back to article Russian copyright wars to continue despite AllofMP3 shutdown

AllofMP3.com, the UK's second most popular source for music downloads after iTunes, has been shut down after diplomatic pressure was piled on Russian authorities. MediaServices, the combative firm behind the site, is still selling cut-price music however, meaning the international legal posturing is set to continue. The …

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Anonymous Coward

Will the real parasites please stand up?

"illegal Russian sites, which are unlicensed parasites that make no investment in music "

When I think of the word parasite in relation to music, the names which immediately spring to mind aren't AllofMP3 or MediaServices. They are names such as RIAA, BPI, Sony etc. who are unnecessary middle men and are increasingly seen as irrelevant dinosaurs.

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Anonymous Coward

Cut of the head

"MP3Sparks uses the same claims to legality as AllofMP3"

The Hydra effect - cut one head off and others will grow back in its place.

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O'RLY

"True music fans should not support them"

Aheemm, so only fake music fans support them? Based on "AllofMP3.com, the UK's second most popular source for music downloads after iTunes" I can only conclude that the UK has barely any real music fans left according to BPI.

Great success!

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alternatives?

"and another important step for the recording industry as we seek to direct consumers away from illegal online services towards the many legal alternatives."

In moving from CDs to downloaded tracks I expect a similar, or better, quality product. Which means no-DRM, a much cheaper price due to the cheap distribution and lack of physical product, and a quality I choose myself.

allofmp3.com offered this - Exactly where are these legal alternatives ?

I REALLY would like to know.

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Hmm, parasites...

I appeal to UK music fans to stay away from these legal associations, which are licensed parasites that make little investment in music and pay miniscule royalties to the artists concerned. True music fans should not support them.

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Silver badge

They don't pay royalties ?

Well given the number of great musicians and music legends that have died in abject poverty thanks to the wonderful contracts devised by RIAA and consorts, I frankly couldn't care less.

I don't see how giving RIAA yet more money is going to do any good to the artists who don't see much from those vampires anyway.

And when you get down to it, if RIAA was so fair in its distribution, then the really successful artists wouldn't need to create their own labels. There's a reason they do : to finally get the money they are due for their success and performance.

Until they manage to fly free, all the RIAA does is suck their blood dry.

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DRM-Free Alternative

I switched from allofmp3 to emusic about nine months ago, and I've got to say, I think eMusic's really good. The catalogue's not as big, and obviously it's more expensive. But nonetheless, it is a viable alternative, that I would recommend. It's not so good for the latest pop releases, as their list is more Indie and classically focussed, so I'm quite lucky in that that's the sort of stuff I tend to buy.

I think the reason for the narrow selection is that many of the bigger publishing houses don't want their songs available in DRM free format (which is missing the obvious point that if it's available on CD then it's already available DRM-free). Maybe that will change over time. I hope it will, anyway.

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Who do they think they are?

If other nations think they can get away without accepting and enforcing *our* copyright laws which are designed to allow *our* largest corporations unfair and unnecessary advantages at *our* public expense, then they leave us little choice but to explore military options. Who do they think they are?

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What I want as a consumer...

As a consumer I want high quality, DRM-free, digital downloads of any artist I can think of.

The only way to get what I want is to buy a hard copy and then to rip it. The next best option is AllofMP3, P2P and newsgroups. Following those options is leeching off my mates and then and only then maybe, itunes or whatever other commercial crime syndicate I can find on the web that offers "legal" downloads.

There is a demand for high quality drm-free music. Why is no one supplying to the demand?

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Anonymous Coward

What's Legal

There is also another Russian site that allows you to search for mp3's that is supposedly a member of a legal Russian music organization. At least that is according to their credit card processing company, the same company that banned Allofmp3 for being part of the other music royalty company. The only differences with this site and Allofmp3 is that all songs are in MP3 format only, you do not get to choose the bitrate (which is usually 192 or higher) and they do not quite have as wide a selection of artists songs as Allofmp3. However, they sell their songs for around the same price as Allofmp3.

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They should price legal downloads realistically.

Let's be honnest, 99 cents per song is too expensive for a DRMed 128 kbps download. The fact that sites such Allofmp3 have that much success despite doing no promotion and being borderline illegal is the proof that the music industry isn't delivering what the customer wants at a price that the customer is ready to pay.

I think Emusic has the good quality, DRMfreeness and pricing, but they need a bigger catalog!

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Lets kill the messenger

They have just killed the only viable digital download site. AllofMP3 offered excellent quality downloads with no DRM at the correct price point, ie pence not pounds for a track. It also had a large library.

This is what the music industry should be offering.

Semi illegal sites will continue to spring up faster than you can kill them, we all know its the same organisation, it takes time to build a library that large. More power to them, their model will win out in the end.

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Russia

Whether or not you agree with the presence of AllofMP3 and it's services, take note of the fact that the Russian government, until pressured, allowed it to live. Just as it seems that it takes quite a while for them to take down phishing sites. This seems to project an attitude of "we don't care what our people are doing that might be illegal". Perhaps because of the money it brings in, perhaps it's even a view that as long as it's only hurting the West, it can't be all that bad.

There are a number of countries where pirates, phishers, scammers and virus distributors are subtly allowed to operate. Yes, they get taken down, but not immediately. Tacit approval of criminal actions in other countries? Seems that way to me.

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Music industry in its death throes

As someone who has consumed a lot of music over the past few decades, it's impossible to feel any sadness at the quandry that major labels now find themselves in. They have consistenly shagged everyone in the supply chain - from artist to retailer to consumer. Their one defence - that they "invest" in new music - is made laughable by their pitiable track record in identifying and nurturing talent that can find a viable audience. The fact is that the music industry of today and tomorrow - thanks to the emergence of low cost, high quality recording and low cost online distribution - bears no resemblance to that of the past. And it's difficult to see that as anything other than a positive thing. It may mean far fewer mega successful artists ending up with mansions on every continent but it should also mean no shareholders raking off the majority of profits and make it easier for more artists to perhaps make a viable living from music.

And, yeah, emusic is great.

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Won't happen

As I understand it, RIAA and the like don't want to accept the money being offered to them via the Russia copyright royalty Agency that takes the royalties from MediaServices.

If they did them that would make MediaServices legal of course.

But I wonder how many other companies inside Russia are using this agency and if America and the EU are taking the money from them?

Can't just be MediaServices that the Americans object to?

Can it?

This agency must be sitting on a lot of cash! ;-)

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I love the logic

I've always enjoyed the reasoning of people who support allofmp3.com and other illegal music-sharing sites and networks. "The RIAA is bad; therefore, it's OK to steal." "The RIAA gives very little money to artists; therefore, it's OK to give no money to artists." The logic behind an argument which says the RIAA is bad because it cheats artists and does not provide them with very much money, so it is therefore acceptable to cheat artists and give them no money at all, frankly boggles me.

It's wrong to deprive artists of royalties for their work. It's wrong when the RIAA does it, and it's wrong when allofmp3 does it. The people who claim justification of music theft on account of the fact that the RIAA is a bunch of thieving, greedy bastards--which, to be fair, they are--somehow conveniently fail to apply the same moral standards to themselves.

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Rob

Alternatives? Tons

There have been, and always will be alternatives to the latest RIAA takedown shenanigans.

There are at least 15+ other sites out there with similar or cheaper pricing than AllOfMP3.com. For instance, www.songboom.com has reviews of over a dozen of them already. Hydra effect? I think so.

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Re: I love the logic

Franklin posted: "I've always enjoyed the reasoning of people who support allofmp3.com and other illegal music-sharing sites and networks."

You are overlooking one important detail. Allofmp3.com was not an illegal site. They were actually legal in their country of origin. It was the RIAA that said they were illegal. They paid royalties the Russian Copywrite Royalty Agency (I could be in error on the name). The fact that an American company did not agree with the policies of a royalty board in a foreign country, doesn't make make the companies that pay into it illegal.

Also, as someone else here has stated, if companies like Allofmp3.com can make a profit of selling songs at such a low price, why isn't the RIAA following suit. The only reason is that they want to gouge more money out of the consumer, while still not giving back to the atrists. The only reason that the RIAA is trying to force legal companies like Allofmp3.com (yes they are (or were) legal in Russia) out of business is because they did not like the competition and does not like it being proven that selling DRM free songs for low cost on the internet can actually be a profitable business.

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Anyone know...

...if users' old allofmp3 login details have been transferred to the new site ?

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Yes, it's the same site... just in army camo colours!

I've just checked my account on mp3sparks and it logged me in with all details I had for allofmp3, so all MediaServices have done is change the name! And the colour!

Incredible!

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allofmp3 login details

work with mp3sparks :-p

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Anonymous Coward

RIAA or NSDAP

The RIAA and its British cronies are dragging children and pensioners before the "Volksgerichtshof" and they get away with it! Why? because they are supported by the US and UK governments whose knowledge of the Internet and communications technology is years behind that of most 11 year old children.

Millions of Pounds is spent on DRM and controlling how we listen to our music and on what media. How much profit really would be gained by scrapping DRM and the "Verfolgung" of their customers and selling music at AllofMP3 prices? After all there is no media and minimal distribution costs.

I stopped using P2P networks when AllofMP3 came on line So why would I pay for music when I can get it for nothing? Because Allof MP3 provided a quality service, a huge choice of music, and was realistically priced and was Virus/MAlware free. Would I buy from "legitimate" sites? Yes, if they followed the AllofMP3 model and above all were DRM free. I will never buy music that is DRM controlled!

Sorry for the rant but I feel very strongly about the control The music industry imposes on it's "customers"

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Quite.. Allofmp3 was legal

Quite so. Allofmp3 was legal. Music, under compulsory license, was paid for through ROMS (Russian Organization for Multimedia and Digital Systems), paying them at roughly 15% rate (a bit over 1 cent for a track they charge 9 cents for). Compare this to the true leaches, the RIAA.. they demand 65-80 cents per track and pay the musicians under a penny per track.

The RIAA bitched and moaned that they weren't getting money from AllofMP3. This is true. However:

A) AllofMP3 wouldn't pay them, ROMS would.

B) ROMS pointed this out, and RIAA affiliates REFUSED to even collect the money they were entitled to. They aren't technically lying when they say ROMS hasn't paid them anything, but essentially they are lying because ROMS tried to pay and they refused payment! They made a poing of refusing payment, just so they could argue they weren't getting paid. How cheeky is that!

Now the remaining russian sites are ALSO paying royalties to NP-FAIR. I bet the RIAA just refuses royalty payments from them too, so they can bitch about not getting paid. Musicians should individually let NP-FAIR and/or ROMS know they are happy to get cash from them, since they'll get more than they do from the RIAA.

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What Price a Customer?

What price a customer , if the major four labels continue to suffer a decline in retail sales of 16 % per annum of all music traded under their banner labels as happened in the period from 2000 to 2006 , and the best selling retail album of 2006 failed to reach some 650,000 units (in a market where the big labels artificially inflated costs dictate sales of at least 1 million units prior to payment of any royalties to the artist or group in question, the current bulk of the major recording stars income is derived from live concerts ,and the average income and royalty payments received from CD sales sold by the big 4, now do not even cover the cost of their managers basic fees)

At this continued rate of rapid decline of annual sales of all music albums (video inclusive) made , the journey from solvency to bankruptcy of the Big Four(BPI's current overbearing controlling owners) within the closing of the first decade of this new 21st Century is very close indeed!

With the collapse and demise of it's main sponsors and mentors , it will be interesting to see what happens to the likes of industry beck and call tame lap dog associations like the BPI , CRIA and RIAA , will they die or will they turn around to crawl and prostate to those it chose to spurn and ignore to save themselves from an ignoble end!

What price indeed any customer ?

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Logical

Physical distribution of CDs is a bit worthless, unless you like shopping with real people and real weather. If you don't then online shopping can still provide you with a real CD and many artists have their own online presence and shop thanks to easy e-commerce applications. Exclusive offers keep these shops more than viable and prove that you don't need to be tied to a major to get your product out there.

Bands can easily sell outside the "normal" channels using myspace, itunes etc. providing a really good online surfing experience. Until someone like the RIAA decides to take on somewhere like myspace of course.

Until then online models will continue to spring up and the RIAA and others will continue to try to close them down because they don't seem to know what else to do. If they're not controlling it (DRMed CDs mostly) then they seem to see it as bad. Which it probably is for them.

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Anonymous Coward

DRM = Daftly Retailed Music?

Got to agree with the majority of the posters on this thread - what I want is a wide choice of excellent quality music content, all available at a reasonable price. And with no added restrictions because I choose to buy digital bits, as opposed to a shiny silver, or shiny black, disk.

Until that time I'll continue to do what I do now - search the record store bargin bins and supermarket shelves for CD's and convert them for my MP3 players myself. I never failed to be pleased with the discount you can get on the latest releases if you're patient and wait for 4-8 weeks after they've been launched. Instead of wallet-raping £15+ they're a much more reasonable £9.99 or less.

Compare with iTunes etc where an album always seems to be pitched at the more expensive price, (the only tracks I'll - grudgingly - accept DRM on are those for charity records).

DRM is just a superb way of alienating customers. My most recent example was that Universal Music kindly allowed me some free tracks from some up and coming bands on their books. Unfortunately these were WMP DRM'd and the DRM scheme doesn't work with the version of WMP (11) that I'm using, so the tracks are useless and I won't get a chance to check out these new bands.

When is the record industry actually take note of customers and get less antagonistic - at times they don't half remind me of the Queen Of Hearts in the book/film "Alice in Wonderland"!

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The price is not the issue

I used allofmp3.com ... and I guess I will now use mp3sparks.com

Not because of price .... I have no objection to paying a fair price for any product.

I like the site because it is user friendly, easy to navigate, the music was available in a wide range of formats, and at a bitrate of my choosing. Oh, and no DRM :)

Those are things the consumer wants.

I DO NOT WANT WMA, I DO NOT WANT 128KBPS, I DO NOT WANT DRM!!!!!!!!

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Anonymous Coward

The price IS the issue

If the music industry charged similar prices to Allofmp3 and allowed you to choose your own download quality and format I believe there would be much more music sold, and artists could get more income than at present.

By the way mp3sparks.com and mp3sparks.ru are no longer available - looks like the authorities got to them already.

Alltunes still seems to work though.

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Price

When I said the price is not the issue, I meant it was not the issue for me ...

I did not base my decision to use allofmp3.com on the price of their offerings. I would have used them in preference to any other site, even if their prices were the same as other sites, because of the choice of format and bitrate, and lack of DRM.

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mp3sparks gone?

Hi.

Does anyone know what happened to mp3sparks? I cannot access it anymore. Did they also shut it down?

Thanks.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MP3spaks Gone?

Yes! R.I.P the consumer controlled market.

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