You can’t legislate morality, nor can you litigate it, but that hasn’t
stopped the recording industry from giving it the old Mitch Bainwol try.
And so on Wednesday, The
Recording Industry Association of America, on behalf of Sony BMG,
Universal Music, EMI, and Warner Music filed suit against
, a digital music storefront that peddles songs for
pennies thanks to a loophole in Russian law (see “The RIAA’s going to have an aneurysm when it catches
wind of this …
“). Filed in New York against Moscow-based
Mediaservices, which owns AllofMP3 and allTunes.com, the suit alleges
that AllofMP3
illegally sells copyrighted content at steep discounts without proper
licenses or royalty payments
. AllofMP3.com is a “notorious online
black market … a poster child for Internet music piracy,” the suit
argues. Its “entire business… amounts to nothing more than a massive
infringement of plaintiffs’ exclusive rights under the Copyright Act and
New York law.” It seeks punitive and compensatory damages in the amount
of $150,000 per copyright infringement – trillions of dollars,
given the RIAA’s claim that more than 11 million songs were downloaded
illegally from the site between June through October alone. The labels
will likely never see that money, of course, given the practical
difficulties of enforcing U.S. law in Russia. That said, the action may
prod Moscow to finally drop the hammer on the company whose continued
operation threatens its long-sought entry into the World Trade
Organization (see “
RIAA awarded honorary membership in WTO



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  • A US cabal filing suit in US court against a Russian company? Good luck with that.

  • John

    Good investment blog at http://ibooyah.com

  • I’m just guessing and IANAL, but I don’t think this is about getting money out of AllofMP3.com. Instead, I think it’s about getting a default judgment (I can’t imagine AllofMP3 actually trying to defend itself in NY), which in turn might be used to deter US companies from facilitating AllofMP3’s transactions. Of course, the site is likely to disappear if and when the Russian government decides to take its WTO obligations seriously. Already, other, similar Russian-based sites are popping up, so this may be yet another whack-a-mole mission for the major record labels….

  • Justin

    Considering allofmp3.com is run by the Russian mob, there could be some busy times ahead for fire departments, police, and coroners.

  • This is old news. Five cent downloads or less have been the norm in Russia for years. There is no real “active” enforcement of copyright laws per se, and only tacit compliance officially (especially involving any and all WTO concerns), providing one greases the right palms. Currently in vogue are a flood of Chinese made cell phones that are cheaper than the average liter of vodka. As someone who frequents the Russian music scene and tours same with frequency, there really is no point in actively attempting to “merch” any product while in Russia; it will be boolegged and out on the streets before my set is even over.

  • David

    The practicalities of enforcing US law on Russian companies aside, the RIAA’s claim of $150k per infringement (ie per song) is ridiculous. If the tunes were iPod downloads from Apple’s iTunes, they would be worth only about $11 million.