New Russian Law May Make Life Difficult For Allofmp3.com
from the legal-pressure dept
A year ago, Russian authorities investigated Allofmp3.com and found that the company was not violating local laws. As the site's owners have claimed from the beginning, they found a bit of a legal loophole in licensing the ability to sell music online from Russian rights' agencies. However, as Russia tries to join the WTO, the US (and its friends in the entertainment industry) have made it clear they will block Russia's attempt to join unless they shut down Allofmp3 and similar sites. Luckily Russia passed just such a law a couple years ago... though it didn't go into effect until just last week. It could present trouble for Allofmp3, as it threatens those who offer unauthorized downloads with five years in jail, basically setting the punishment terms on the equivalent level of selling stolen physical goods. Of course, it's not entirely clear how worried Allofmp3 should be. Another story on the law suggests that the Russian parliament may already want to change the law -- though, it's not clear how the new law will impact Allofmp3. In the meantime, though, the recording industry continues to focus on the wrong thing. Talking about this new law, it focuses on how Russian internet sales are way too low, because of the low prices of Allofmp3, rather than how it could learn from the site about how (a) people are willing to pay for un-protected MP3 files and (b) how they're much more willing to pay when the prices are a much more reasonable price than what the industry is used to charging (both of which counteract claims by the industry that there's no way to fight "piracy" and that DRM is necessary).