View Full Version : Russian iTunes at 1/10th the cost?

06-04-2006, 08:41 AM
It looks like it is legal in Russia, but may violate international copyright laws. The price is rougly 10-cents per song.

The ethics are marginal, at best. But the site certainly seems to be popular.

http://www.foxnews.com/images/headers/fnc_logo05.gif (http://www.foxnews.com/index.html) Russian Web Site Rivalling iTunes Enrages Music Industry
Friday , June 02, 2006
MOSCOW A Russian Web site that lets visitors download albums for less than $1 is a smash hit with music fans but not with U.S. trade and music industry officials.

The site is a pirate, they allege, and say Russia's failure to close it down presents a direct obstacle to the country's negotiations to join the World Trade Organization (http://javascript%3Cb%3E%3C/b%3E:siteSearch%28%27World%20Trade%20Organization% 27%29;).

Russia is already the second-biggest source of pirate music, film and software in the world after China costing U.S. companies nearly $1.8 billion last year, according to anti-piracy groups. The website www.allofmp3.com (http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/www.allofmp3.com) just adds to the dispute.

The site's knockdown prices, coupled with its huge catalogue, crisp design and convenient downloading software make it a strong draw.

World music downloading leader iTunes (http://javascript%3Cb%3E%3C/b%3E:siteSearch%28%27iTunes%27%29;) charges a fixed 99 cents per song, but the Russian site offers tracks for a 10th of that price. Songs from the Red Hot Chili Peppers' new double album, Stadium Arcadium, cost between 10 and 16 cents. The whole of Oral Fixation, Vol. 2, the latest album by Colombian pop star Shakira, can be had for just $1.40.

According to a report by the Britain-based IXN data company (http://javascript%3Cb%3E%3C/b%3E:siteSearch%28%27IXN%20data%20company%27%29;), which compared traffic volumes on Web sites offering music downloads, allofmp3 leapfrogged U.S. online music store Napster over the first half of the year to make it the second-most popular music site in the U.K. after iTunes.
But popular or not, the site is already under criminal investigation by Russian prosecutors and has been picked out by the U.S. Trade Representatives Office (http://javascript%3Cb%3E%3C/b%3E:siteSearch%28%27U.S.%20Trade%20Representative s%20Office%27%29;) as an example of Russia's bad record on tackling piracy.

Allofmp3, officials say, is jeopardizing Russia's WTO bid as it seeks to reach an accession deal with the United States.
"The United States is seriously concerned about the growth of Internet piracy on Russian web sites such as www.allofmp3.com (http://www.allofmp3.com) ... the world's largest server-based pirate web site," Neena Moorjani, chief spokeswoman for the Office of the United States Trade Representative, said Friday.

"Russia's legal framework for intellectual property rights protection must meet WTO requirements ... In that context, we continue to call on Russia to shut down web sites that offer pirate music, software and films for downloading," she said.
The site warns users to check to make sure they are not violating the laws of their country before downloading songs and insists its mother company MediaServices is fully licensed to operate under Russian law.

"MediaServices pays license fees for all materials downloaded from the site subject to the Law of the Russian Federation (http://javascript%3Cb%3E%3C/b%3E:siteSearch%28%27Law%20of%20the%20Russian%20Fe deration%27%29;)," the site says, citing an agreement with the Russian Multimedia and Internet Society.

That group, which goes by the acronym ROMS, says it collects and distributes royalties for online use of copyrighted music. ROMS claims that under Russian copyright law, it does not need permission from copyright holders to license the sale of music on the Internet.

"What can I say this has to be decided by a court and no court has said this is illegitimate," ROMS general director Oleg Nezus told The Associated Press. "... Believe me I'm a lawyer, you have to understand the law as a whole."
But Igor Pozhitkov of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, which represents Western recording giants such as Universal, Sony and EMI, says Nezus is reading the law selectively.

According to IFPI's lawyers, agencies such as ROMS do not need to seek permission from rightholders if they are licensing the broadcasting, performance or transmission of works by cable but they do if it concerns their sale over the Internet.
"They (ROMS managers) are using this as a money machine," Pozhitkov said. "Hopefully they will defend it for a while and then disappear."

Allofmp3 provides no phone numbers and questions e-mailed to addresses listed on the site went unanswered.

06-04-2006, 09:01 AM
So lke Napster it will be free until the courts do something about it. I wonder if the US will get involved and try to stop it here in the States? If it does violate International copyright laws are we ok downloading and will they go after allofmp3.com or will they now go after the people downloading unlike Napster where they went after Napster and left the downloaders alone for the most part.


06-04-2006, 09:38 AM
I suspect that people who buy the music will probably be left alone. It sort of reminds me of those fake Rolex watches. The real brand (Rolex) works hard and gets nothing but you get the enjoyment and the money you pay goes to support criminal activity. In this case, you get the real song, but the artists get nothing, and it is very likely that the Russian mob gets the money?

In any case, it boils down to illegal activity. A bunch of people who are supporting don't consider it 'stealing' when they download pirated music, probably because music is 'free' on the radio so they can justify taking it for their own from a website.

This is now the #2 music download site in the UK.

06-04-2006, 01:30 PM
I signed up just for the heck of it. You get 20 cents just for signing up. That gets you about 2 free songs at normal quality. The same two songs at CD quality run you 24 cents. You have to pre-pay in lumps of $10.00. That is charged to your credit card first and then you work off of it. Don't think I will be spending any money for it until I know it is legal which I doubt it is. I think it will be just like Napster that will be shut down over time.

06-04-2006, 03:51 PM
I would be more concerned as to what happens to my credit card account numbers, than I would be with the music. Once you give them the credit card information, they could have a field day in just a few hours. Junk.....

06-06-2006, 05:36 PM
To sign up I did not have to give them my credit card. You can also use Pay Pal if you wish.