It seems that after months of slow economic starvation AllofMP3.com is finally no more. Over the last few years the IFPI and RIAA have mounted a sustained assault on the site, which followed the letter of Russian law, but sold music in a format (MP3) and for a price (cheap as hell) that the dying recording industry disliked. For the music industry this was a long, hard fight and their victory would be a whole lot sweeter if AllofMP3.com hadn’t already reopened under a different name. The new site called Mp3sparks, has all of the features and functionality you loved in Allofmp3.com. Your old Allofmp3.com username and password are supposed to work on Mp3sparks.com although it hasnt for me. Credit cards are still not accepted on the site but its unclear if thats due to the old credit card monopoly ban on ALLofMP3 or a simple technical glitch. Hopefully, MP3Sparks can fill the gap left by the hobbling (and now full closure of ALLofMP3.com) but until it gets credit card payments up I dont recommend you let your BitTorrent ratio’s slide.
The swash-buckling lads at the The Pirate Bay have started taking donations to buy a bankrupt, burnt-out, rusting hull in the North Sea off the coast of Britain called Sealand. The sheer audaciousness of the move is matched only by the opportunities it presents for the development and proliferation of new models in the sale and distribution of digital media, unfettered by the protectionist inclinations of dying industries. If the good folks at the Pirate Bay expand their plan and get the cash rich but time poor AllofMP3 involved it could usher in a new era of big media hand-wringing and headline worthy law suits.
Hark, the end of the era of legally purchased MP3’s may be near.
Tuesday Friaday could mark the end of AllofMP3.com 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 AllofMP3.com’s service seems to indicate that rights holders may have been given the right to individually license content to AllofMP3.com. Given all the rabid anti-AllofMp3.com 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. Read the rest of this entry »
Rejoice! The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) wants music lovers the world over to rest easy. In a display of grandstanding and showmanship not seen since P.T. Barnum, the BPI issue a grand proclamation of its own ineptitude. Here's the summary:
They wont sue consumers. Hooray!
But they are going to sue AllofMP3. Booo!
They wont sue customers of AllofMP3. Hooray!
But they do want to extend the copyright term to 100 years. Boooo!
They wont sue you for putting MP3's on your iPod. Hooray!
But they do want to dictate how Apple does business. Booo! Read the rest of this entry »
I've written a few post (here, here and here) where I was rather glowing about the the wonders of sites like AllofMP3 and MP3Sugar. I've been pretty glib about both the legal and security concerns around using these sites. A reader, dare I say rabid fan, wrote in to express her concern with my attitude and took me to task for the dearth of cautionary advice around providing sites like those with credit card and other personal information. In my defence, I'd assumed that no one needed me to tell them that putting their credit card information on quasi-legal Russian music sites might not be the most secure transaction they could conduct online, but apparently I was wrong. So here are two suggestions on how one can decrease the likely hood of the Russian mafiya using your credit card for Friday night Vodka binges. Read the rest of this entry »
The downtime experienced by the site seemed to dovetail Putin's call for stronger copyright protections and many (myself included) read ominous signs in it. However, it appears that it may have been mere coincidence. The site is back up and fully functioning. Sample and ordering have been restored and all is once again right with the world.
Updated: A shining example of the future of online music sales has gone ominously dark. AllofMP3, which has been the center of IFPI and RIAA ire, may have finally succumbed to the forces of complacency and stasis.
Last week, Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, declared in his state of the nation address, that in addition to having more babies and ending official corruption, Russia needed to get tough on piracy. Apparently, the irony of declaring a desire for innovation while promoting a legal statue that limits it was lost of Mr. Putin. утесы рационализаторства, Mr Putin, утесы рационализаторства!!! Alas, a few days after this speech, which included the quote "We must defend copyright inside the country. That is our obligation to our foreign partners" AllofMP3.com went dark.
The site now claims to be "down for maintenance" and the allTunes desktop client that worked with the AllofMP3.com service no longer functions. On the plus side, most of the other Russian MP3 downloading sites are still up and accepting new customers although I wouldnt recommend banking on their long term prospects.
Update: Reports of the death of AllofMP3 seem a bit premature. The site is back up with what seems to be reduced content. More to come.