Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Join the Dark Side

I'm late getting to it but I finally got around to signing up for ALLOFMP3 last night. I held off because I didn't feel like handing over my credit card info to a Russian business of dubious nature. A friend who uses the service finally talked me into it when he said he figured the Russian mob already had his card info anyway (now there's a convincing argument!). I love the legal lingo on the site:
Users are responsible for any usage and distribution of all materials received from AllOFMP3.com. This responsibility depends on the local legislation of each user's country of residence. AllOFMP3.com's Administration does not keep up with the laws of different countries and is not responsible the actions of non-Russian users.
i.e. "I'm a legitimate business man! What people do with this service is none of my business."

I should note though that it does appear that the company does make royalty payments, according to the Russian rate schedule of course. This does pose an interesting situation though, and it contains echos of the whole prescription importation controversy. I did pay for the music, though not enough in the eyes of the RIAA. So if I buy a legitimate CD overseas and fly back with it, do I have to pay them the difference? An even better question: if I go to Japan and buy an audio CD for $40, will the RIAA pay me the difference if it is sold cheaper in the states? I'm sure this works into the logic the RIAA uses to strictly go after people who share music on peer-to-peer networks, rather than the downloaders. Those cases are tenuous enough as they are (no case has ever gone before the courts), they'd not dare tempt fate by trying to go after a downloader who paid for the music (though at $2-$3 an album, even that might be a stretch).

3 comments:

RT said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
RT said...

Let's try this again...

Dang, Boy! You got some good post going on over here! (Defined as: Stuff I can relate to, lol.)

That's a good point you make about the price difference. I wonder how they would conceivably deal with that... And I wonder what they would like to do with secondhand CD stores.

As you probably know by now, I am a peer-to-peer network advocate (when used within reason.) Did I read that right? Are there no documented cases of prosecution against sharers/downloaders? (In my mind, sharers and downloaders are one and the same. It's always been my experience that no one will let you download without having at least a couple of songs to share.)

Evil Sandmich said...

I'm hard pressed to find a link at the moment, but the last I read all the cases that have been brought against sharers have been settled out of court. Supporters of P2P claim that is because the case against them is weak, while RIAA supporters say it's because their cases are so strong. My guess would be that if the RIAA could prove definitively that sharing took place, it would be a strong case; but since their is a big technical piece of the puzzle, there's a good chance the case would fall apart if it was pursued (One case of note was a man in England who was charged with having kiddie porn on his system. He was able to show that a virus could have put those images on his system). As well, when the RIAA has gone after downloaders, they go after people sharing lots of files (I heard +1000, but I'd imagine at least several hundred) in order to make sure it is a strong case.

Nothing has ever been done to anyone for downloading music. If they were lucky, the RIAA might be able to prove that someone downloaded one song (it would be a REAL pain to track someone's multiple downloads and then make sure they got the whole song, etc.), and then they'd run the risk that the person actually owned the song.