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Hot off the Press - News and Cmmentary
April 29, 2004, by Angel Lee

  

Russian Music Cold War Begins with RIAA, Apple and Napster.

Just when the RIAA had thought that they were at the helm of the great ship USS Music Bully and shouting “I’m King of the World”, the Capitalist Czarist Russians have initiated a music wholly cold war. Isn’t that precious.

A Russian online company allofmp3.com has started selling music by the megabyte for an astounding US$1 greenback for 100MB (500MB minimum) of loverly music in any format your little heart desires (MP3, MPEG4-AAC, OGG, etc.). Those tunes are high-speed delivered to your computer desktop at a pretty impressive bit-rate to boot as well!

So you’re saying, “who wants to download some terrible Russian bands music?” Not so dudes, these are major artists such as Aaron Neville,

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Alanis Morissette, Barenaked Ladies to Metalica, Willie Nelson and ZZ Top. This makes the price pretty astounding, if it’s for real, that is.

We had to ask if this is for real and allofmp3.com claimed that it does pay license fees for all the music it sells; so if that's true, then they are legitimate "subject to the law of the Russian Federation on copyright and related rights". There is no indication in dealings with allofmp3.com over several weeks that this is one of those dubious enterprises so much loved by the Russian mafia. Our credit card doesn't seem to have been abused, and while we have no legal qualifications, we can't see that it fails to comply with the Berne Convention on copyright.

"We can't see any legal or moral objection to using the site," Charles Wright writes in the Sydney Morning Herald. "We're using the material for private use, there is no restriction in this country on the parallel importing of recorded music and none of the artists seem to have been deprived of their rights. While we suspect the recorded music industry would like to earn more from their music, we're in no position to judge the arrangements they might have made with Russia."

Well, if this is on the straight and narrow, and the RIAA doesn’t have a Music Mafia wing in Russia, and the site figures out that they need to have an English version, then Apple iTunes Music Store and Napster are in for a very rude awakening . . . . an potentially a huge dent in their wallets income! We’ll keep you posted.



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