by Mike Masnick
Fri, Oct 19th 2007 4:05pm
We recently wrote about how the US gov't has been saying repeatedly that it won't let Russia into the WTO if Allofmp3 comes back to life. This does seem rather ridiculous for a variety of reasons. After all, within Russia, the company has been found to be legal. And, secondly, it's not as if the US is in the WTO's good graces after ignoring the WTO's ruling on online gambling. If the WTO really wanted to punish the US for ignoring that issue, why not ignore the US's pleas to keep Russia out of the WTO itself? In the meantime, there's a bizarre statement in an article discussing Rep. Howard Berman once again saying that Russia needs to stop Allofmp3.com if it wants into the WTO. The article discusses how Russia has been slowly changing its laws following all this pressure from the US, and under the new laws, Allofmp3 may now be considered illegal. Yet, rather than focus on how it was the change of laws that made a previously legal service suddenly illegal, the article notes that "those legal changes could confirm what record companies have believed all along--that the Russian music stores are illegal." That seems rather bizarre, doesn't it? If the law gets changed, that doesn't confirm what's been said all along at all. It actually confirms the opposite. That the services were perfectly legal until a bunch of protectionist politicians who represent districts where the entertainment industry is based, bullied a foreign country into changing its laws to protect outdated business models.
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