The music download website whose activities threatened to scupper Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has been shut down.
Allofmp3.com, an VERY inexpensive pay-per-song downloading service/site, was closed without much fanfare recently. Reportedly, the Kremlin sought to end the United States’ criticism that Russia was failing to clamp down on music and video “piracy.”
Ironically, the site (and company) was operating entirely within Russian law and was complying fully with Russian copyright regulations. Rather than Russia changing its copyright laws to be more “in line” with that of the USA, Russia simply shut down the site.
Last week some customers found that that allofmp3.com wouldn’t load on their computers, while others were met with a “closed for maintenance” message. Reportedly, a former employee confirmed that the site had been shut down under pressure from the Russian authorities.
An alternative site (run by the same Moscow company) has already emerged: mp3Sparks.com is legal under Russian law, using many of the same arguments advanced in support of allofmp3.com.