Tuesday, May 04, 2004

A bit on allofmp3.com 

So, you've probably already heard of allofmp3.com by now. A russian mp3 service with super-cheap prices based on the size of what you download. The kicker of course is the mention that you shouldn't download if your rights are not covered in the same way as the Russian laws. What that means in practice has been basically unknown, and the music labels have not commented yet.

Brad from Sellout Central has a little bit more information here. Aparantly Beetles albums are on the site, but the Beetles' estate has not authorized any online downloads. However, it turns out that Russia has an interesting facet to the laws.

They signed the Byrne international copyright agreement in 1973, but it was not retroactive. So basically anything in the world released before 1973 is considered public domain inside of Russia.

Obviously this doesn't apply to the US, where the copyright laws are much more stringent. However, what still remains up in the air is the material past 1973. Are any royalties being paid to anyone with the service? Is it legal even in Russia?

Anyway, I'm certainly not going to touch this thing until more is known. I suggest everyone else do the same. I mean if you are going to get music where the companies get nothing, you may as well use Kazaa. If the company actually is giving some money to companies for newer material, things get a bit more into moral grayness. I'll probalby just stick to stuff like Magnatune where it is all upfront and the artists are for sure getting decent $.

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