Feeds

UK arrest gives AllofMP3 touts the fear

Euro touts lose bottle

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

The arrest of an alleged UK reseller of Allofmp3.com vouchers has frightened other merchants on the continent.

Allofmp3.com set up the voucher scheme to get around the removal of its card processing facilities in the UK and Europe last year. But the bust of a London-based reseller earlier this month has prompted his colleagues on the continent to quit the business, a move that would cut off one of the few remaining sources of revenue for the once highly-popular music download site.

An unnamed 25-year-old man, allegedly the UK-based European agent for Allofmp3.com, was arrested under the Fraud Act following a police raid in the east end of London earlier this month. The bust followed an investigation by global recording industry body IFPI and the BPI, the UK record companies' association.

Ars Technica spoke to a number of Allofmp3.com resellers on the continent and found little appetite for continuing in the business, even though local laws probably would not permit the sort of enforcement action carried out in the UK.

"Until a few days ago, I had never heard of the IFPI," one reseller, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Ars Technica. "But yes, I am concerned about them now. Although my attorney assures me that reselling gift certificates bought from Allofmp3.com isn't breaking any laws, it isn't worth the possibility of engagement with their legal machine."

Another reseller has already pulled the shutters down on a site selling Allofmp3.com vouchers (a sort of "gift certificate" typically valued at around $10), which contain an access code that allows punters to download tracks from the site. "We made the decision after hearing news about an arrest that occurred in the UK. We do not wish the same to occur to us," the operator said.

Most of the operators concerned are reselling vouchers that allow cut-price MP3 downloads via Allofmp3.com at a small markup, motivated by the desire to assist other members of the Allofmp3 community rather than the desire to earn anything approaching a full-time income from the practice. Those involved believe their business is above board, but aren't prepared to face down the legal wrath of the recording industry to prove a point.

Allofmp3.com says it pays record companies and artists via an agreement with Russian copyright organisation ROMS. The BPI said none of its record companies have allowed ROMS to license the sale of their music via the internet either in Russia or anywhere else. Furthermore, ROMS has been booted out of CISAC, the international copyright confederation.

The Russian download site faces ongoing criminal proceedings in Russia as well as a raft of civil actions against it by the music industry internationally. A change in Russian law could make the site's activities illegal by as early as June 2007, Ars Technica adds.

All of which probably serve to drive music fans towards BitTorrent rather than commercial download services such as iTunes and the like, whose high prices offering little discount from the cost of CDs remain a bone of contention for music fans. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.