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View Full Version : AllofMP3.com "the world's largest server-based pirate website," sez US Trade Office.



TheKraken
06-04-2006, 12:58 AM
Just 'cuz I know some people on here use the service and somehow think it's totally legal...

http://www.wired.com/news/wireservice/0,71076-0.html?tw=rss.index



MOSCOW -- A Russian website 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.

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 antipiracy groups. The website AllofMP3.com just adds to the dispute.

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

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.

According to a report by the Britain-based IXN data company, which compared traffic volumes on websites offering music downloads, AllofMP3.com 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 United Kingdom 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 as an example of Russia's bad record on tackling piracy.

AllofMP3.com, 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 websites such as AllofMP3.com ... the world's largest server-based pirate website," 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 websites 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," 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 copyright 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, or IFPI, 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 rights-holders 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.

Smokinblues
06-04-2006, 04:21 AM
handing over your credit card information to ANY russian company isn't very smart under any circumstances.

Bervda
06-04-2006, 04:53 AM
So is this site not safe? I won't lie and say that the prices aren't ridiculously tempting.

pornbot2.5
06-04-2006, 05:00 AM
handing over your credit card information to ANY russian company isn't very smart under any circumstances.

Yeah, that's like dropping trou and grabbing your ankles in the middle of a prison yard.

DrMachine
06-04-2006, 08:53 AM
I've been on a "if you use allofmp3.com you're a sucker" rampage for the past few months

but it's just getting worse and worse...it is so close to being shut down, which isn't really the big deal...the big deal comes when the company hands over all your records to the RIAA

Smokinblues
06-04-2006, 10:17 AM
I've been on a "if you use allofmp3.com you're a sucker" rampage for the past few months

but it's just getting worse and worse...it is so close to being shut down, which isn't really the big deal...the big deal comes when the company hands over all your records to the RIAA

or to the russian mafia

DrMachine
06-04-2006, 12:19 PM
or to the russian mafia
well really...what's worse?

a little bit of identity theft? or being sued for thousands of dollars in federal court?