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AllofMP3 Given Legal OK...-ish

It's being reported that the Russian music site, AllofMP3, has been cleared of breaching copyright laws. Well, not entirely. Moscow prosecutors have concluded that the site has no licences for what it's doing - but Russian law doesn't cover digital downloads.

It appears the site has been saved because none of the illegal music is distributed as it's held. Instead, songs are encoded on-the-fly as users choose which of a myriad of file formats they want them in. That includes MP3s, WMAs, OGG and many other types at all sorts of bitrates. Particularly controversial is the fact that it contains tracks from many catalogues not available elsewhere, as well as the price. While services such as iTunes charge 79p or 79c per track, AllofMP3's pricing is based on the file size you download - at the rate of 2c per 1MB of music. This effectively means you can download an album at decent quality for around $1.

Russian laws, the prosecutors apparently noted, were written to cover physical piracy of items like CDs and DVDs. They didn't consider the possibility of online piracy when they were writing the laws, which effectively means the site can continue operating until such time as Russian law changes to cover digital downloads.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industries had urged authorities to take action against the site. Russia's Tass news agency reported a spokesman for the IFPI saying: "We have received no confirmation of any decision and we do not expect it for some time. "However if it is true that the prosecutor has not taken the case this would be very disappointing considering the blatant and large-scale infringement that continues to take place. If these reports are confirmed we will take the case further."

View: AllofMP3

View: BBC News coverage

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