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The problems for AllofMP3 continue to mount

The Russian MP3 provider AllofMP3 has been under fire from the Russian and American authorities and record industries. The company, however, is also having problems with groups other than the record industries. Most recently, both Visa and Mastercard have asked member banks to stop processing payments to AllofMP3 since the company is facing mounting legal issues in Russia. Mediaservices, current owner and operator of AllofMP3, claims that it pays royalties to a Russian licensing group for all music sold through the site. The US has repeatedly stated that the site does not pay artists royalties for music sold through the web site.

AllofMP3 recommended users try to pay through another site, but Visa quickly began turning down payments from the new site. A Visa spokesman said: “The action Visa has taken is in line with legislation passed in Russia and with basic international copyright and intellectual property norms.” A Mastercard spokesman also said that the company doesn't tolerate any sort of illegal activity.

Reports being published on the Internet show that AllofMP3 is planning an ad-based software player that will display ads while the downloaded music is being played. However, there is no official word about the software from Mediaservices.

Mediaservice representatives believe the company has been unfairly branded as a pirate website. Although it entered crosshairs after becoming popular in the US and UK, serious problems haven't arisen for the company until recently. For example, the British Phonographic Industry sued AllofMP3 last July.




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Irony
By tuteja1986 on 10/20/2006 4:52:35 AM , Rating: 3
People that are paying to buy the music that isn't legit are stupid. That website isn't selling you legit music , its same stuff you can get for free by using one of many 100 and more non-legit methods like BT , Direct connect and others. :(

ohh the irony!!




RE: Irony
By meatbites on 10/20/2006 5:11:32 AM , Rating: 2
How is that ironic?

Nonetheless, you're overlooking it as primarily being a service. That is, you can download all your unprotected music from one quality-controlled, central place in your chosen format at a chosen bitrate (or so I understand).

You're telling me piracy caters for that?


RE: Irony
By farlander on 10/20/2006 8:22:52 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
You're telling me piracy caters for that?


Hell with the piracy. Does RIAA caters to that? Does anybody at all caters to that? Nope. And mind you, allofmp3.com is legal according to russian laws: it pays its dues to the organisation, responsible for copyrights in Russia. Whatever that organisation is doing with the money is another question and that's the question everyone should be asking.


RE: Irony
By pepsimax2k on 10/20/2006 9:20:30 AM , Rating: 5
>>unprotected music from one quality-controlled, central place in your chosen format at a chosen bitrate

amen to that. once everyone else starts providing that kind of service i may, and i stress *may*, be tempted to start buying online instead of unprotected, quality-controlled CDs that I can rip in a chosen format at a chosen bitrate.


RE: Irony
By r0y on 10/20/2006 5:47:21 AM , Rating: 3
Well actually, the music sold is legal in Russia. AllofMP3 pay the necessary fees to Russia’s equivalent of RIAA. The problem for the Music Industry is that they never see any of that cash. That is why American based RIAA is pushing Russia to change their laws or else Russia won’t be allowed in the WTO.

It is still unclear here in the UK if you are violating any laws. It will be interesting to follow this case. I suspect if they shutdown AllofMP3 in Russia they will just move the servers to another small country that has nothing to gain from the US. However this is pure speculation from my side.


RE: Irony
By marvdmartian on 10/20/2006 8:52:33 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I suspect if they shutdown AllofMP3 in Russia they will just move the servers to another small country that has nothing to gain from the US.


How much do you wanna bet that Hugo Chavez would be happy to let them set up base in his country??? hehehe


RE: Irony
By tass99 on 10/20/2006 6:17:16 AM , Rating: 4
As someone who uses AllOfMP3, I'd like to offer my opinion on this. The reason I buy music from AllOfMP3 is because they have a very extensive collection, in any format and quality I want. I don't have to go trawling through dodgy torrrent sites, etc. It's a very easy to use interface - I can buy what I want, and have it automatically downloaded by alltunes (a program offered by allofmp3, to browse, buy & download through). I'd gladly pay £1 for an albumn, rather than waste the time needed to find the download. The fact that the UK government have publicy stated that they will not prosecute users of the site is another bonus.

Another misconseption here is that no money is sent to the artists. If you've been following this story like I have you will know that ROMS (russian governing body that AllOfMP3 sends royalties to) have TRIED to pay royalties, and the record labels have refused these payments.

I am backing AllOfMP3 all the way with this one. The music industry is changing fast, and if the record labels don't realise that, they're in for a hard time.


RE: Irony
By KashGarinn on 10/20/06, Rating: -1
RE: Irony
By AlexWade on 10/20/2006 8:26:54 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
So this is and will always be just a cheap blog, with as much credibility as something said by a republican.


Or a democrat, or an independent, or any politician. But lets leave politics out of this, because many people blindly follow a political party and this will turn into a flame war.

What right does Visa/Mastercard have to deny payments to a LEGAL service just because the greedy RIAA isn't getting a cut? I'll bet they allow payments to child porn sites, but OH NO! The evil allofmp3.com we have to stop! Anybody else see something wrong with this picture? Which is worse, exploiting children or legal downloads that a greedy entity is a part of? This is just not right.


RE: Irony
By xsilver on 10/20/2006 9:12:14 AM , Rating: 2
name a child porn site that has as many users as allofmp3 and I'll bet that it will be shut down in 24 hours.

I actually agree with you, but I'm just making a point, its called money and political pressure ;)


RE: Irony
By tedrodai on 10/20/2006 8:27:13 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
So this is and will always be just a cheap blog, with as much credibility as something said by a republican.


or a democrat


RE: Irony
By ajfink on 10/20/2006 11:54:53 AM , Rating: 2
Thank you. I use the site as well. Even if the prices of the files had to go up, this site is THE BEST FORMAT for selling music online, and record companies should see that and try to work something out. No ridiculous DRM, easy and efficient way to get the music you want, it's great.

Man, people who pay for music that doesn't have DRM in the formats and compressions levels that they want. Maybe record companies should learn.


RE: Irony
By fic2 on 10/20/2006 1:13:05 PM , Rating: 2
I think the irony is that the RIAA is complaining that the russian equivalent is not paying royalties, but US and European artists have have had to sue record companies repleatedly over royalties. Just do a google of "sue over music royalties".


RE: Irony
By BladeVenom on 10/20/2006 1:26:00 PM , Rating: 2
Also look up price fixing and payola. The RIAA and their members look like an organized crime cartel.


By SunAngel on 10/20/2006 12:25:50 PM , Rating: 3
I've been extremely nervous over the past year or so. During this time I usually purchase me audio and video from you ever had the cheapest prices, but in the back of my mind I knew if one of the company was crooked then I would be seen a supporting piracy. I'll tell you its enough to wreck many of nights a good sleep.

Finally, I bought an Dell Intel Viiv machine thinking all the content you by is through Viiv partners. Even though everything is DRM's, I feel much more comfortable purchasing because if a company is pirating and is a Viiv partner then I may have a leg to stand on if someone ever tried to sue me for have pirated music and movies. Not to mention, I gained back all those sleepless nights I had when I was buying from places like AllofMP3.com.

You can call me a bitch, punk, hoe, fag or whatever. But, I don't want to be a that random chap that gets a letter in the mail that says we have proof you have pirated songs on your computer. I am not able to loose $XXXXX amount of money on being sued to save $FREE money on unknowingly downloading pirated music and movies.




By Tewt on 10/20/2006 12:46:03 PM , Rating: 2
And I wonder how many people posting positive comments on DRM and AllofMP3 as the bad guy are one of those people paid to surf the internet, sign up on various forums and post 'positive' statements about the issue/company/product. Just saying because I was offered one of these jobs before.

Also, as its been mentioned that what has AllofMP3 been doing to compensate artists(from someones 4 question post) and I've seen others say they have tried but the RIAA/artists/whoever accepts those type of payments refused. None of these 'RIAA is the epitomy of integrity' posters have answered whether it was true or not and just ignore that detail. There is a HUGE difference between not receiving a payment and REFUSING to take the royalties offered.


By Sureshot324 on 10/20/2006 1:50:02 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with that logic is the RIAA doesn't want to sell their music that cheap, and since they're the copywrite owner, they shouldn't have to.

The cost of bandwidth keeps going down, and if allofmp3 was allow to legally continue what it's doing, then competing sites would open up and sell music for even cheaper. 5 cents an album anyone? Eventually there would be almost nothing left for the artists and RIAA.

The arists and the RIAA made the music, so they should be allowed to charge whatever they want. That is the basis of capitalism.



By Gooberslot on 10/20/2006 7:48:45 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, the RIAA makes nothing.


By Helbore on 10/21/2006 10:17:03 AM , Rating: 2
Rubbish. If a high street chain decided to sell a CD for $1, then they are entitled to do so, as long as the payment they make to the copyright holder is what they ask for. That is the crux of a free market. Heck, high street chains do it all the time. Ever seen a bargain bin?

If allofmp3 want to seel cheaply, then they have every right to do so, as long as they pay the correct royalty fee. To say otherwise would mean that the RIAA are fixing prices and that, my friend, is completely illegal in a free market society.

To deny a company the rights to sell a product at the price they see fit is the actions of a cartel.Anyone remember the big hoo-haa over semiconductor companies artifically inflating the price of RAM? This ended up with senior management getting prison sentances. This is no different. By refusing to accept the royalty payments being made by a legitimate body like ROMS, just because the cartel of copyright owners don't like the prices being offered, is nothing more that price-fixing. The RIAA should be taken to court and put squarely in its place for such neferious and underhanded activities.


By Helbore on 10/21/2006 10:53:57 AM , Rating: 2
EDIT: Note that when I say "don't like the prices being offered," I mean the prices being offered to the consumer, not the royalty fees being offered to the coptright holder.


By Tewt on 10/20/2006 12:54:53 PM , Rating: 2
Also, I'm sorry that you bought into the ViiV marketing scheme. Apparently you are just a random poster to parrot the RIAA's agenda because you definitely haven't read the reviews about the ViiV 'architecture'. Your mere mention of ViiV shows your ignorance as it is nothing more than a combination of computer parts(much like Centrino) that anyone can buy individually or put together themselves. Regardless of DRM, that 'architecture'(using that word because most think they are buying a ViiV CPU or motherboard though its the same one you can buy at any online retailer all by itself) has yet to deliver on any of its promises.

Read the The Inquirer(no not Enquirer, theinquirer.net) and look through their archived news to see how silly the ViiV marketing became.


By TomZ on 10/20/2006 1:21:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'll tell you its enough to wreck many of nights a good sleep.

If this keeps you up at night, then I think you don't have a realistic perspective on how serious the problem is or how great the risk is to you. The industry has no ability to prosecute innocent citizens like you and me. It is unlikely you would unknowingly purchase unlicensed content, and even if you did, if you did so in good faith, then you still have no realistic concern - you are not the one who commited the crime in that case.

Also if you look at the number of cases they have brought (in the thousands) and compare that to the number of citizens in the US (I assume for the moment you live in the US) which is around 300 million, you can also tell statistically that the odds of you getting targeted, especially if you are not running P2P software 24x7, are pretty damn low.


STOP IT NOW
By crystal clear on 10/20/2006 11:32:41 AM , Rating: 2
The site is called on to answer to four simple questions that are issued today by an alliance of organisations representing the legitimate international music sector.

QUESTIONS: 1. What are your revenues, and what share of them have been distributed to artists or copyright owners? What are your top 10 best sellers, how much has your top-selling artist been paid and can you identify any artist or copyright owner who will confirm they have received payment from Allofmp3.com?

2. How can Allofmp3.com justify its business model by saying it is licensed by Russian-based body ROMS to make available and sell music over the internet, when ROMS does not have the mandate from any of the relevant copyright owners (record producers, authors and music publishers worldwide) to issue such licences in or outside Russia (and was furthermore expelled from CISAC in October 2004)?

3. Copyright societies representing hundreds of thousands of composers, authors and music publishers around the world have written to ROMS making it plain that ROMS has received no such rights from them. This means that Allofmp3.com is making copyrighted works available without the permission it needs. When is Allofmp3.com going to stop illegally exploiting the works of composers, authors and publishers?

4. Allofmp3.com's website admits it may not be legal in countries other than Russia, yet it is available in English and even publishes charts from the US, UK, Germany and France. What steps is Allofmp3.com taking to comply with the law outside Russia?

The questions are posed by:

Mitch Bainwol, President of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
Eric Baptiste, Director-General of CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers
Peter Jamieson Chairman, BPI, representing the British recorded music industry
John Kennedy, Chairman and CEO of IFPI representing the recording industry worldwide
Martin Mills, Chairman of IMPALA, representing European independent record labels
Ronald Mooij, Secretary-General of BIEM, representing mechanical rights societies internationally
Yuri Slyusar, Chairman of the Board of NFPP Board representing record companies in Russia
Jenny Vacher, General Counsel, ICMP/CIEM representing music publishers worldwide
Alison Wenham, President of world independent labels body WIN


Source-the register.co

Music is just one item in a long list,that needs to dealt in
addition to software piracy,hardware cloning,Hacking,
cybercime,Virus authors etc.
ALL coming from RUSSIA/& the Soviet block,plus CHINA & EASTERN EUROPE.

This needs a joint international effort namely Govts outside
this Group of countries,to stop this.
Blocking payments by credit cards will not stop these CRIMES.
A Work around is always available-whereby payments could be made to front companies to avoid the ban.

CYBERCRIME is the most important issue to be taken care of.




RE: STOP IT NOW
By TomZ on 10/20/2006 12:06:20 PM , Rating: 2
Well, what I and others like about allofmp3.com*, that the record industry has failed to offer, is the ability to purchase high-bitrate, DRM-free song and album downloads at a reasonable cost. With a service like iTunes, I get DRM-locked files that I don't want, plus a cost that is higher than I typically pay for CDs. Typical CDs I purchase are $8-12/each, and have 12-15 songs.

So, in the meantime, I purchase CDs and rip them myself. Plus with CDs I have the value-add of the cover art and no concerns about having to possibly re-purchase the songs again later if I get a new player with a different DRM format some time in the future.

The recording industry needs to realize that as long as it continues its restrictive licensing/DRM and its premium pricing, then it will always be threatened by sites like allofmp3.com as well as P2P sharing of files. This is the present and the future. It is up to them to decide the strategy for addressing this - and so far, they have done little other than to fund investigators and lawyers.

Any by the way, I don't give a hoot about RIAA's and CISAC's questions for allofmp3.com. It is clear their interest is self-serving. What is in it for you and me? They act in the industry's interest and do nothing for consumers and also very little for artists.

* Disclaimer: I have never purchased anything from allofmp3.com, but I have reviewed their offerings and prices. As I said, I rip my own CDs.


RE: STOP IT NOW
By crystal clear on 10/21/2006 5:53:45 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry I could not respond to your arguments about the subject,as OUR Zones dont match plus other business that I had to attend to.Anyway here is may response-

TOM says-
*With a service like iTunes, I get DRM-locked files that I don't want, plus a cost that is higher than I typically pay for CDs. Typical CDs I purchase are $8-12/each, and have 12-15 songs.
My response-
DRM issue-Can be sorted out through consumer organizations filing class action suites,they have the database & lawyers
to fight it out.

Costs-Sorry but this is what is offered in the market-its your right to choose your alternative.A
ALSO this subject can also be sorted out by the comsumer organization,Directly with companies or through courts.

Tom says-
*The recording industry needs to realize that as long as it continues its restrictive licensing/DRM and its premium pricing,

My response-
Again we in the WEST have strong consumer organizations able to tackle this issue.

Tom-.
Disclaimer: I have never purchased anything from allofmp3.com, but I have reviewed their offerings and prices. As I said, I rip my own CDs.

My response-
I have not met you before but judging from your comments in the past/present-I never doubt your intergrity.


RE: STOP IT NOW
By shecknoscopy on 10/20/2006 12:41:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
CYBERCRIME is the most important issue to be taken care of.


No offense - because the rest of your summary is, in fact, rather archival and commendable - but this last statement is one which infuriates me. Yes, cybercrimes can be as grievous and horrifically damaging as their "non-cyber" counterparts (see also: child solicitation, identity theft), but it's unclear to me how the licensing of mp3s and related data can even come close to the moral and social weight of such crimes. I understand that the music industry needs to stay alive - and that the music we all enjoy is in part dependent upon their economic prosperity. However, this whole DRM melee seems to me like the music industry showing its inability to adapt to the modern era. I feel like the consumer could still have his/her free downloads, and the industry could still make their money, had they just been clever enough to adapt to the new era and come up with a more clever way of making a profit.

The truth of the matter is that we're all paying now for their inability to think fluidly, and for their obstinant clinging to a time which is rapidly becoming antiquated.

Also, VoIP is going to stangle our telegraph industry. I will not be cruicified on a cross of gold...er...leads?

-Sheq


RE: STOP IT NOW
By crystal clear on 10/21/2006 7:36:24 AM , Rating: 2
You say-

Yes, cybercrimes can be as grievous and horrifically damaging as their "non-cyber" counterparts (see also: child solicitation, identity theft), but it's unclear to me how the licensing of mp3s and related data can even come close to the moral and social weight of such crimes.

My response-
*You accept that a problem exist & it has be solved.
(Identify the problem & problem solving)
*Music/Movies/Games/Software/etc are a part of greater problem
*"but it's unclear to me how the licensing of mp3s and related data can even come close to the moral and social weight of such crimes."
My response-
Comparing one to another is like comparing SHOPLIFT to Bank
robberies.Both are crimes, one is minor the other is major.
But both are crimes-thats it.

You say-
"this whole DRM melee seems to me like the music industry showing its inability to adapt to the modern era. I feel like the consumer could still have his/her free downloads, and the industry could still make their money,"

My response-
*Fight this through consumer protection oraganizations,by creating public awareness , Lobbies & court action.

you say-
"Also, VoIP is going to stangle our telegraph industry"
My response-
*Fight this through consumer protection oraganizations,by creating public awareness , Lobbies & court action.


RE: STOP IT NOW
By ybee on 10/20/2006 3:04:01 PM , Rating: 2
My two pennys worth from russia.

There is such a thing as international private law aka collision law. It is a a set of international (mostly bilateral) treaties saying which country's law should be applicable to a particular transaction.

So if in this particular case the Russian law is applicable and this kind of service is legal in Russia IT IS LEGAL.

Everything else is just negotiating position.

Obviously US, being a major exporter of IP, should defend the rights of its residents and Russia should defend the rights of its residents - mostly consumers of copyrighted content.

And Russia does not give a damn about WTO or anything else at this point so its negotiating position is pretty strong. It is not that Russia advoctes piracy, but we can manage copyright our own way and there isnt much US can do about it.

So enjoy free perfectly legal mp3 music from allofmp3 while it lasts.


RE: STOP IT NOW
By crystal clear on 10/21/2006 7:47:40 AM , Rating: 2
4. Allofmp3.com's website admits it may not be legal in countries other than Russia, yet it is available in English and even publishes charts from the US, UK, Germany and France. What steps is Allofmp3.com taking to comply with the law outside Russia?

Read my first post carefully-the above portion in particular.

Plus
Allofmp3 sells to everybody/anybody,not only in Russia,rather allover the world.



Music
By hunter44102 on 10/20/2006 10:19:11 AM , Rating: 3
I wish someone would come out with a legal Music site with the selection and interface that AllofMp3.com has.

Its a real shame that greed is what's killing the music industry. They are more focused now on busting people and companies than coming out with great music that everyone wants to buy.




RE: Music
By imaheadcase on 10/20/2006 10:45:10 AM , Rating: 2
You know what is funny, if allofmp3.com charged slightly more than every other mainstream place with DRM they prob would not of ever got picked on.

Its a dollars game, not a consumers game sadly.

btw you can still use visa for allofmp3.com as of last night. :D


RE: Music
By Tewt on 10/20/2006 12:35:04 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed. Even at twice the price of AllofMP3, with the same interface, selection and bitrates, it would still be a good deal imo. Unfortunately, I heard of this site too late and have yet to buy anything there. Most of my music was bought from Realplayer due to the 192 bit rate but converting to CD then back to MP3 is a pain but still better than ITunes. Even given that, I've bought less than two albums total from Real.

I was tempted to try new music due to the prices at AllofMP3 and still would even if the price doubled(still cheaper than all others in most cases if not all from what I've seen of their catalogue).


RE: Music
By JeffDM on 10/20/2006 12:52:24 PM , Rating: 2
The issue with DRM is a legit concern, but those expecting anything close to AoM's pricing is probably going to be disappointed. AoM barely has to pay anything for their licencing, and that money isn't enough to help fund creation. I don't think that AoM themselves could possibly make money selling decent quality original content at the prices they charge now, it's a lot easier to fly under a loophole in the law and rip off the content creators.

Magnatune and eMusic are non-DRM music suppliers, I hear the pricing is pretty good, they just don't have the "big label" stuff.


Allofmp3
By gramboh on 10/20/2006 1:16:04 PM , Rating: 3
What I'm wondering about, how did Allofmp3 go about amassing this huge archive? I'd like to see their backend management system. They must have spent a lot of time ripping all the old albums to WAV. I'm assuming the backend encodes on the fly.

Pretty impressive.

What RIAA/other idiot associations should be taking from this is the market opportunity, create a similar legit site (with legit prices of course) and you will hopefully compete against the crap that is iTunes.




RE: Allofmp3
By AlabamaMan on 10/22/2006 12:35:33 AM , Rating: 2
The key reason I see many people use Allofmp3 is not the low price (which is a great bonus) but the wealth of choices it offers.

iTunes = 1 format, one bitrate
Allofmp3 = 5 formats, 5 bitrates = 25 choices

Many would still flock to websties offering such variety, even if it did cost $1 per song.


good news
By inthell on 10/20/2006 12:13:51 PM , Rating: 2
I think Visa and MC made the right choice. GG




In...
By Lazarus Dark on 10/20/2006 12:48:54 PM , Rating: 2
In soviet russia, visa/mastercard polices you!




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