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AllofMP3.com May Hinder Russia Joining WTO 419

Posted by Zonk
from the riaa-lawyers-in-high-places dept.
gitana writes "The New York Times is reporting that American trade negotiators may demand the shutdown of AllofMP3.com as a condition of Russia joining the World Trade Organization." From the article: "Music industry officials say AllofMP3, which first came to their attention in 2004, is a large-scale commercial piracy site, and they dismiss its claims of legality. "It is totally unprecedented to have a pirate site operating so openly for so long," said Neil Turkewitz, executive vice president of the Recording Industry Association of America, who is based in Washington ... AllofMP3.com says on the site that it can legally sell to any user based in Russia and warns foreign users to verify the legality within their countries for themselves. The site features a wide selection of Russian music, but is written in English with prices listed in United States dollars."
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AllofMP3.com May Hinder Russia Joining WTO

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  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @01:59PM (#15462450) Journal
    "The site features a wide selection of Russian music, but is written in English with prices listed in United States dollars"

    Goddamnit, how can we, as Americans, allow such a site to exist?!? Russian sites must be written in a native (or, at the most, european) language, and they'd better show prices in rubles. Well, I guess, euros would be okay as well, as long as they don't directly link to a currency conversions site.

    I'd like to call, once and for all, for all sites not located within the US (or, um, England) to stop putting up sites in English.

    • by Cyberax (705495) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @02:07PM (#15462483)
      Actually, there's Russian AOMP3 site: http://account.allofmp3.com/shares/setencode.html? changeencode_mss=RUS [allofmp3.com]
    • I'd like to call, once and for all, for all sites not located within the US (or, um, England) to stop putting up sites in English.

      Hmmm. Too bad for Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland and Northern Ireland (not technically part of England), the Republic of Ireland (definitely not part of England) and -- oh, let me see -- a good chunk of the Caribbean, no doubt a number of African countries ... I'm sure there are a whole bunch more I've left out ...

      Look, of course I get your point: it's totally lame for
    • by Zeio (325157) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @03:57PM (#15462998)
      This is egregious. Think about this. China belongs to the WTO. They use slave labor, actively kill and imprison union organizers. They allow massive pollution. They built the environmental holocaust the three gorges dam which now clogs itself with Yangtze river silt. They ban its citizens from owning firearms and use the military and as a police force. They use Yahoo and Google and Cisco technology, services and infrastructure to imprison and execute political dissidents. China executes over 10,000 people a year in an undocumented fashion with a maximum of two appeals.

      China can barely call itself anything but a state holding its people hostage with fear and brainwashing. Recently someone in China who was being interviews by Nova or front line was shown a picture of "Tank Man" from Tiananmen square and they DIDN'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THE IMAGE WAS OF! Maximum censorship OR total fear of even admitting that something against the government ever even happened. This was 4 students in the interview either feigning not knowing what "Tank Man" is or genuinely not knowing about the incident.

      Russia who has valuable oil resources and a more European disposition and a moratorium on the death penalty sells a few MP3s in accordance with their local laws - something the pricks at Google (Schmidt) and Yahoo (Terry "Terrorist" Semel) say makes their anti-Chinese citizen policies in assisting the totalitarian authoritarian government with their persecution - and they cant join the WTO.

      WHAT A JOKE. This is a total sick joke.

  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu.gmail@com> on Saturday June 03, 2006 @02:00PM (#15462457) Journal

    If it seems to good to be true, it probably is.

    Long ago as Napster faded into the sunset (in its old form, at least) a friend turned me onto allofmp3. Promised me it was only $.10 a track and the selection was amazing. I went there, I signed up, I think I even may have purchased a few tracks.

    But the more I looked at it, the more uneasy I felt about how legitimate it could be. This latest story confirms my hunch... they aren't. This other related article from Wired [wired.com] goes into further detail. Apparently allofmp3 is already offering downloads for the latest Red Hot Chili Peppers' as are tracks from the latest Shakira album (you can tell I'm from the vinyl age, still calling them "albums"). The prices are 1/10 the iTunes rates, and while the article doesn't say, it would seem allofmp3 has no contract or agreement to sell these tracks.

    (From the Wired article: "..., World music downloading leader iTunes 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...., ")

    I like what allofmp3 has tried to do, offer a vast array of music at much more reasonable prices than the rest of the world, but it does them, and the rest of us who would demand a more fair distribution model irreparable damage. The more "we" are labeled as criminals by our own actions, the more fodder for their argument. And, the more likely DRM becomes more onerous and intrusive and constraining.

    Also interesting is the focus of the article, the barrier for Russia to enter into the World Trade Organization. I couldn't care less about that aspect, it seems a big stick and out of proportion that Russia should bear... but that's political schtick. I think the even bigger issue is this has put allofmp3 on everybody's radar, which of course means the RIAA, Congress, progress (i.e., the opposite of congress), etc. And if allofmp3 is selling rogue mp3s, it's bad for the anti-DRM community.

    It's an eternal adage, and how true it always seems to be: "If it seems to good to be true, it probably is."

    • I like what allofmp3 has tried to do, offer a vast array of music

      Don't discount this, I've found there what I couldn't find at iTunes or eBay (ex: Ibiza, vol.2 from '95). This alone makes them worthwhile and I would be very disappointed if the shutdown occurred.

    • I think it is true (and good). The only doubts I would have is about them stealing credit card information (last time I looked the paypal option had gone - might be back now. It is perfectly legal for them to do; so they should if they can make money from it. This will strengthen the anti-drm calls because it shows that we are prepared to pay for music if it doesn't have DRM and if it is fairly priced. I would say people who are paying 1 dollar for a song with DRM are the ones who are supporting it.
    • by Kjella (173770) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @02:16PM (#15462533) Homepage
      The prices are 1/10 the iTunes rates, and while the article doesn't say, it would seem allofmp3 has no contract or agreement to sell these tracks.

      No, they have a compulsory license based on russian law. They pay a pittance to some collection agency and in return operate legally, not in violation of russian copyright law. Sure, the RIAA are getting their panties in a bunch and it's a pretty huge loophole, but currently it's not illegal. That's why they're changing the law this autumn.
      • ..., Sure, the RIAA are getting their panties in a bunch...,

        The RIAA wears panties? You sure you're not confusing them with the MPAA?

      • by Anonymous Coward
        I don't really even see how this can be called a loophole.

        They're complying with all applicable laws. And yes, contrary to the fud, the artists do get a cut. At least the ones that bother registering with the Russian authorities in order to collect do. Which is, you know, the law there. So how is this a loophole?

        The RIAA doesn't like Russian copyright law, we understand that, but why should they think their opinion even matters here? The Russian Federation is a sovereign state, their laws are made by the Ru
      • It's funny. People hate the RIAA because they take 99% of the money, and nearly nothing goes to the artist. However, when a quasi-legal site comes along that does the exact same thing, it's idolized.

        Gotta love hypocrisy!

    • ... tracks from the latest Shakira album (you can tell I'm from the vinyl age, still calling them "albums").

      They are still called albums in the UK, and should be so elsewhere. An album is a collection of songs released together, regardless of media. After all, what are you going to call a download-only album, you can't call that a CD can you?
    • by mkro (644055) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @02:27PM (#15462577)
      I like what allofmp3 has tried to do, offer a vast array of music at much more reasonable prices than the rest of the world, but it does them, and the rest of us who would demand a more fair distribution model irreparable damage. The more "we" are labeled as criminals by our own actions, the more fodder for their argument. And, the more likely DRM becomes more onerous and intrusive and constraining.
      Okay, I'm having a bit of a problem with this one. People should stop buying this, show that we all are mature and responsible adults and get it from "their" sites, and then the restraints will slowly go away? How the hell is that going to happen? Isn't that like asking Rosa Parks to get to the back of the bus and behave so whitey can understand black people are civilized? In Norway homosexuality was forbidden by law until 1972. Activism and outright breaking the law changed it. If people had simply complied, nothing would have changed. Now, I don't want to offend anyone by saying this is more important than gay and black rights, but I think the analogy itself is valid.
      • the parent got to this point before i could.

        You do not make unfair curtailment of people's rights go away by sucking up to your oppressors, that course of action is the surest way to signal your willningness to tolerate more oppression.
        • Re:mod parent up (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)
          I don't see how oppression helps fight oppression. By not giving musicians their due, both the RIAA and AllOfMP3 are harming the musician's ability to use their skills as they see fit, especially if they see fit to make a career of it. I'm not the person to say that musicians should give their music away for free or at subsistence pricing. I wouldn't want someone taking my work and giving it away for free or a pittance unless I was getting properly paid for it and I don't see that happening.

          And no, I am
      • by brianosaurus (48471) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @02:51PM (#15462687) Homepage
        Reading you loud and clear!

        It is certainly not as important as civil rights. It is certainly not worth bankrupting families with ridiculous lawsuits. And its certainly not worth making the whole world bend over backwards to the whims of a few fatcats with an aging business model in a relatively small industry; compare the content industry to the technology industries that build devices for viewing/listening content, and they're a drop in the bucket. Its like a Flea barking orders at the dog.

        With all the real problems in the world, it pisses me TF off watching a bunch of greedy millionaires complaining that they aren't able to screw over their customers like in the old days, suing kids and old ladies, and somehow trying to argue that piracy is robbing them of "potential revenue" that is orders of magnitude more than the total revenue of the entire industry.

        Allofmp3.com is the best online music store. If they want to shut it down, all they need to do is bring up a "licensed" site with at least as big a selection, no DRM, and a fair price.

        Fuck the WTO. Fuck them right in the ear. The W stands for "World", not "America" (and it definitely does not stand for that misguided retard in Washington...).
    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @02:34PM (#15462608) Journal
      AllofMP3 asserts its legality by citing a license issued by a collecting society, the Russian Multimedia and Internet Society.

      In most countries, the collecting societies that receive royalty payments for the sale or use of artistic works need reciprocal agreements with overseas copyright holders...

      According to Russia's 1993 copyright law, however, collecting societies are permitted to act on behalf of rights holders who have not authorized them to do so. Collecting societies have thus been set up to gather royalties for foreign copyright holders without their authorization...

      The result is that numerous organizations in Russia receive royalties for the use of foreign artistic works, but never pass on that money to the artists or music companies
      So, either the NY Times incorrectly summarized the way things work in Russia, or All of MP3 is doing nothing wrong & the RIAA should be going after the collecting societies.

      On a seperate rant: I guess the third possibility is that Russia's copyright laws are morally wrong and need to be changed. Hmmm... how could the RIAA & their Euro counterparts accomplish this?

      I know!!1 By inviting Russia to join the WTO!.

      For those of you who don't know, the WTO is like one big Westernized cluestick handcrafted by corporations w/the support of their (large) governments.

      The RIAA/MPAA/Software industry would love to get Russia into the WTO and Eastern European (former Soviet) Countries into the EU, later into the WTO. Once they accomplish that, they can use their handcrafted cluestick to beat the laws of those countries into a nice compliant & westernized form.

      Those untapped 'markets' can only be tapped if the legal, political and enforcement landscape is appropriate for the making of large quantities of money.
  • Just as well (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kimvette (919543) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @02:01PM (#15462460) Homepage Journal
    Russia is better off going isolationlist and not joining the WTO. Look at the mess we have here in America as an example. Our politicians have an incessent need to butt their noses in everyone else's business, despite the citizen base not wanting them to do so. We (meaning our government) has no right to tell other countries how to handle their business at all. Our influence should end at the border and tariffs, unless assistance is a) explicitly requested from others and b) supported/approved by citizens.

    Don't listen to the US. Show a backbone like so few other countries have and tell Duhbya to fuck off already. Don't cooperate with the current administration one iota; wait and see what the 2008 election brings. Hopefully the next administration will be far less corrupt.
  • Ahhhh the article says it operates through a loop hole in the law (russian law) against the spirit of the law is not breaking the law...

    unless it impacts on corporate America of course

  • by bigsexyjoe (581721) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @02:02PM (#15462466)
    The WTO, the World Bank, and the IMF are much bigger threats to self-determination and national sovereignty than the U.N.

    Our copyright system is very peculiar, but very good for business so it will be imposed on the whole world.

    "It is totally unprecedented to have a pirate site operating so openly for so long," said Neil Turkewitz

    It is only piracy according to our intellectual property laws, which have very little philosophical or pragamtic basis.

  • Dear US citizen, (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 03, 2006 @02:05PM (#15462476)
    Who is running your country?
  • Perfect fit. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Znork (31774) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @02:06PM (#15462478)
    "The result is that numerous organizations in Russia receive royalties for the use of foreign artistic works, but never pass on that money to the artists"

    With the way a lot of the music industry works, it looks like they'll fit right in.

    "These collecting agencies are thieves and frauds because they accept money while pretending to represent artists", said Eric Baptiste

    Yeah, well, pot, meet kettle, you two will get along fine.
  • communism (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wwmedia (950346) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @02:07PM (#15462484)
    this is a country where for 70 years everyting belonged to the public domain, this whole american copyright stuff is a bit alien

    anyways russians can always play the energy card, switch off gas to whole of europe and watch the shit hit the fan ;) by that stage WTO will be begging the russians to join
    • Re:communism (Score:3, Insightful)

      by HardCase (14757)
      anyways russians can always play the energy card, switch off gas to whole of europe and watch the shit hit the fan

      Yeah, and they could also cut off their noses to spite their faces. I don't think that allofmp3.com is going to replace the lost revenues of Russia's number one export.
  • Russia is setting up to be a pretty big economic power.
    • Russia is setting up to be a pretty big economic power.
      Yeah, right above that "big economic power" the Netherlands, and quite a bit behind that other "big economic power" Mexico. Link [nationmaster.com]. If we go by GNP, things are (as expected) even worse. By GNP, Russia is quite a bit below the Netherlands, and only a bit better than that "big economic power" Belgium. Link. [nationmaster.com]
    • Hardly. Russia is ranked nineth [cia.gov] by GDP (substract the World and the EU from the rankings and Russia's 11 goes to 9) and probably lower in terms of PPP. Although it's enjoyed robust growth recently due to high oil prices, its corrupt bureaucracy and lack of political transparency hamper important reforms. The judiciary is not independent. The population is falling due to a combination of emigration, low birth rates and high death rates. Putin recently called on Russians to have more children to increase the
  • by skyfi (978768) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @02:10PM (#15462499) Journal
    we use us dollars in a big amount of places. So it is just called as "Standart Unit" in price lists (mostly in internet and computer hardware shops), in russian (Uslovnaya Edinitsa). So about piracing mp3's, not to much people use such sites (mostly called bydlosites). There are a lot of free sources and home networks
  • China (Score:3, Interesting)

    by alfs boner (963844) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @02:10PM (#15462502) Homepage Journal
    One way China is ahead of the game is their artists / music industry have given up on CD sales revenue. The artist makes money, or tries to, by selling concert tickets and with marketing tie-ins. In India bootlegs are available the day they are released. It won't come as much of a suprise to \.ers that, as the US moves toward this model, it is corporate profits and support staff who seem to be taking the heat / losing the livelyhood.

    As a career sideman, I feel no pain for the old industry passing (especially the lawyers), but the job of recording engineer is going the way of the hatmaker. Actually that analogy breaks down: The job of recording artist and recording engineer are being merged and will not pay very well. There used to be more work for painters, too.

    OT: There's a bigger issue here about labor and specialization - the best singer I've ever knew (hits in the 60s) was taking an occasional plumbing job in the 80s and wasn't bitter: The way he put it was: $30 an hour. This while commanding $2-$4k for 20 - 40 oldies shows a year. I didn't quit playing during the 90s net boom and still work a lot now. I also stay buzzword compliant - this year: AJAX(ugh) and psych-folk(cool).

  • by zpodcaster (951497) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @02:14PM (#15462521)
    Everybody's opionion is that all this site sells is pirated music from the US. This is wrong. This site sells completely legal Russian music and audio otherwise unavailable in the United States or Europe: to 10 to 30 million Russian diaspora abroad. The problem with RIAA demands is that they demand a closing of a completely legitimate resource for such content for all of us, Russian speakers forced to look at empty shelves of RIAA storefronts and desperate to find hits of Russian music. The model of selling songs by burning them on bulky things called DVDs or CDs is completely dead, when you look at it from the prospective of a Russian speaking teenager trying to find a Russian 2005-2006 hit in the stores owned by RIAA in the US. There are none. Typically this stores sells some junk from the last century, so the only place we can get that music is from the sites like allofmp3.com. Russian showbusiness is booming now: have you seen any Russian movie from 2005-2006 in the stores owned by MPAA/RIAA? If Hollywood can't make decent movies for the last 5 years, it doesn't mean it's like this everywhere in the world. So, to cut it short: no: Russian courts are right, ignore RIAA.
  • Disturbing Trend (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mateo_LeFou (859634) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @02:15PM (#15462523) Homepage
    **AA have obviously decided to go full speed ahead, push the envelope a bit. See if their interests can be made to trump even national sovereignty. I put it at 50/50 whether the "civilized world" will accept this.
  • english&dollars (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Keruo (771880) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @02:15PM (#15462526)
    English is well understood in russia, atleast among computer literate people, and dollars are as valid currency there as rubie. Claiming that only reason www-page using english and dollars as currency and located outside uk/usa just to ease piracy is bad excuse.
    Russia has over 30 official languages, so maybe english(although its not one of official ones) is used just for compatibility reasons?
    Perhaps dollars are used just to ease the price comparison against iTunes et al?
    • Claiming that only reason www-page using english and dollars as currency and located outside uk/usa just to ease piracy is bad excuse.
      Dollars aren't used in the UK, and English is the official language of a lot of countries other than "uk/usa" (a lot more than you probably think).

      Russia has over 30 official languages, so maybe english(although its not one of official ones) is used just for compatibility reasons?
      Russia has all those languages because it is an empire. Russian is the only official feder
    • Dollars are used on Russian section of the website as well mainly to counter rampant inflation. But the common language within Russia, or, indeed, the whole territory of ex-USSR is still Russian, so English website is clearly targeting foreign customers.

      Not that I have a problem with it, either. Wonders of globalisation in action... =)

  • Maybe the US... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by abigsmurf (919188) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @02:21PM (#15462552)
    Should stop imposing illegal tarrifs on goods from other countries before it starts making demands?
  • by zpodcaster (951497) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @02:21PM (#15462553)
    Is it legal to download music from AllOFMP3.com? The availability over the Internet of the ALLOFMP3.com materials is authorized by the license # LS-3?-05-03 of the Russian Multimedia and Internet Society (ROMS) and license # 006/3M-05 of the Rightholders Federation for Collective Copyright Management of Works Used Interactively (FAIR). In accordance to the licenses' terms MediaServices pays license fees for all materials downloaded from the site subject to the Law of the Russian Federation "On Copyright and Related Rights". All these materials are solely for personal use. Any further distribution, resale or broadcasting are prohibited. The works available from ALLOFMP3.com are protected by the Law of the Russian Federation "On Copyright and Related Rights" and are for personal use of a buyer. Commercial use of such material is prohibited. Recording, copying, distribution on any media is possible only upon special consent of a Rightholder. The user bears sole responsibility for any use and distribution of all materials received from AllOFMP3.com. This responsibility is dependent on the national legislation in each user's country of residence. The Administration of AllOFMP3.com does not possess information on the laws of each particular country and is not responsible for the actions of foreign users. http://music.allofmp3.com/help/help.shtml?help=on# top [allofmp3.com]
  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @02:24PM (#15462566) Journal
    Let's take a look at a sample album (randomly picked - I'm not a DC fan):

    Dixie Chicks: Taking The Long Way
    #tracks: 14
    Cost to purchase in crappy/lossy 192kb MP3 or AAC: $1.87
    Cost to purchase in good lossy 320kB MP3 or AAC: $3.12
    Cost to purchase lossless (flac, in this case): $8.78

    Cost to purchase from Amazon, (lossless), with case, disc, and liner notes: $9.98

    The difference between lossless at AllofMP3 and buying a physical disc is very small. It's not much of a bargain, quite honestly, to get the product from AllofMP3. It would make sense that to get a digital copy of the album from a US supplier would be less expensive than the physical article. Except, for some reason, it isn't. Somehow, the degraded quality copies cost more than the physical version here in the US (I'm assuming that iTunes is still 99c/track, or $13.86 for the whole album). They should be noticably less expense. That's what we were told when CDs were more expensive than cassette tapes: the CD, although less expensive to produce, provides a higher quality sound and therefore commands a premium price.

    Once again, the RIAA seems to be paranoid that they might lose a stranglehold on the distribution system (i.e.: would have to compete).

    I'm not saying that AllofMP3 are totally innocent here - they are just as guilty of exploiting the system as, say, the oil companies are of exploiting the increase in demand for oil, or small business owners buying a $50,000 Ford King Ranch pickup truck and writing it off on their taxes.
    • The fact that an album costs as much on Allofmp3 as it does at Tower Records or Amazon doesn't really have any impact on the argument, if the copyright owners and creators of the album aren't seeing a penny of the allofmp3 sale, and they aren't. I'm as anti-RIAA as the next guy, but this site is clearly illegal here in the United States and it SHOULD be. I can't really understand why people even use it because if you're willing to be in a situation where the content creator gets absolutely no cut of the m
      • Sorry, I didn't finish making my point before I hit "submit".

        The point is that the RIAA could compete on price and offer a "legal" service at or near their current margins. $8.78 for a FLAC rip vs $9.99 (less physical production and shipping costs, plus b/w) for a clearly legal download from a US distributer? Sure, there will be a few skinflints that will go with the Russian site for $1 less, but wouldn't yoy buy direct for that money? I would.

        That's the problem though. They (the RIAA approved outlets) are
    • fact is a large portion of the public don't care about the difference between a lossless copy of a CD and a 128K mp3. or they wan't to use it on a portable player with small headphones where it won't make any bloody difference anyway.

      also much of the point of services like itunes and allofmp3 is you only purchase what you wan't not the filler you are forced to.

    • Good point, this will be usefull to the 4 Dixie Chick's fans who know what lossy audio encoding is....
    • Cost to purchase in crappy/lossy 192kb MP3 or AAC: $1.87
      Cost to purchase in good lossy 320kB MP3 or AAC: $3.12
      Cost to purchase lossless (flac, in this case): $8.78

      Saving money and avoiding potential DRM rootkits from an innocuous-looking CD from harming your PC? Priceless.

      Nathan

  • For the record (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The site features a wide selection of Russian music, but is written in English with prices listed in United States dollars."

    That's a bit misleading. The truth is it has both a Russian and English language option. First time users are able to select the langauge of their choice.

    I'll be one of the first to admit that I buy songs from allofmp3.com. So far I've loaded my account with 10 dollars twice, and have maybe a couple bucks of that left. I have, from time to time, actually downloaded some of the Russ
  • The original article is on IHT, my favorite news site...

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/06/01/yourmoney/m p3.php [iht.com]

    I didn't read the NYT article but seeing that the author listed is from IHT I assume they've just syndicated it, in full hopefully.
    • The International Herald Tribune is a fully owned subsidiary of the New York Times Company and has been since 2003. Previously, it was jointly owned by the Washington Post and the New York Times Company.

      This is why you will frequently see the same article printed in both papers.
  • I think the way it works is that digital distribution of music is the same as radio broadcast in russia. This means that allofmp3 pays a set fee per year, and they are then free to distribute the music best they want. So, the site isn't a piracy site, im certain they are happily paying their yearly fee.

    I'm not 100% sure im right, if someone can confirm that this is how it work (or tell me im wrong) it would be great!
  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nicklott (533496) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @02:40PM (#15462636)
    The RIAA is now influencing US foreign policy! Scary country...
  • They even allow you to pay you through smart ATMs (which usually allow you to pay any cellphone provider bill, banking bill etc from a single machine): http://music.allofmp3.com/osmp.shtml [allofmp3.com]
    However I, as a Russian citizen believe that a very small percentage of Russian mp3 downloaders use the service. mp3s, movies, games and software are usually obtained in LANs (which also act as ISPs). My LAN for example has something like 2 terabytes of pirated content. Even people who can afford a licensed copy of Windows
  • Wouldn't the world be a safer place, for wage-slave citizens and mega-corporations alike, if the U.S. just attacked the every other country and created one global government? Then we wouldn't have to worry about the difficulty of enforcing U.S. law in foreign countries. There would be no foreign countries! Problem solved! I nominate G.W. as our first global dictator, er... I mean first elected president of the United Countries of Freedom-World!
  • by BestNicksRTaken (582194) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @03:01PM (#15462747)
    "American trade negotiators may demand the shutdown of AllofMP3.com as a condition of Russia joining the World Trade Organization"

    WHAT THE F**K?!

    I think America is getting too big for its boots lately, I won't mention Iraq, but they basically told the Swedes to shut down The Pirate Bay and now they think they can blackmail Russia too - and over such an important thing as the WTO?

    OK then America, you shut down Microsoft or we'll kick you out of the UN.
  • Priorities? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vertinox (846076) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @03:04PM (#15462757)
    I dunno... You'd think if they would deny Russia entry to the WTO... It would be... I duno... Say... Their support of Iran's nuclear program and their threat to veto any resolution against them?

    Although, maybe pirated MP3s are much more of an existensial threat than nuclear weapons.
  • You mean allofmp3 is illegal? We could just as well save those 10 cents a track and download them from torrent?

    Ok, if da man says so, who am I to contradict him? Fire up Azureus and be a good citizen!
  • Is It Or Isn't It? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by itmfsshasl (978998) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @03:19PM (#15462825)
    I have seen a few of these stories and NOWHERE in any of them are there any statements from any controlling legal authorities; just a bunch of FUD from the RIAA and it's cronies. Is it or isn't it legal? No one seems to know and if they do, they aren't saying. It does seem pretty cut and dried as to whether or not it is legal there. I have used it and plan on using it again.

    The arguement that it is illegal or should be illegal because the Russian equivalent of the RIAA is NOT paying the artists does not make me a bad person for buying their products. If they aren't paying them...and nobody has produced any evidence that that have or have not...how does this make me in the wrong? I have no idea whether any store I have ever been too has justly compensated everyone back up the supply chain adequately if at all. If my job description is to include researching these things then the RIAA owes me a fortune for doing their work; and you had better believe I charge a fortune for my services.

    Let's look at it from a different perspective. Shopping at this place is like going to the mall. It is out in the open. It operates like every other store in the mall. It has been there for several years. AND!...it even provides what looks to be like pretty legitimate documentation allowing it to be open. If I go down the causeway and eat at a restaurant that has done the same thing but has forged it's business license...is that something I should be taken to jail for? If I go into a clothing store and buy a couple of shirts and a pair of jeans...only to find out later that they are counterfeits, should I go to jail or be fined exhorbitant amounts? Here is another funny perspective on this. Over the years more and more companies have been offshoring..why? It is cheaper...not a little bit but bunches and bunches cheaper. We are told time and time again that it is WISE to patronize these other nations as they have a superior product to offer. In this case of MP3's, they are 100% correct. So what is the problem here? It would seem that they need to better police the Russian RIAA there.

    Remember the time about 2 years ago when Chevy didn't pay the steelworkers for making the screws that hold radios in place in their cars and everybody who bought a car from Chevy between the dates of January and June of that year went to jail? Neither do I. Do you remember last year when the American cattle farmers didn't pay for the corn in the cows feed and everybody who bought beef last year had to pay a $25,000.00 fine? I don't either.

    Now, if the site is legal, if I were the guy, guys, gal, or gals running this site I would sue the RIAA in court till they bled. Since the only thing it seems to understand is lawsuits...I would sue them, the people in it, any supporters of the RIAA and any others I may have forgotte right out of existence. The RIAA would become the multimedia version of SCO. A small little shadow of it's former self.

    They, the RIAA, are screaming for this site to be shutdown. It is still up. I imagine it is legal and THAT is the whole problem here as far as they are concerned.
  • MADNESS!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 03, 2006 @03:41PM (#15462928)
    So wait - selling Cold War NBC leftovers doesn't even muster a UN slap on the wrist, but pirating trivial pop culture content is a showstopper?

    Please explain to me how it is a recording industry group concerned about its monopoly could hold up a former world superpower, a nation of significant landmass, natural resources, goods, services and consumers, from joining the World Trade Organization?

    While the WTO itself is a seperate subject of discussion, what part of reality did world leaders abandon to put such significance on any one single market as to exclude an entire nation's industry?

    What a supereme coup these guys and their ilk have pulled off - the world now cow-tow to the notion owning and controlling ideas, instead of not just preserving and protecting, but fostering the creation of new ones. How shameful, and how disappointing, I see so little concern for this insane set of priorities.

    Sorry for the bad spelling and words - I only started learning English 3-4 years ago. Ironically I started to learn so I could come to America, after reading my country man Alexis de Tocqueville and listening to my Dad's old college stories of how independant and voiceful Americans where - so why have not Americans been the first country to say no to what is clearly short sighted greed?
    • by RLiegh (247921) *
      We're getting around to it; right after The Apprentice and Survivor is over, oh wait, then there's Big Brother isn't there?

      Well, shit; we're getting around to it, ok? maybe we can work a little during the commerical breaks.

      He, that little gecko sure cracks me up...

"When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest." -- Bullwinkle Moose

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