Friday Ends Russian MP3 Era

Hark, the end of the era of legally purchased MP3’s may be near. Tuesday Friaday could mark the end of as we know (and love) it. The service becomes subject to new rules dictated by Russian strong man Vladimir Putin on September 1st and the impact of these rules may result in sweeping changes for all Russian MP3 sites. While I’m no lawyer and I dont claim to understand the nuances of Russian Law, a cursory reading of the updated rules governing’s service seems to indicate that rights holders may have been given the right to individually license content to Given all the rabid FUD music industry mouthpieces have been spreading its unlikely they’ll offer any sort of licensing agreement and this would end sale of international content by the site.

If your not up-to-date on the musical goodness that is, I’ve mentioned it here and here and here. A seemingly independent, but clearly pro-AllofMP3 FAQ is here. I’m a fan of these services for a bunch of different reasons: first, they operate completely within the law, sure its Russian law, but its legal nonetheless. Second, they experiment with a new models for selling digital downloads. Third, they sell what people want to buy (DRM free MP3’s) at a price that people can accept (about twelve cents a song). High-priced business consultants might refer to this as an “innovative synergy that leverages a customer-centric disruptive technology resulting in a market expanding paradigm shift.” Of course you “civilians” (thats the consultants term for non-consultants), might just call it a “no-brainer“.

Back in July an amendment was passed which specifically targeted’s business operations, largely in response to international pressure fueled by politicians employed by the copyright mafia (IFPI, RIAA, BPI). According to the new regs, rights holders will have the exclusive right to cut deals directly with sites to offer their products for sale. For those legally inclined you can read though Articles 16, 37,38,39 all of which cover “making music available to the public”. An apocalyptic scenario in which labels refuse to license their product to Russian MP3 sites and as a result all the sites go away, is highly unlikely. The only evidence I have for this is that the copyright mafia havent been trumpeting the impending demise of the Russian evil doers of evil to every newspaper and blogger on the planet. I know its flimsy but its all I got.
So if you have an account on one of the Russian MP3 sites then make sure you zero out your balance by the first. While there are no indications that they will cease to exist its better safe then sorry. And if this is the last of I shall not be the only one to morn its passing.

Update: ML, Thanks for helping to reorient my time horizon and date calculations. 9/1/06 isnt the same as 8/29/06, got it.


5 Responses to Friday Ends Russian MP3 Era

  1. Jim says:

    Well, it seemed to be still up and runnin on 9/5, so hopefully it will continue to operate in its current form for some time to come. The RIAA needs to get its head out of its ass once and for all and realize that thier actions are only taking more and more money away from the artists they claim to represent. Instead of performing market research and performing cost/benefit, break-even, and trending analysis to come up with a reasonable price point for selling mp3’s online, they use thire resources to shut down anyone who IS coming up with good alternatives. Consumers will NEVER buy enough tracks at 99, 89, or even 79 cents to generate the income they think they should be getting. I would suspect that if iTunes and Rhapsody started selling tracks for closer to 25-30 cents per track, thier revenues would skyrocket! I will not even look at those sites until they approach that prices point or lower, and I’m pretty certain there are millions out there of the same mind set.

    On a side note, I did notice that is effectively done for. Last nite I surfed through thier site and found that they have essentially no major/signed artists left on thier site. Plus, the cost per song is now 8 RUR (about 35-40 cents). I can’t see anyone buying unknown artist;s tracks for that price, so I think that site will be shut down within a few weeks. Luckily I only had about $4 left on my balance there.

  2. Mikey says:

    okay what do we see now? it is still legal to buy mp3 at russian yeah? the law is the law. i’m personally sick of the itunes prices and drm. i believe russians show worldwide how should be mp3 saling biz done. in the meantime is no longer accepting payment. so i do recommend y’all to check another one site:

    it seems this site is gonna challenge and the others!
    and one more thing before y’all pul ur gunz out: u can pay by paypal there and sleep well 😀

    letme know if you like it or hate it

  3. songboom says:

    AllOfMP3 is down now, but that doesn’t mean its the end of the Russian MP3 Era: there are still plenty of alternatives. There is a huge list of sites similar to AllOfMP3 at that explains the differences between them all with a side-by-side comparison. Although it was sad to see AllOfMP3 go, it’s certainly not the end of cheap music!

  4. Steve says:

    These sites basically steal from the copyright owner. NONE of the money EVER finds it’s way back to the artist. If you’re willing to download music without giving the artist their fair share, why pay for it at all? The choice seems clear to me: either rip the artist off, and get your tunes from demonoid or similar, or use a legal service which pays royalties. All *you* are doing is lining the pockets of the Russian mafia!

  5. Rengenx says:

    Мое ИМХО, что не стоит писать такие посты вообще. Никогда

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