by Mike Masnick
Wed, Aug 29th 2007 6:33pm
With Allofmp3.com announcing that it plans to reopen the site now that (once again) the site has been found to be legal under Russian laws, it didn't take long for the RIAA... er... U.S. government to make its unhappiness clear. A spokesman for the U.S. Trade Representative has announced that if Allofmp3.com reopens, then Russia has kissed away its chance to join the WTO. This isn't all that surprising, given that the U.S. (at the urging of the RIAA) threatened Russia that it would keep the nation out of the WTO unless it shut down Allofmp3.com. Of course, it doesn't make much sense either. This is a private dispute between private entities. It doesn't seem reasonable for the US gov't to be getting involved. Secondly, as should now be quite clear, Allofmp3.com is operating legally under Russian laws. So it hasn't done anything wrong either. Just because some companies in the US don't like the fact that Allofmp3 has come up with a business model that customers actually like, it doesn't mean that the US gov't should ban Russia from the WTO. And, of course, this doesn't even begin to get into how ridiculous it is that the business model of a single small company should be the key factor in whether or not an entire country is allowed into the WTO. In the meantime, given how often the US has been ignoring the WTO over the Antigua online gambling case, perhaps the WTO should simply ignore the US on this one.
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