Record Labels Finally Sue Allofmp3.com

from the took-'em-long-enough dept

The only surprise here is that it’s taken this long. However, after tremendous efforts to influence politicians to force Allofmp3.com to shut down, it appears that a bunch of record labels have finally filed a lawsuit against the company. The timing on this is a bit odd, as the record labels had succeeded in pressuring Russia into going after the site and pressuring credit card companies to stop accepting charges from the site. However, the RIAA still hasn’t learned that every time they try to shut these types of offerings down, it just makes them stronger — and Allofmp3 has continued to fight back and find alternatives.


It will be interesting to see how this lawsuit turns out — as it was filed in New York, and Allofmp3 is a Russian company, meaning the laws in the US are pretty much meaningless to it. As the company has always stated, it is trying to comply with Russian laws (even if those laws keep changing), and that it has tried to pay royalties for the songs it sells, but the industry refuses to take their money. While there’s a good chance that Allofmp3 will simply ignore the lawsuit, their argument would have to be that they believe they’re in compliance with Russian laws — and if an American buys a song from their site and downloads it, it’s no different than if that same person came to Russia, bought something there legally, and brought it back with them to the US. That is, they did nothing wrong in buying the song, and if it was illegal to import it back into the US, that’s between the individual and the US. Of course, the RIAA probably doesn’t care what Allofmp3’s defense is. They just want to cause trouble for the company by burdening it with lawsuits — the same thing they’ve done to Napster, Grokster, Kazaa and others. However, while they may be able to burden each of those companies one by one, apparently the folks at the RIAA still haven’t quite realized that every time they shut one of these down, something else pops up instead. In other words, it’s a huge waste for them to keep doing this when there are plenty of opportunities for them to embrace providing music in a format and at a price people want.


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Comments on “Record Labels Finally Sue Allofmp3.com”

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65 Comments
Peet McKimmie (profile) says:

Re: "last 3 weeks"...

last 3 weeks since I started using allofmp3 $645.

Wow, Justin, I’m impressed! Who’s your ISP?

I just had a look through the (192K/s) MP3s I downloaded from AllOfMP3.com, and it the cost averaged about 12 cents per 6MB of data, or 2 cents per Megabyte. If you spent $645 that means that in that three weeks you downloaded approximately 322.5GB of data – my connection is “capped” at 40GB a month, and here in the UK that’s considered “generous”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: "last 3 weeks"...

1. 645/.02 = 32250 MB = 31.5GB
2. I’ve never used allofmp3.com. I just picked three albums at random and the quoted price was basically always $.03/MB for the default 192kbps quality
3. 645/.03 = 21500MB = 21GB
4. Maybe being welcomed to buy tracks that he doesnt find contemptibly low quality has unveiled a new world for him and prompted him to buy a CD or too. You assume his figures include only online purchases.

Before youre going to be a numerical pedant, learn math.

Anonymous Coward says:

“…it’s a huge waste for them to keep doing this when there are plenty of opportunities for them to embrace providing music in a format and at a price people want.”

I am starting to believe this is not about the money but more about the power. Kind of like the unpopular kid in school who has to become a cop so he can mess with all the people who made fun of them. The RIAA, Ticketmaster, and almost every cable provider out there are just trying to protect what they see as “theirs”. Total control of the format, and will do almost anything to protect it. If your the only show in town someone will buy the tickets even if it is only grudgingly so.

TSO says:

Re: Re:

> I broke into my next door neighbour’s house and stole all his
> furniture. Then I tried to give him money for it, but he didn’t
> accept it. He is being totally unreasonable. Just because it’s
> his furniture doesn’t give him the right to not let me steal it.

On a garage sale, my neighbour was selling some of his old furniture for $100 apiece. I told him to go entertain himself in many sexual ways, went to my other neighbour’s garage sale and got the same old furniture for $10 apiece. Meanwhile my greedy neighbor still sits on his overpriced junk and whines that I must have bought from him instead.

Sanguine Dream says:

Re: Re: Re:


On a garage sale, my neighbour was selling some of his old furniture for $100 apiece. I told him to go entertain himself in many sexual ways, went to my other neighbour’s garage sale and got the same old furniture for $10 apiece. Meanwhile my greedy neighbor still sits on his overpriced junk and whines that I must have bought from him instead.

Actually I think it would go like this:

On a garage sale, my neighbour was selling some of his old furniture for $100 apiece. The furniture was only available in one color (a color that I don’t like). I told him to go entertain himself in many sexual ways, went to my other neighbour’s garage sale and got the same old furniture for $10 apiece. And there were multiple colors to choose from. Meanwhile my greedy neighbor still sits on his overpriced junk and whines that he suffered lost revenues when I didn’t buy his funiture. So the next week he tried to sue myself and the neighboor I got the $10 furniture from in order to recover his lost revenues.

YouKnowNothing says:

Re: Re:

You are conflating intellectual property with real, tangible property. Please don’t do that.

As the poster above stated, your analogy is completely flawed. A better analogy woul be if you broke into your neighbors house, and then using a magic wand, made exact duplicates of all his furniture and took those copies back to your house.

Copyright infringement != stealing.

Puwaba says:

Re: Re: Re:

So an MP3 is an exact duplicate of the original recording? Hmmmm, I always had thought it was a compressed version.

So, if I took a nice digital shot of some average painting in a museum, enlarged to the same size and look, hung it on my wall without any thought of trying to make money on it, (of course, I would have to pay for the ‘poor’ reproduction process [i.e. camera == allofmp3]) we are saying I now own the exact same piece of art as I saw in the museum?

Still, I am required to pay the same price for this average piece of artwork as I would for the Mona Lisa? Beatles == Vanilla Ice

None the less, somebody is ripping somebody off. It’s obviously not the artists nor the consumers….but someone is the culprit ….hmmmm….who could it be?

Matthew (user link) says:

Music isn’t covered by criminal law, as furniture isn’t covered by copyright. The law clearly sees a difference, as do the millions of people who engage in file sharing. It really is time for the RIAA to see it to, and to stop treating file sharers like criminals. They’re business model just doesn’t work for anything other than the massive earners anymore, yet they still cling to it like an old blanket.

Dav says:

Time to lern

“…it’s a huge waste for them to keep doing this when there are plenty of opportunities for them to embrace providing music in a format and at a price people want.”

amen to this as well

With the flocks of people going to allofmp3 for their music rather then Itunes and such (even when they make it 100x more difficult to put money on the account) you would hope the music industry sees how it must compete with these sites and illegal downloads.

If they shut allofmp3 down, i guess success here would lead things that way, then it doesn’t take a genius to work out where the people are going to go. They wont want to pay Itunes prices again so i supposed bittorrent will have an extra use for them.

Cleverboy (user link) says:

Boy, I sue wish

Gosh golly, I sure wish I could start a business selling reproductions of stolen property virtual indistinguishable from the real thing, charge whatever I like for the product, and “pay” the original owners a pitance all the while. With my heaping millions, I’m sure I’d create the most WONDERFUL service ever! I mean, why limit my pirate DVD’s to flee markets, festivals, and barber shops?

Crazy kewl, peeps. –Oh, wait, I’m a creative person that helps people create sites like this so they can sell their OWN music and make a living. Moreover, I don’t believe like some assholes, that creative people should “get a real job” and not expect to make livings “like rockstars”, off of their talents. –That must mean a website like AOM undercuts me and people I know by stealing their shit. Aw, fudge.

Yeah. Sue them blind, please. Will something else inevitably come along? Sure. Napster wasn’t the last was it? But it wasn’t allowed to operate with impunity either.

If fans could simply speak with one voice and let their dollars decide, the industry would be our bitch. OUR BITCH. Did I say the industry would be OUR BITCH? Instead, fans collectively overlook great sites like eMusic and these so-called fans keep patronizing sites like AOM and acting like drug-addicted fools when these sites are disrupted. Yeah, it was Visa and Mastercard’s fault for bending to “the man”. Keep believing that.

If the music industry had to think, “shit, the money isn’t going to stolen product, its not going to us… where the crap is it???” and slowly saw eMusic and AmieStreet going nuts with sales… first they’ll try to sign the artists… then they’ll realize they need to kill DRM forever. Once out of the bottle, that would be the new paradigm.

But STUPID attitudes on the part of music “lovers” will insure that will NEVER happen.

drj says:

Re: Boy, I sue wish

@CleverBoy

You Wrote:
“Gosh golly, I sure wish I could start a business selling reproductions of stolen property virtual indistinguishable from the real thing, charge whatever I like for the product, and “pay” the original owners a pitance all the while. With my heaping millions, I’m sure I’d create the most WONDERFUL service ever! I mean, why limit my pirate DVD’s to flee markets, festivals, and barber shops?”

Uhhh.. AllOfMp3.com has legal rights to all the content they distribute. Thats what makes this newsworthy. They havnt stolen anything….

And on Emusic.. ever since Universal bought that service, they will never get my money again. They ruined it. It used to be the best there is, their recommendation system was unbeleiveable. If they had stuck with their old pricing model I would still use them. Hell even if they upped the price to 30 or 40$ a month for unlimited download instead of the old $10 I would still be subscribed.

sceptic says:

Re: Boy, I sure wish... I was smarter

Gosh golly, I sure wish I could start a business selling reproductions of stolen property virtual indistinguishable from the real thing, charge whatever I like for the product, and “pay” the original owners a pitance all the while

It’s not virtually indistinguishable, it is for all intensive purposes an exact copy.
And when talking about “pittance,” are you sure you are not talking about RIAA? In case you missed it, RIAA just petitioned to cut down on loyalties paid to artists.
I can agree with a musician’s dissatisfaction on straight up pirating, but arguing that AllOfMP3 gives you pittance while ignoring that RIAA supported stealing from their musicians for decades… please, let go of their propaganda pamphlet.

JohnnyZTS says:

Re: Boy, I sue wish

Just droped in to see Cleverboy’s barrage on music lovers. Hmmm… I wonder where his money comes from. As a poor working class guy who has limited resources and happens to love music of all types, I am going to get it from whatever source can provide it for the lowest price. AOM happens to be where it’s at now but where ever it happens to be I will find it. I dont care much about RIAA or Russian law or even the musicians. Its the sound, the quality and the price. I will neve pay for a CD again but I will spend a few hundred bucks on music. Let the sound dealers split up the profits whatever they may be. I’ll still be listening.

me, myself, and I says:

wow

I find it amazing that a company like allofmp3 is running into so much trouble. Here is a company SELLING music, not giving it away for free. Maybe I missed something, but has any proof been made public that they were not following the law of THEIR land? I very well could have missed that article. If there is no proof of it, then they were completely legal in their country and should not be harrassed. Shouldn’t the RIAA go after the Russian government to cough up the cash that allofmp3 says it wanted, tried, or did pay them? Since they seem to be all about the money anyway. I think that it is more about allofmp3 not gouging it’s customers enough for the RIAA’s liking. Even Itunes charges too much I think. After the initial cost of recording, it is an extremely low cost venture to sell these files. It should be 10 cents a song not 99. They, just like most corporations just want to bleed all the money they can from us. Again, I could be wrong as I am no expert. Does it really cost a dollar or more to copy a digital file? No.

wyly says:

the correct model

It seems obvious that the correct model is one in which the cost is low enough that the vast majority of consumers can afford music and feel they are receiving good value for their money and yet high enough to properly compensate the artists and provide a profit to the distributors. Would that not be a form of subscription service operating on a low cost high volume model?

Anonymous Coward says:

if i’m a private seller selling my cd at a place like amazon, why can’t i sell the mp3 versions of the songs of my used cd along with my cd… you can dl the mp3s asap, and then wait for your used cd to arrive in the mail. isnt that the same as if i got the cd and ripped them for my own backup? isnt this very close to the average price on AOM?

dunno says:

Why isnt it noted that there are several russian music sites that are virtual mirrors of allofmp3 (although the sites arent as well put managed) that sell music for the same deal and are able to handle payments? mp3stor, for example, but I bet there are a dozen. When allofmp3 goes, you’ll see these sites take over. But right now – they seem to get NO publicity at all. Strange.

Moogle says:

Not useless for the RIAA

The RIAA is paid by record companies, all they really have to do to keep getting paid is to appear to be doing due diligence at ‘stopping’ piracy.

In effect, they have no real interest in *actually* stopping piracy as long as they can throw some numbers around. It’s really all the better for them to create a larger market of people to sue.

E says:

more pissing and moaning

I’ve dropped reading slashdot for the childish rants and pissing that goes on. Clearly there are continued RIAA rants here, with the persistent whining that the entertainment industry needs to change it’s business model. That they are finally suing allofmp3.com is just another blip that allows you to bitch about them not using a business model you want.

After you complain about it every other day for over a year, it’s really no longer news unless the RIAA and the entertainment industry actually changes it’s business model.

Otherwise, it’s just more bias-babble and whining.

Gee, is engadget the only tech news left?

[there I feed better…. now to find a quick way of skipping all techdirt articles with RIAA in them…]

Yossarian says:

International Availability

“Other than crappy pop music new releases, I would argue that a large percentage of the music catalog on AOM can be bought used from amazon, half.com, etc.. from private individuals who wish to sell their personal property, a physical cd…”

Not true if you’re trying to buy music by artists who don’t have record deals in the US, or whose deals in the US require changing their songs or cutting music from their albums.

Even on legit purchasing sites (Beatport, for one), if you try to buy something that’s not licensed for sale in the US, it checks your credit card’s billing address and then refuses to sell you the song.

I’m not sure what their logic is. Sure, we’d love to take your money, but you live on the wrong side of the ocean. Sorry!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: International Availability

yes that is a valid point, however i think on average most of the downloads on sites like AOM are for music that is licensed in the US by artists who are signed to some affiliated labels. I think that is the real lure and popularity of AOM… Its a fairly small niche and I think people looking for the kind of music you are describing already know where to get it

AKS says:

Guys please do understand that AlOfMP3.com is 100% legal in Russia. The Russian agency that licenses songs ALLOWS allofmp3 to sell these songs because IT IS ITS JOB. If the RIAA does not want this to happen they need to pull out all of their music out of Russia, since as long as they are in Russia they are under the patronage of the Russian licensing agency. Of course they wont pull out of the Russian market, its too huge. The problem is that RIAA is greedy, any of you SMARTASS morons who protect this stupid law suit need to understand that RIAA is only pissed at allofmp3 because of its low prices and not because of its legallity, RIAA wants a bigger cut/higher prices.
The reason why they dont accept the money from allofmp3 is because if they do, they pretty much accept that allofmp3.com is a legit service. SO either get out of the Russian market and declare that any song produced by RIAA labels is not to be played in Russia at all, or accept that the Russian law allows this type of a licensing and take the percentage of sales and shut the fuck up.

World IS NOT GOVERNED BY US LAW, New York lawsuit is stupid because it has 0 jurisdiction over Russia. BitTorrent downloads are illegal but alofmp3 is whole another game since its is legally licensed in that country, PERIOD.

P.S. Oh and that example with stealing a couch is soooooo idiotic. Ey genius you are not stealing a couch, you are selling a couch that your NEIGHBOR ALLOWED you to sell and then when he comes back to collect the money he is not happy with the price you sold it, besides you sell it in a FOREIGN market where that $2.99 is NOT THAT CHEAP. Paying 2.99 for a Russian is same as if people in US payed $9.99 per album. Well welcome to globalization RIAA, you want international markets, you got it, just remember that each market has its own price

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

World IS NOT GOVERNED BY US LAW

The world is governed by the strong. So US law applies wherever the US military is strong enough to enforce it. That’s why the Russians will eventually comply with US law: they are not militarily strong enough to refuse. The world will indeed be governed by US law.

Cowardly Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

The world is governed by the strong. So US law applies wherever the US military is strong enough to enforce it. That’s why the Russians will eventually comply with US law: they are not militarily strong enough to refuse. The world will indeed be governed by US law.

Funny. That was a nice way to make fun of all the American-centric gun-toting couch-warriors.

Tonio says:

allofmp3.com

Someone mentioned that there any many other similar Russian sites out there, including mp3stor.com.

True – one I have used with good results is legalsounds.com. Not quite as good as allofmp3, but not bad at all and easy to pay – but allofmp3 seem to have solved that problem, haven’t they ? There’s always a way of getting an outstanding product to the marketplace, no matter how overpriced cartels try to prevent it.

Xorcist (user link) says:

Re: allofmp3.com

FUCK THOSE ASSHOLES. THEY ARE SELLING PIRATED MUSIC. THANKS TO THOSE FUCKS, THEY’VE JUST ADDED TO THE FRUSTRATION OF ONCE AGAIN MY ALREADY MEASLY INCOME BEING FUCKED OVER BY ASSFUCKS LIKE THIS.

WHY DIDN’T THOSE CRAZY KIDS WHO KILLED LIKE WHAT 30 PEOPLE WITH HAMMERS KILL THE PEOPLE WHO MADE THIS SITE AS THEY WOULD DESERVE IT.

FUCKING ASSHOLES.

Anonymous Coward says:


The world is governed by the strong. So US law applies wherever the US military is strong enough to enforce it. That’s why the Russians will eventually comply with US law: they are not militarily strong enough to refuse. The world will indeed be governed by US law.

This has absolutely nothing to do with military might. It has to do with economic might. And with that, I grudgingly agree with you, atleast in this case.

However. I will bet dollars to doughnuts that if the RIAA is successful at shutting this site down, 1) there will be dozens more to replace it, and 2) eventually someone in the government of Iran or North Korea will think of this, and open a site like AOMP3 THERE.

Then the RIAA will have run into a brick wall. And US consumers will need to make a tough choice. . . . .

BIG J in St. Louis says:

Napster killed, will allofmp3 be next

It’s crazy. The recording industry didn’t like Napster, shut them down. Now there is a site like allofmp3.com and the record companies don’t like them anymore and they actually charge for albums.

Pretty amazing!

It’s like if you can’t pay 9.99 for an albumn then I guess you shouldn’t buy music. I thought the only way these guys could make money was to tour. Wow what a concept.

Seege (user link) says:

Rehash, but whatev

Everything that can be said about AOM’s quasi-legality and the RIAA’s ludicrosity is old hat at this point.

This lawsuit, once successful, may not cause a complete shutdown of the service in Russia, but it will serve as legal/moral justification for the RIAA to pursue further action against Stateside users and ISPs. Yes, if AOM does go, other sites will spring up, as always happens–and the RIAA will have legal precedent to name them in subsequent suits. They won’t be able to wipe out every such outlet, but they will have succeeded in making it harder for the end user to download music at a reasonable price for a while. It’s just playing strings on the deck of the Titanic, running out the clock until that inevitable day when the bloated major labels and their Association die out like the dinosaurs they are.

Woody says:

MP3Stor.com is wrong...

While I am no fan of the RIAA, I am also a independent musician who puts out my music and others on a small microlabel….

My recent cd was quickly made available by someone via BitTorrent. MP3Stor.com apparently downloaded it and has made the whole cd available for less than $2.

I wrote them to remove the album but basically got a blackmailing “sign our agreement” email. I do not make a single penny from them selling my work.

While I think the actions of the corporate music industry and the RIAA are pretty unforgivable, any action against the Russian pirates will help me from basically being robbed of my hard-earned income.

Slarti Bartfast says:

F*&% RIAA

EVERYBODY stop buying music from these overpriced vendors for 6 months (itunes, stores etc…). Then watch them panic and whine. Within 3 months they would be out of business.

It is our fault. They name the price and we buy. Stop buying period. All of us have enough music, we can live without the new stuff for a while. Frankly most of the new stuff is crap, especially on the albums (1 good song and 10 bad ones). U2 made millions selling on this model – thank god for the Singles album.

Eventually they will price the product correctly and reap bigger rewards in volume. If they don’t they will die and someone else will replace them.

Grumnut says:

Interesting feedback on site

It’s quite interesting to read some of the feedback on the blog on their site. Basically people don’t believe a bunch of computer files are worth the same as a pressed CD with artwork, but some have commented they would be willing to pay about USD $6.00 per album for mp3 through the site (with royalties going to artists). Surely the RIAA should take this as gold and sign the site up as quickly as possible.

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