Feeds

Moscow prosecutor lets low-cost MP3 site off the hook

AllofMP3.com not breaking Russian law, apparently

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Russian prosecutors have decided they are unable to take legal action against controversial online music provider Allofmp3.com - despite the music service's lack of sufficient licences to offer the content it does.

Last week, the Moscow Southwest regional prosecutor's office said no criminal indictment could be brought against the music seller because it has not violated Russia's copyright law, a local blogger has reported.

Yes, AllofMP3.com offers copyright music. No, it does not always have the prior permission of the copyright holder to do so. But Russian law was written to prevent CD and DVD piracy - copyright infringement through a physical medium. Its online manifestation was not something taken into account by legislators.

AllofMP3.com has won the support of many music buyers by offering songs very, very cheaply. It charges not on a per-track basis, as other services do, but on a per-megabyte scheme. Tracks are available in a broad array of formats, from AIFF to MP3, AAC, Ogg, WMA etc, encoded on the fly at any bitrate the user chooses. The higher the level of compression, the lower the audio quality, but ipso facto, the more you can download for the same amount of money.

And silly amounts of money at that: $5 for 500MB of music.

AllofMP3.com maintains what it's doing is legal, under the terms of a licence granted to it by the Russian copyright licensing authorities. Essentially, it can transmit CD content without first gaining the authorisation of the copyright owner, provided it makes a nominal payment for the privilege, which it claims it does. It says its distribution of tracks across the Internet of digital audio files is equivalent to a broadcaster or a cable company transmitting songs as part of their programming.

Last month, the computer crime division of the Moscow City Police began an investigation into AllofMP3.com's activities after receiving a complaint from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). The police referred the case to the Prosecutor's Office with the request that the Internet site be brought to book.

However, because the site is not involved in the physical distribution of unauthorised copies of the songs it offers, it can't be put on trial for breaking Russia's copyright law, the Prosecutor's Office said last week.

The IFPI has already admitted that AllofMP3.com is operating within a loophole in Russian law, and that a successful prosecution would be unlikely. ®

Related stories

Russian police probe cheap downloads site
Spanish MP3 site owner to pay RIAA $10m
Russian 5¢ MP3 site 'unlicensed'
Russian 'legal' music site offers songs for 5¢
RIAA sues Spanish music site

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.