ironically, the Russian government does not interfere with the free market in this sector as much as other nations. It isn't "pirated" music in the same way that going to Amsterdam to smoke pot isn't a violation FDA rules on restricted drugs. What they are doing is importing music that was copied in a region with lower production costs. The RIAA calls it piracy because the Russian government values other industries more than music companies.

Re:Happily infringing... (0)

mungtor (306258) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329024)

"It isn't "pirated" music in the same way that going to Amsterdam to smoke pot isn't a violation FDA rules on restricted drugs."

No. Your pot analogy is more like mail-ordering pot from Amsterdam and then wondering why you're arrested for possession when you receive it back in the US.

Going to Russia to listen to music that you purchase off of Allofmp3.com may be perfectly legal.

Re:Happily infringing... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329252)

And the reason they can offer such 'reasonable' rates is that they are not paying the copyright holder for the rights.

Another reason is that they don't offer customer support. I paid for three albums and downloaded them all only to find out that the second two albums were full of NULLs. Several emails to their customer support went unanswered.

Re:Happily infringing... (1)

Liselle (684663) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328668)

I'm not entirely convinced that Thoreau would share your view that protesting copyright law by obtaining cheap entertainment for yourself is somehow civil disobedience.

I think he would support the breaking of the DMCA and the like, though. Just IMHO. I think your justification is hollow because you profit personally from it, and your actions are the same as plain-jane music pirates.

Re:Happily infringing... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17328740)

Yeah, and if he gets sued by the RIAA, he'll be the first one to cry foul.

If he wants to be "Civil Disobdient", he should try to download his music with his real name and write a letter to the RIAA saying "Come and get me!"

How about mine then? (2, Informative)

TheAxeMaster (762000) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328846)

I buy there because its DRM free and I can get it in any file format I want. If they charged 50 cents a track, I'd still buy there ($1 is ridiculous for lossy audio, I'd pay it for FLAC files, but not for OGGs or MP3s). Its about the DRM for me.

Re:Happily infringing... (1, Insightful)

rovingeyes (575063) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328704)

Corporate disobedience might be the only option now

If it already is not a crime in America, just wait, it'll soon be

Re:Happily infringing... (5, Insightful)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328760)

Reasonable rates by whose definitions? Yours? I'd like a new Corvette for $10,000 - I think that's reasonable. That doesn't mean that I should be able to justify buying a stolen one for ten grand.

Listen, I don't like the RIAA, either, but THEY get to decide how much they want to sell their product for, and your (moral) choices are "Do I pay this?" or "Do I not pay this?". "Do I pay 1/5th the amount to someone who gives nothing back to anyone who made an investment into this music" is not a valid moral option. Until more artists start selling their own stuff directly, this is going to be the way it is, and you can justify your actions any way you want, but that still doesn't make them right.

Re:Happily infringing... (4, Insightful)

FreezerJam (138643) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329170)

"... THEY get to decide how much they want to sell their product for..."

Not always, and not always even in the U.S.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statutory_license [wikipedia.org]

Similarly, in Canada I can fill a CD with music copied from other CDs because the levy (C$0.21 per CD, built in to the price) goes to a copyright collective. More to the point -- if it's music on a CD, the owner CAN'T legally prevent me from making that copy. This is true even if I don't own the CD; I can borrow the original from a friend, make my copy, and return it.

There are many places under copyright strictures where the copyright holder doesn't get all the say they want or think they have.

Re:Happily infringing... (1)

BitHive (578094) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329202)

Do I really need to point out the tired fact that copying mp3s doesn't deprive anyone of anything whereas stealing their car does?

Re:Happily infringing... (1)

IflyRC (956454) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329308)

Wow!

Copying that mp3 is just like walking into a record shop, opening up a product, burning a copy of that product and putting it back on the shelf re-shrink wrapped. Walking out without paying but having the "data" that was contained on that CD.

Who did you just deprive from something?

1) The retailer

2) The record label

3) The artist

..and the list goes on and on. Please, if we ever meet...warn me not to let you visit my house. I'd be worried you'd steal from me as you have no clue what theft really is.

Re:Happily infringing... (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329228)

If you can buy it in Russia for $10,000 and pay the importation fees (Internet access), then I don't see what the problem is.

I am absolutely uninterested in the "plight" of the RIAA's members and their "financial woes". Cry me a fucking river you millionaire bastards.

Re:Happily infringing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17329232)

Sure, they've got the choice to decide how much to charge or their product. Just like we have the choice to buy it from somewhere of questionable legality. That doesn't mean there won't be consequences on either side. I'd gladly pay double the price of AllOfMp3 if I could obtain the same product domestically from the copyright owners here in the US, by that I mean DRM free MP3s encoded at my chosen bit rate. AllOfMp3 is offering better products, services, and prices, competition is good.

Ideally, in my eyes, the RIAA will be shot down in Russia and be forced to compete for customers.

RIAA: Get with the times you old farts, you're losing money because you're afraid to lose money.

Re:Happily infringing... (1)

Bandman (86149) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329236)

Ya know, if you buy a stolen Corvette, the legal purchaser of that Corvette has last their car.

If I download music that someone copied, the person I copied it from still has it. If I wasn't going to buy it anyway, no resource was consumed except electricity and bandwidth.

Re:Happily infringing... (1)

abe ferlman (205607) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329254)

Producing another brand new Corvette: I'm guessing $20,000 worth of parts, just spitballing. Then shipping the damn thing costs hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

Reproducing another copy of a CD for network consumption: $.10 worth of bandwidth or so, tops.

Having a free market where goods are priced competitively from multiple suppliers: priceless

Too bad you can't buy allofmp3 songs with Mastercard (TM).

Re:Happily infringing... (1)

UltraAyla (828879) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329064)

... because AllofMP3 does what Napster and Rhapsody and iTunes cannot: offer a comprehensive music catalog at reasonable rates

When I pay for my music, it is with the knowledge that everyone who had a part in getting that music into my hands gets a piece of the pie. I may not completely agree with the amounts, but I know that the artists, managers, publicists, distributors, riaa (shudder), labels, and various others get a little bit of it. When you pay for music, you are only giving money to the distributor. Bittorrent is a distributor too, though.

I'm not trying to flame you for not paying the artist. The legality is a totally seperate question. But the way I see it, in your market, you have three main sources to get your music from: 1)the labels (about a dollar a song), 2)allofMP3 (about 10 cents a song, if I remember correctly), or 3)Peer to Peer (eg: bittorrent - free). My question for you is this - you are obviously concerned with price if you already decided that the labels are too expensive, so why aren't you using bittorrent. It is no less legal than allofmp3, it's cheaper (free), just as fast, has higher quality rips, and still only supports the distributor (who can provide it to you for free because their marginal cost is nothing). Why, when going for cheaper items, did you stop at 10 cents when there is an equal or better product for free?

Re:Happily infringing... (2, Funny)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329088)

Civil disobedience is still disobedience.

Re:Happily infringing... (1)

Bandman (86149) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329192)

Just to let you know, I really like the phrase "corporate disobedience"

Re:Happily infringing... (1)

M0b1u5 (569472) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329234)

I concur.

This is all I want for Christmas! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17328348)

PLEASE DEAR GOD let this become a fight between the RIAA and the Russian Mafia.

Russian Mafia FTW!

Re:This is all I want for Christmas! (5, Insightful)

Gospodin (547743) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328400)

In other words, between the Hollywood mafia and the Russian mafia?

Re:This is all I want for Christmas! (2, Funny)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328452)

In other words, between the Hollywood mafia and the Russian mafia?

My ruble is on the Russuan mafia.

Re:This is all I want for Christmas! (2, Insightful)

rajafarian (49150) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328694)

My ruble is on the Russuan mafia.

My nickel is on the *AA mafia because we have a government that will do ANYTHING for corporations.

Re:This is all I want for Christmas! (5, Funny)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328732)

I wonder how long until some RIAA exec is found dead with massive radiation poisoning or something of that effect?

Re:This is all I want for Christmas! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17328894)

In other news, FBI agents have been investigating possible radiation contamination in their probe of the fatal polonium-210 poisoning of RIAA Chairman And CEO Mitch Bainwol [wikipedia.org] and President Cary Sherman [wikipedia.org] . They are also investigating a possible link between these and the polonium-210 poisoning of former chief executive Hilary Rosen [wikipedia.org] . A spokesman from Dolgoprudnenskaya [wikipedia.org] was quoted as saying the following:

"We must admit that Hilary Rosen is a complete bitch, but to suspect that we had anything to do with these heinous crimes is absurd."

The RIAA was unavailable for comment.

Since when does US law have jurisdiction in Russia (5, Insightful)

TheRecklessWanderer (929556) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328374)

My subject says it all.

Why is the RIAA trying to sue someone in another country. The US has no jurisdiction.

Does the site have a presence in the US? Well? If it doesn't then they can get bent. Now they can go after all the people who paid the site to download songs, but not the site in Russia.

Please America, don't try to bring your horrible legal system to the rest of the world. We don't want it.

Re:Since when does US law have jurisdiction in Rus (2, Informative)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328482)

Since when does German law [findarticles.com] apply in other countries?
Since when does French law [com.com] apply in other countries?

I'm pretty sure I could come up with a few other things as well. Oh yes, in this particular case it might be since Russia started to join the WTO.

Re:Since when does US law have jurisdiction in Rus (1)

TheRecklessWanderer (929556) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328854)

OH man, I don't even know where to start. OK, lets sum this up.

1. US law has nothing to do with "international law". International law consists of treaties. Only treaties signed by states is "binding" on that particular state. The WTO is not an organization based on US law.

2. In terms of international law, each body is a sovereign state, and is completely independent and free to do what it wants except as bound by the treaties that it is a signatore to. (Get it?)

3. Civil suits within the bounds of a sovereign state. DO NOT fall under the jurisdiction of the WTO. Think about it, would any country want the WTO coming in and saying, "we don't like your judgement in this case, so we are over ruling it.". The key here is sovereign.

All I can say is wow.

Re:Since when does US law have jurisdiction in Rus (2, Interesting)

jahudabudy (714731) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329180)

Ok, all three of your arguments fall under "Sovereign states get to determine their own internal affairs. They don't have to do what any other state tells them if they don't want." Technically, true. Realistically, not so much. Sure, independent states can do what they want. But if you piss off the powers that be, you don't get to play in the global economy, import goods, export goods, etc., depending on how pissed they get. That's what Russia joining the WTO has to do with this: the WTO (which is pretty much an economic stick swung about by the wealthy nations) is likely to tell Russia they must crack down on "intellectual property infringement" if they want to play ball with the big boys. Russia wants to join the WTO, b/c then they get to be one of the big boys manipulating the world economy for their own advantage, rather than being one of the ones manipulated. I believe the term is realpolitik.

Re:Since when does US law have jurisdiction in Rus (4, Interesting)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328560)

It matters when US citizens are members of this service. I have one friend who is a member and even she thought it was a bit fishy... but she was paying $10 or $15/month for unlimited downloading. I assume this is how they are going after the company, because they provide their service in the United States.

And slightly off topic, our legal system does a pretty good job. The only change I would like to see done is to make plantiffs pay all court costs/legal fees if the defendant was proven to be non guilty in a civil matter. That would fix so many problems.

Re:Since when does US law have jurisdiction in Rus (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17328754)

The only change I would like to see done is to make plantiffs pay all court costs/legal fees if the defendant was proven to be non guilty in a civil matter. That would fix so many problems.


Except that basically disenfranchises the poor who could never sue the rich again for fear that they would lose the case. It would also allow the rich to get even better legal counsel for the same amount of money, since they would have to pay said counsel much less often.

Re:Since when does US law have jurisdiction in Rus (2, Interesting)

TheRecklessWanderer (929556) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328944)

You can be sure that the contract (if there is one) is under the jurisdiction of russian law, not US law. Like I said in my post, if US citizens are involved, then they are liable, perhaps, but the russian entity is not. As to the slightly off topic... There is no good legal system. The US system is so backlogged and so top heavy its insane. Remember that case where the women spilled hot coffee on herself and sued (I think it was mcdonalds), so now they have to put warnings on their coffee cups that say hot. How stupid are you if you don't know that coffee is hot. Come on. I think that the criminal system is reasonable, however, your civil system is so out of wack. Everybody is looking for a free lunch at the expense of Corporate America. Geeze, look at all those guys who sit on patents, and then wait for somebody to invent something similar and then take them to court. Reality is, it's often cheaper to settle rather than go through the courts and hold up business. I agree with the plaintiff paying all court and legal costs, that would help a lot. Better yet, make the law firms pay for it. That would solve the problems for sure.

Re:Since when does US law have jurisdiction in Rus (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17328586)

Please America, don't try to bring your horrible legal system to the rest of the world. We don't want it.

Translation: Please America, do bring your wonderful music to the rest of the world. We want it. For free.

Re:Since when does US law have jurisdiction in Rus (2, Interesting)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328648)

Why is the RIAA trying to sue someone in another country. The US has no jurisdiction.

You're right, but AllOfMP3 won't show up or if they do will lose, so RIAA will win in court. With this victory, they will get the Bush administration to lean more heavily on Russia to "do something".

Please America, don't try to bring your horrible legal system to the rest of the world. We don't want it.

I'm American and I admit we are too litigious and everything here is always somebody else's fault. However, the more I pay attention, the less convinced I am that overall the American legal system is the worst. One the negative side, yes, you can sue over anything and maybe win. On the positive side, if you do something bad (ie. kill someone), you may actually pay a high price for it. Consider the following:
1) A few years ago Japan tried and convicted some US Marines for raping a schoolgirl. The ringleader got a "very long sentence" (those are the exact words of the account I read) of 7 years. In the US he could have been sentenced to life imprisonment for the crime. I'm sorry, but 7 years is not a "long time".
2) Did you know that according to the Brazilian constitution you can't be sentenced to more 30 years in jail for anything? Serial killers rejoice. In fact, Brazilian sentences are never more than 29 years because to give someone 30 involves an automatic appeal. There's no death penalty in Brazil either, although strangely enough the cops have an awful lot of leeway to shoot you and kill you prior to you getting arrested should you flee or resist.
3) Italians in particular (although the majority of the EU has the same problem) actually feel sorry for criminals. One of the Achille Lauro hijackers got a 30 year sentence and was put on work release from which he ran away. He was eventually recaptured, but it says a lot about Italian "justice" that the guy got on work release to begin with. The weak Italian justice system is why when the follow-up bombers failed in London a few years ago that one of them fled to Italy and fought vigorously to be tried there because he knew the Italians would feel sorry for him and he'd get out of jail eventually.

The one positive thing about the American legal system is that if you do something bad and you get convicted, you'll pay for it. It may be the death penalty, it may be life in prison without parole, or a truly long sentence, but we won't feel sorry for you and put you on work release while you're doing your time.

Re:Since when does US law have jurisdiction in Rus (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328960)

I fail to see how your explanations make the American legal system better... you seem instead to be saying that the american justice system is punitary instead of correctional. I can assure you; American punitary jails are much different places than the correctional facilities in use in the countries you listed.

Something else to think about... 29 years is a long time. People change a lot in 29 years. If someone is a serial rapist, gets caught when they're 29 (and is placed in a holding facility) and goes to jail when they're 34 (not unheard of length of time for such a case), they'll go through intensive reconditioning from the time they're 34 until they're 63. That's pretty much all of their working life. In most parts of the world, prisons are not used to punish people, they are used to keep people out of society until they are no longer a threat to it. Punishment is secondary (or maybe tertiary).

To look at it another way: in the US, everyone is a criminal. It is virtually impossible to go through life not breaking the myriad of federal, state, municipal, and corporate laws. Do you really want a jury of your "peers" to punish you for all the laws you've broken? Wouldn't you rather the court and your peers try to just persuade you never to commit those crimes in the future? Sure, it doesn't always work, but history has shown that a penal-based system is even LESS effective. Sure, the threat of getting caught is bigger, but that just means people work harder to not get caught, committing further crimes they would not otherwise have considered in the process.

Re:Since when does US law have jurisdiction in Rus (1)

TheRecklessWanderer (929556) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329056)

OK we are talking a bit of apples and oranges, I'm talking the civil and your talking the criminal. I should perhaps have been more specific.

Re:Since when does US law have jurisdiction in Rus (1)

Atomm (945911) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328660)

In Soviet Russia, horrible legal system comes to you.

Re:Since when does US law have jurisdiction in Rus (1)

Zeek40 (1017978) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328706)

Please America, don't try to bring your horrible legal system to the rest of the world. We don't want it.
In all fairness, It was forced upon us by the Brits, we're just trying to re-export it to get rid of it.

Re:Since when does US law have jurisdiction in Rus (1)

TheRecklessWanderer (929556) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329098)

England isn't having the same civil problems the US is having, not to the same extent IMO.

You guys did that all by yourselves. :)

Obvious Solution? (5, Funny)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328392)

The companies claim the site sells millions of songs without paying them 'a dime'.

You'd have thought that allofmp3.com would just hand over the dime.

Re:Obvious Solution? (1)

MaxPowerDJ (888947) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329224)

A dime? That's like a brazillion rubles!

RIAA hasn't been paid.... They need to ask ROMS (5, Informative)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328432)

AllofMP3.com pays the correct proceeds under Russian law to ROMS (Russian Organization for Multimedia and Digital Systems a.k.a. similar to the RIAA in Russia). ROMS is a non-for-profit organization that handles all copyright payment transactions in Russia, including collecting for foreign interests. All the money is held until it is requested by the appropriate parties with proof that they are the correct owners of the copyrighted material. All requests can also be retro-active requests for payment, (i.e. if you have been the owner of the work, and have not received your cut for the last 4 years, you simply request that you receive your payments for the entire time that you have been the copyright owner).

The RIAA knows this and so do their member groups. The issue is that they do not want to request the payment because they think doing so will give legitimacy to places like AllofMP3.com who are following the Russian rules to copyright payments. The RIAA does not like the Russian rules and seeks to circumvent them. By not requesting for their payments they are trying to use that as a means for the lawsuit(s) you are now witness to over the last few months against different Russian sites.

Re:RIAA hasn't been paid.... They need to ask ROMS (1)

Panaflex (13191) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328608)

Heh, it's kindof funny.. back in the 80's some Music Artists put up FarmAid to help offset the effects of a "global economy" upon commodity food prices...

Who's going to feel sorry for (arguably) a bunch of lawyers though?

Re:RIAA hasn't been paid.... They need to ask ROMS (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328692)

Who's going to feel sorry for (arguably) a bunch of lawyers though?

Politicians with their hands out.

Mod parent up (and RIAA down) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17328712)

n/m

Re:RIAA hasn't been paid.... They need to ask ROMS (0)

stubear (130454) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329020)

ROMS doesn't have the authority to set royalty rates for music they do not have the proper permissions for under copyright law. They can claim they collect money all they want but if thy do not collect the proper royalty rate then it's illegal, period. Last I knew (and this was about 8 years ago) the rate was 6.27 cents per song per album. It could be higher if you were a more well known artist or less if you're just starting out but this was the standard rate in most contracts. This was the royalty rate, not the value of the song, by the way.

Re:RIAA hasn't been paid.... They need to ask ROMS (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329268)

they do not have the proper permissions for under copyright law.

Are you talking US or Russian copyright law?

do not collect the proper royalty rate then it's illegal, period.

Incorrect, in parts of the world, it is perfectly legal (due to copyright expired after 50 years) to distribute (without paying any royalties) works still copyrighted in the US.

International copyright law is not simple, period.

Re:RIAA hasn't been paid.... They need to ask ROMS (2, Insightful)

shark72 (702619) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329022)

"(Russian Organization for Multimedia and Digital Systems a.k.a. similar to the RIAA in Russia)."

Not really. A much closer analogy would be our BMI or ASCAP. Allofmp3 is working their magic by paying the licensing rate for broadcasts. Here in the US, it is BMI and ASCAP who collect money for broadcast licensing. BMI and ASCAP represent artists and are unaffiliated with the RIAA.

FWIW, despite the fact that ASCAP and BMI are run by and for artists, they are often just as hated by Slashdotters as is the RIAA; particularly when it makes the news that they are suing a business owner for unlicensed public performance. It seems that around here we love and respect the artists, except when they get a little too uppity about being paid.

Re:RIAA hasn't been paid.... They need to ask ROMS (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329074)

If they want to get paid, they should perform.

Re:RIAA hasn't been paid.... They need to ask ROMS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17329296)

Technically, if part of the network at the Russian site is Wifi, they are "Broadcasting", aren't they? What's the diferrence between this and XM radio (mpg audio) broadcasts? The channels have IP addresses instead of station numbers?

The King is Dead! Long live the King! (4, Informative)

slobber (685169) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328450)

Even if they manage to shut allofmp3.com down, they'll be playing a Russian version of whack-'em-all for a while. Check out its sister site alltunes.com [alltunes.com] - you should even be able to transfer your credits from allofmp3 there.

Re:The King is Dead! Long live the King! (1)

Sharkus (677553) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328498)

Pretty sure the article I read on BBC News said that they had filed against allofmp3.com and alltunes.com. would have been most amusing if they'd just gone after allofmp3.com and forgot about alltunes. I am curious about suing a company that is not within your own country and the laws of the other country differing from your own making something in their country legal, which is not legal in your country.

Re:The King is Dead! Long live the King! (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328564)

That's why we have international courts for junk don't we?

Re:The King is Dead! Long live the King! (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328782)

I believe you mean a Russian version of whack-a-mole [wikipedia.org] .

Re:The King is Dead! Long live the King! (1)

Infernal Device (865066) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329048)

In Soviet Russia, the mole whacks ... aw, screwit.

In Putin's Russia, you get whacked, mole or no.

RIAA is suing a non-involved third party ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17328520)

".. while the RIAA here claims the organization has no authority to make such a deal."

Than the RIAA should go after that organization, instead of going after its customers.

"amounts to nothing more than a massive infringement of plaintiffs' exclusive rights under the Copyright Act and New York law." New York in America, or New York in Russia ?

If the former the RIAA is exhibiting nothing more like what big American organisations (including its gouverment) seem to do best : play the "the world is mine to rule" -game, and hope everyone buckles under their threats.

A quote comes to mind... (1)

JimXugle (921609) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328526)

"I've seen it all twice before
They try to be original
Disappoint the way of the world

The truth is there is no truth
Mystified, can't compute
Well I said forget about
Everything you've heard

You won't last that long
You won't last that long
You might as well transform
You won't last, you won't last"

Am I gonna get sued now?

Made NPR headlines... (1)

7Prime (871679) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328540)

I heard this on NPR this morning while I was driving to work—my first thought: "well duh". Must be a slownewsday for everyone...

Quick! Someone shoot someone!

Re:Made NPR headlines... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17328664)

Quick! Someone shoot someone!
*yawn* Hundreds of people get shot every day in Baghdad. NPR doesn't care; come back when you've got a really interesting story.

I want the same deal the *IAA has (1)

TheWoozle (984500) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328562)

I hereby stake my claim to a monopoly on the distribution of "virtual reality" entertainment, including but not limited to "holodeck simulations", direct neural links, etc.

Just because none of the entertainment companies I represent offer these forms of entertainment at a price the marker is willing to pay or in a format that the public desires does not mean I am not entitled to vast sums of money!

Middle-men of the world unite!

Unenforceable? (2, Interesting)

Ruvim (889012) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328570)

And how does RIAA expect to enforce New York's court order (if such would be obtained) on Russian soil?

Clearly untrue (3, Funny)

Harlockjds (463986) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328610)

~he companies claim the site sells millions of songs without paying them 'a dime'

bullshit i remember paying a dime for 10-100 songs from allfomp3 ;)

Maybe I misheard.. (3, Insightful)

ChowRiit (939581) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328614)

Now this is, admittedly, hearsay, and I've not gone to look for collaboration:

What I'd heard is that allofmp3 PAYS royalties, but the American firms refuse them, as they're "not enough". So when they accuse them of not paying a dime, it's because they won't accept the payments, more than anything else... Can anyone confirm/deny this?

Re:Maybe I misheard.. (3, Informative)

shark72 (702619) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328940)

"What I'd heard is that allofmp3 PAYS royalties, but the American firms refuse them, as they're "not enough"."

Well, one issue is that by law, composers and songwriters must be payed "mechanical royalties" which are typically $0.08 per track. That is, of course, much less than ROMS is getting per track -- if allofmp3 is paying ROMS 10%, then that's about a sixth of a cent per track. I sure the hell ain't no lawyer, but if the record companies start taking that sixth of a cent per track, the publishing companies (which collect the mechanicals on behalf of the composers and songwriters) might sue to collect their $0.08. When you make a sixth of a cent per track and must pay $0.08 per track in royalties, there is absolutely no way to make that back in volume. You will lose money on every track sold.

The ironic thing here is that a common sentiment around here is that the record companies should take a cue (and/or clue) from allofmp3 and sell tracks for around $0.10 a song. Yet the current law, which dictates $0.08 for mechanicals, would not allow that to happen. And when a few weeks ago it made the news that the record companies were trying to lower mechanicals, the news was not well received by the Slashbots.

My guess is that the "the artists are needy" crowd are OK with the statutory rates staying as they are -- but they'll still download from allofmp3 anyway, with the logic that if composers and songwriters are only making $0.08 a track, there's not much difference between $0.08 and zero. The "the artists are greedy" crowd are probably hoping for the day that the record companies can get that statutory rate lowered. That might open up the possibility of record companies recognizing ROMS or other third-party licensing organizations that pay at less than the US statutory rate.

you heard correctly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17328942)

You heard right.

The problem is that ROMS does not have permission to represent the interest of the RIAA and thus woudl never have access to the music in any form except via a liscence which is either not valid or is restricted to private use only.

See how it all works. Just becasue ROMS says we haev your money does not make it any more legal.

Re:Maybe I misheard.. (1)

Kadoo (822109) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329114)

"This man's just got to go!" declared his enemies But the ladies begged "Don't you try to do it, please" No doubt this Rasputin had lots of hidden charms Though he was a brute they just fell into his arms Then one night some men of higher standing Set a trap, they're not to blame "Come to visit us" they kept demanding And he really came RA RA RASPUTIN Lover of the Russian queen

Wait a sec... (1)

wingman358 (912560) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328764)

the RIAA here claims the [Russian licensing] organization has no authority to make such a deal. Shouldn't the RIAA take up this issue with the licensing organization then? Under the RIAA's same logic, the RIAA has no authority over AllOfMp3.

Re:Wait a sec... (1)

mungtor (306258) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328910)

Without having RTFA, I would guess that the suit is really a Cease and Desist against allofmp3.com while they renegotiate the "licensing" agreement with whatever Russian agency is claiming to give allofmp3.com authority to operate. The basic RIAA claim is most likely that the Russian agency doesn't have the authority to license Allofmp3.com to distribute any of their copyrighted works.

A quick overview of Jurisdiction issue. (5, Informative)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328808)

Q: What does New York / U.S. law have to do with a Russian company.

A: U.S. courts have juridiction in cases where the party to be sued has "such miminal contacts" that allowing the suit would not violate traditional notions of fairness and justice. The US courts have allowed jurisdiction when it is clear that the offending company has intentionally directed buisiness into, and solicited buisiness from, the United States and her citizens.


Here allofmp3 has all the hallmarks of past cases which have succeeded - site is in english, offers prices in U.S. dollars, advertises on U.S. websites and media.


Since their acts take effect here, laws which govern the effect will rule.


Q: How will they enforce the ruling?

There are several ways - the RIAA companies could freeze allofmp3's funds with a court order, and call upon Russia (through the effect of U.S. - Russia treaties) to supply the amount demanded by the judgement. They can asses the value of AllofMp3's domain name and seek to have it sold off to cover the damages. U.S. credit cards and pay-pal could be ordered to cease making payments to allofmp.


Q: How will they get these guys in custody? Russia won't hand them over.


This is a civil case - jail time is not on the table.

-GiH

Importation Laws? (3, Insightful)

AeroIllini (726211) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328858)

If I understood the AllofMP3.com situation correctly, they are paying the Russian equivalent of the RIAA licensing and royalty fees for the songs they sell, under some obscure loophole of Russian law that allows them to classify their website alongside radio stations and use the much cheaper fees for broadcast licenses. If this is true, then they are violating no Russian law.

But, I also thought that it is illegal for people to import into the United States products that are illegal here, even if said products are legal in the originating country (like bringing weed back from Amsterdam with you... they won't let it in the country, and you'll probably be arrested for possession). If that's the case, then wouldn't the US customers of AllofMP3.com be in violation of these importation laws by buying the songs in Russia (where it's legal) and then importing them to the United States (where it's illegal)? Why would the RIAA not use this vector for attack on AllofMP3, and bring down Capone on tax evasion?

Re:Importation Laws? (3, Interesting)

bloodstar (866306) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329196)

Because possession of a .mp3 is not, in of itself, a crime. If you've legally purchased the mp3 according to the laws of that country, it's very hard for the RIAA to say, 'but they didn't pay us the money' particularly since the RIAA is the "Recording Industry Association of America" and not the "Recording Industry Association of Russia" or whichever country it may be. Now if there were a law passed saying that no mp3s may be 'imported' from another country if the RIAA hasn't been paid off, then there might be an issue with the 'importing' of the mp3 track to your computer.

IANAL, and if someone else has any thoughts or corrections who is, I'd love to hear them.

but the music is legal to "own" (1)

mungtor (306258) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329206)

I imagine that it's slightly tricker than that tho... Pot is illegal to possess in the US, but the music in question is not.

You are purchasing something that was apparently acquired legally in Russia, and is legal to own in the US. Similar to bringing back alcohol from Canada into the US. You have to pay an import tax if the value is above a certain amount (I think, been a long time). Nobody arrests you for having your case of Canadian Mist once you get back to your home in the US.

The two things that seem to be at issue are a) the RIAA's stance on the rights the Russian government has to further delegate distribution rights to Allofmp3.com and b) whether the purchase should be subject to some kind of import tax.

It's a really interesting issue from a legal standpoint, even though IANAL.

Re:Importation Laws? (1)

The-Ixian (168184) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329272)

mp3s are illegal in the US?

FAQs (3, Informative)

jubalj (324624) | more than 6 years ago | (#17328880)

The faqs at allofmp3 seem to detail and debate the various laws involved..

Link to FAQ [allofmp3.com]

Allofmp3 is the worst of both worlds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17329090)

Paying for the privilege of making sure artists never make money from their music.

If I'm not mistaken... (2, Informative)

baudbarf (451398) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329130)

Didn't this story [slashdot.org] already seal AllOfMP3.com's fate? Russia agreed to shut them down by mid 2007. So, is this just about squeezing a few bucks out of them before they die?

My thoughts on allofmp3.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17329134)

I can't remember how I first heard of the place, I think it was here through Slashdot. This was a few years ago and it was nice to find some out-of-print music that I could only get through ebay for a very high price. I used it a bit and it was well done. The variable bitrates and formats you could get were very nice. I do not use it anymore though. It seems prices have at least doubled from what they used to be, and there isn't as much music that "I have to have" anymore. Shutting down a place like this will cause more people to go back to bittorrent or p2p networks. I don't mind buying music if I want it, but it has to be at a price point that makes sense. Allofmp3 had that price.

Other Countries and the law. (1)

M0b1u5 (569472) | more than 6 years ago | (#17329194)

Some years ago, after a client of ours had disobeyed our instructions and flown her paraglider into a tree, and then further disboeyed us by climbing out of the harness and falling to the ground, breaking her back in the process, we received a letter from her London-based solicitors.

They instructed US to send a cheque for 27,000 British Pounds (around 80,000 New Zealand dollars at the time) to pay for her hospital treatments (which were provided free by the New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation under our Public Health system) and for her shortened holiday, and for her subsequent rehabilitation in Britain.

This was our two word, written response:

"Get Fucked."

We never heard another word.
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