Prosecutors Consider Allofmp3.com Action
February 22, 2005
is a Russian-based digital music retailer, popular amongst file sharers who have become disillusioned by fake files and lawsuits. The site also draws consumers who are ready to buy content online, but want greater flexibility than offered by RIAA-sanctioned services.
In addition, the site does not pay the royalties set by the music industry, so high quality MP3 files can be bought at heavily discounted prices.
Offering DRM-free tracks in a choice of file sizes and audio quality, the service provided by Allofmp3.com gives choice and flexibility, unlike industry-authorized services such as iTunes.
The site claims the music is made available under license from the Russian Multimedia and Internet Society, hence is legal under current Russian copyright legislation. As requested by the law, royalties are paid to the relevant authorities in Russia.
On the other hand, the music industry claim the site is only legal due to outdated Russian copyright law, which was not designed with the Internet in mind.
Last year, IFPI Russia’s legal adviser, Vladimir Dragunov, conceded, “Because of these loopholes we don’t have much chance of succeeding if we attack these companies who are using music files on the Internet under current Russian laws.”
Despite this, the IPFI have just announced that on February 8, the Computer Crimes unit of Moscow City Police formally passed the results of a criminal investigation to the Moscow City Prosecutor’s office.
The IPFI also put in a complaint on behalf of their members on the same day.
The prosecutors have 16 days left to decide whether to proceed with a criminal prosecution. It is unclear what will happen if that time expires.
Questioned about the complexity of the law surrounding Allofmp3.com, London-based Adrian Strain, Director of Communications for the IPFI, responded with this statement to Slyck:
“There is no provision in the Russian law that would allow allofmp3 to use our members' sound recordings in its service without authorisation. The law is clear. The reproduction right in Russia is the exclusive right of the phonogram producer. The sale of a copy of a sound recording online clearly involves the reproduction of the sound recording, and this activity therefore requires the consent of the phonogram producer. IFPI’s members have not licensed or authorized in any manner allofmp3 to use their rights in its service.”