Tuesday, August 28, 2007

AllofMP3 Gearing Up For Comeback

Screen shot of AllOfMP3.com as of February 2007 (Source: Wikipedia)
Look out World Trade Organization, AllofMP3 has big plans for the rest of 2007

Down-but-not-out Russian MP3 dealer AllofMP3.com is gearing up for a comeback, according to an official announcement on the beleaguered company’s “music news” blog. In an unexplained twist, however, the announcement is dated August 31, 2007, and is identical to a similar posting to the company’s official news blog, dated July 24.

The site was originally shut down on July 6, after the Russian government alledgedly caved in to pressure from the United States government and the World Trade Organization. Shortly thereafter, it reappeared as MP3Sparks.com, and even allowed AllofMP3.com users to log in using their old username.

Over the years, AllofMP3.com faced considerable heat for offering DRM-free MP3 downloads under the guise of a “blanket license,” in which it claims to be offering legally -- albeit under “questionable interpretations” -- within Russian law. The music industry contends that AllofMP3.com had never licensed any of the music it sells, despite the fact that it has consistently refused royalties offered to it via the Russian royalties processor ROMS.

Then, in December 2006, the four largest record labels – Warner Bros Records, Capitol Records, UMG Recordings, and Arista Records – filed a whopping $1.65 trillion lawsuit in New York against AllofMP3.com’s parent company MediaServices, claiming $150,000 in damages per infringement.

Prior to the New York suit, AllofMP3.com was already knee deep in legal and financial woes:

The announcement mentioned no specific dates regarding AllofMP3’s return, however Russian courts had recently acquitted AllofMP3.com’s previous owner and determined that the company was operating within Russian law.


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