RIAA Drops Allofmp3 Lawsuit; Pretends Mp3Sparks Doesn't Exist

from the maybe-if-we-ignore-our-problems... dept

It’s been quite some time since we heard about Allofmp3, the Russian online music download store that offered extremely low prices on DRM-free downloads (you even got to pick your format). The company insisted that it was legal in Russia, and had all the appropriate licenses. Multiple times, the company was brought to court in Russia, and every time, it was found to be legitimate. In fact, the company even tried to pay royalties for the music it sold, but the recording industry refused to accept the payments.

However, the entertainment industry had US diplomats lean on Russia, claiming that if it didn’t shut down the site, the US would block Russia’s admittance into the WTO. So, eventually, Russia did shut down the site through somewhat questionable means. Of course, within minutes of it being shutdown, the company reappeared under the name Mp3Sparks. In fact, Allofmp3.com accounts worked just fine on Mp3Sparks. And, of course, there are a dozen or so other Russian online download stores that also offer the same sort of deal (and all of which are playing by Russian copyright laws).

For some reason, though, Mp3Sparks just hasn’t received nearly as much attention as Allofmp3, and it seems like The Pirate Bay has taken on the role of “public enemy number 1” for the recording industry. So, it should come as little surprise that the RIAA has dropped its lawsuit against Allofmp3.com, saying that the company is now defunct, while totally ignoring Mp3Sparks.

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Companies: allofmp3, mp3sparks, riaa

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Comments on “RIAA Drops Allofmp3 Lawsuit; Pretends Mp3Sparks Doesn't Exist”

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43 Comments
SteveD says:

The futility of it all...

Those who fight the legal fight don’t want to wake up and admit to the world that as long as public demand exists, these sorts of sites will exist. Even the sites that aren’t legal in Russia (like TPB) are really just managed by a small number of admins regulating a much larger community.

You can take out the admins, but ultimately the community will just move on to the next big thing (or in the case of Oink, some bright sparks will step forward to start their own).

It’s a supply/demand thing.

Like the black market as long as the demand exists then the supply will be there, but unlike drugs or guns there’s little reason not to forge a business model that will produce a legitimate supply and compete directly with the pirates.

Until then every legal victory (imagined or otherwise) will do nothing but disillusion the public further.

Ima Fish (profile) says:

Re: The futility of it all...

“You can take out the admins, but ultimately the community will just move on to the next big thing…”

Absolutely correct. The RIAA first took notice of downloading music with Napster. It sued Napster out of existence. However, true P2P programs such as WinMX, which allowed you to download the same content from multiple sources, came out of the rubble which made sharing even easier. Suddenly, people were not sharing mere songs because with the new technology you could easily share entire CDs.

Of course those programs were eventually shut down, but then out of that rubble came Bittorrent. It is so efficient that you no longer merely download a song, or even a CD. Now people are downloading entire discographies. Not to mention full length HD movies.

I’m actually looking forward to bittorrent sites being shut down. I’m dying to see what will come next.

SteveD says:

Re: Re: The futility of it all...

You’re right; every time the industry has managed to bring the hammer down on Piracy it’s simply evolved into something else. It’s almost like the more pressure that’s brought to bear on Pirates the faster they innovate.

And that’s very, very strange.

Copyright law is supposed to protect and promote innovation, yet somehow Piracy innovates faster then commercial business can keep up by completely ignoring it.

MadJo (profile) says:

Re: Accepting payment

It also demonstrated the hypocrisy of the RIAA.

And another upside was, if they had made a deal and accepted the money, they would have had a pretty strong player in the field to make better deals with Apple iTunes to name just one example of legitimate sources that the recording industry was having problems with
(Remember the hubbub about Apple’s unwillingness to give in to RIAA’s demands for variable pricing in iTunes?)

Jed says:

Re: Re: Can't pay mp3sparks?

I didn’t look too hard, but the direct method of payment to mp3sparks is shutoff on their side. And since Wikipedia stated it as though it was a universal problem and there was no way to pay, I gave up. Evidently somebody needs to update Wikipedia.

Yes “Piracy” (if it can be called that) is a waste of their time. But they don’t see it that way. However, I can see how they feel mp3sparks is a waste now.

Lee says:

MP3Sparks.com is DOA

I’ve been an AllofMP3 customer for a few years and yes, I was able to move my account to MP3Sparks. For a while it accepted only MasterCard but now it does not allow any payments. This sucks because it was hands-down the best source for music. The odd thing is that the site appears to be working fine. It has updated music almost everyday yet none of the payment types work. I only have 23 cents left in myaccount and I’d LOVE to upload more money!

The great think about these AWESOME music sites is that you can pick your format, bitrate and using the AllTunes app, you can download a CD at a time. I’d pay iTunes prices for this kind of service, selection and no DRM. I now use MP3Fiesta. It is lame compared to MP3Sparks/AllofMP3 but at least it takes my money!

johnny5k (profile) says:

moving on

I used allofmp3.com for a long time; then mp3Sparks til my balance was gone. At that point I went looking, and found there are plenty more that still accept US payments. I don’t know if the RIAA is going after them (not that I’ve heard of), but they’re still working right now. If you’re worried about giving up your CC number to a Russian site (you should be) use a one-time-use number most credit cards provide, to be safer. You can even get one through PayPal. http://www.Gomusic.ru is $0.15 – $0.20 and has most of what I’m looking for. Mp3Fiesta.com is also good, but recently raised prices from $0.10 to $0.20. Those bastards! But I still find it’s worth it just to not have to rip my CD’s myself. 😉

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