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March 07, 2005

What Good Is A Copyright If You Can't Enforce it?

Allofmp3News.com:  It seems that Russian prosecutors for the moment have declined to file charges against Allofmp3.com.  No big deal, download stores are a dime a dozen, right? The kicker that's gotten everyone's attention of late is the fact that the music download service sells songs for pennies - often without permission from the copyright holders!  Despite the legal tightrope the company is balancing on, the service wants users to pre-pay for the music services before you order and download music from the site. The Russian site says it has legal rights to sell the music in the form of licenses from the Russian Multimedia and Internet Society - license # LS-3лю-05-03. However, record labels say that the group does not have the authority to grant distribution rights to their music. So which is it?  At this point it's just 'he said she said' until litigation is instigated ....

According to the article, "The tussle over AllofMP3.com highlights the difficulties that copyright companies are having around the world, faced with myriad versions of laws that are often imperfectly adapted to new Internet distribution models." Despite all the controversy, I really like the idea of giving the consumer such a wide choice (since there really isn't a de-facto industry standard yet) and supporting multiple file types (i.e. .mp3, .wma, Ogg, Mpc, FLAC, Monkey Audio, Mpeg4 and AAC.) The company also offers superior sound quality with audio bitrates starting at 128 Kbps going all the way up to uncompressed CD quality at 1,411 Kbps.  This allows you to choose the quality that best suits your needs. Perhaps the big 4 labels and the independents of the world could learn something valuable from this model, because once you rip a CD and you have it in digital format on a hard drive, it really isn't that hard to offer multiple formats and bitrates...is it??

Posted by Todd in Legal | Permalink


So is it legal in the US or not? If I download from the site am I breaking any Federal laws by which I'm subject to fines and even imprisonment?

Posted by: Rafael | Jan 29, 2006 11:56:20 AM

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