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Author Topic: down, but not out  (Read 3117 times)

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    • down, but not out
« on: 03. July 2007., 21:38:15 »
After a long twilight struggle, is no more (sort of). The Russian government has finally bowed to international pressure and shut the site down. The move came as a condition for Russia's entry into the World Trade Organization: an offer that Russia could not refuse. The government agreed to modify its laws by June 1 of this year in order to make the activities of AllOfMP3 illegal, and the changes have now gone into effect a month later. As of today, the site's URL resolves to an error... which means that users will have to type in a new URL to get the same service.
Shortly after's disappearance, the site's owners launched a new, nearly identical music site called MP3Sparks makes all the same claims about paying royalties to Russian royalty collection agencies as AllOfMP3 did and states that all of its activities are legal. Additionally, anyone who previously had an account with AllOfMP3 can use the same account information on MP3Sparks; the new site is clearly just a cosmetic makeover of the old.
The saga continues

The US government has been dogging Russia about AllOfMP3 for years now, even going so far as to place the site at the top of its "notorious markets" list. After the WTO made its offer, Russia enacted new legislation that outlawed the site's questionable interpretations of copyright law and threatened its owners with jail time. Some have been skeptical that—Russia being Russia—nothing would come of the new laws and that the site would continue on as it always had.

After Russia formally outlawed the site, major credit card companies like Visa and MasterCard stopped processing payments to the site. Even the popular payment processing company PayPal stopped handling payments to AllOfMP3 after being pressured by the music industry. However, that didn't stop voucher sites from popping up that allowed customers to purchase gift certificates to AllOfMP3 that contained codes that they could use on the site instead. In May of this year, UK police had arrested and shut down one major voucher operation in Europe, while several smaller ones continued on.

With still in operation but under a new name, one wonders if the Russian government will now have to go after MP3Sparks in order to ensure its entry into the WTO. US officials are undoubtedly unhappy about the new site, but perhaps it's still new enough to evade their radars for now. But if Russia's new laws did indeed make AllOfMP3's activities illegal, MP3Sparks surely must face the same fate eventually.
ars tehnica
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Samker's Computer Forum - down, but not out
« on: 03. July 2007., 21:38:15 »


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