Russia Shuts Down Allofmp3, International Trade Can Now Resume
from the they're-working-for-you dept
The music industry has felt threatened by Allofmp3.com for quite some time. After all, a site delivering DRM-free music at a low cost is record labels' worst nightmare. The RIAA's always-intense lobbying efforts paid off when it got the US government to threaten Russia that unless it shut down the site, it wouldn't be admitted to the World Trade Organization. They've now gotten
what they paid for their wish, as Allofmp3.com has now been shut down, after pressure from the Russian government. But in a move to highlight the utter pointlessness of all of this, the company behind Allofmp3 -- which has shown little concern for the flap over the WTO -- has already set up another site, Mp3sparks.com, which appears nearly identical to Allofmp3. The company says it's setting aside 15 percent of its revenues to pay royalties to record labels, and is considering paying another 5 percent on top of that, even though it's not legally required to do so. Of course, that's not likely to matter to the labels, which sued Allofmp3, even though it had apparently been trying to pay royalties to them, in accordance with Russian law. The typically misguided approach of the music industry here is obvious, though it's more than a little annoying to see the recording industry (yet again) get the government to do its bidding -- particularly when the US government ignores the WTO on other matters, when it's convenient.