We’ve previously written about the problems facing Russia’s AllofMP3. First, due to pressure from the RIAA, credit card companies blacklisted the site. Then the RIAA sued it. Now it appears the RIAA’s battle was for naught.

Torrent Freak – July 2, 2007:

AllOfMp3, the popular online music store, has been shut down by the Russian government. Pressure from the United States, and a refusal to enter the World Trade Organisation (WTO) convinced the Kremlin to take the website down for good.

Before the shutdown AllOfMP3 had nearly 6 million users who were able to download songs and albums for a fraction of the price from authorized alternatives such as the iTunes Store. MP3s were sold for $0.20 per song, or less.

It is not clear how effective the shutdown of AllOfMP3 will be. Most users will probably move to MP3sparks, a similar service with a similar setup, launched by the same company. This site is not illegal under Russian law because they use a different licensing model.

Here we go again!

  1. Jerk-Face says:

    The RIAA is stuck in physical pirate mode. I mean the old school pirate who sold music in physical form on street corners and flea markets. The RIAA would have those guys arrested and put in jail. Thus, they were unable to restart their operations until they got out. And it would put fear into others to keep them from doing the same.

    But in this new interconnected world, the RIAA doesn’t make the laws everywhere. (Despite giving it their best try.) They can’t simply go around like policemen and arrest whomever they wish. And even when they manage to shut one site down, more will pop up.

    This is the difference between fighting a war and fighting terrorism. The rules are completely different and the RIAA is simply not suited for this sort of battle..

  2. Genie says:

    Umm, the bottle was opened years ago. The RIAA and MPAA haven’t been able to stuff me back into it.

    The solution is simple, really. All they need to do is eliminate digital machines and the internet.

    Perhaps the RIAA will band with the MPAA, North Korea, Cuba, and Iran – and finally get the nuclear holocaust started. Of course, the internet was designed to survive such an event.

    If they rub my lamp, perhaps I can grant them 3 wishes of biological, chemical, and nuclear warfare on a global scale…

    Just trying to help…

  3. ECA says:

    I LOVe it…

  4. Mark Derail says:

    Have no fear ! It’s still there.

    If you had an account with AllOfMp3.com, you have one with MP3Sparks.com. Same login works, and your balance is carried over.

    So we’re still good !

  5. Lauren the Ghoti says:

    This promises to be an ongoing battle – hardcore, highly determined American greedheads and their lawyers play Whack-A-Mole with equally hardcore, equally determined Russian entrepreneurs. Make popcorn, get comfy.

  6. Jerk-Face says:

    4. “So we’re still good !”

    Yep, I just tried my old AllOfMp3 login and it works. It even carried my balance over. The RIAA must be seriously pissed!

  7. grog says:


    oh the irony is filthy rich!

    a company in the former soviet union teaching an american industry painful lessons in free market competition

    what the riaa is too blinded by greed to see is that people would love to buy their music legitimately, if only the price were right who knew if you charged lower prices like walmart, you could disrupt an entire industry?

  8. Mark Derail says:

    #5 I like that whack-a-mole analogy. It’s going to cost the RIAA heavily getting rid of each MP3 store that Russian company spawns.

    #7 I agree.

    I don’t mind paying 12$ US for a physical CD / Album that might have 12 songs + goodies (pictures, movie clips, etc)

    Effectively paying 1$ US per song, but getting physical media, that I can legally convert to MP3’s and use in my car or home stereo too.

    However, I totally DO NOT AGREE on paying that same 1$ US per song for a DRM’ed MP3 file !!!

    Paying 1/5 the price is just perfect, and I’m content knowing that royalties are being paid as if those songs were being beamed over the radio.

  9. george says:

    #8. Well said!

  10. dave says:

    Now in my 50’s, I hadnt really been interested in music for many years when I discovered allofmp3. The price, 10-20 cents a song, and the well laid-out site with the ability to listen to individual tracks before buying, made music an enjoyable impulse buy again. Why borrow CDs to rip, or fool with downloading crappy copies with Limewire to save 11 cents? Before I knew it I had spent $50 and was ready to keep going before it was threatened with closure. I tried to buy a few CDs from Amazon, but the price (for an entire album when I wanted 2 songs), and the DRM on some albums made me a non-music buyer again. This is what he music industry doesnt understand. A low enough price without DRM will kill piracy, and lead to a renewal of a love of music for many people. Everybody I have talked to who has done some illegal copying has some remorse that the artists are not getting paid, but that is overcome by the disgust at the greed of the RIAA.

  11. Lauren the Ghoti says:

    Some of you guys are too young to remember, but in the early 80s, when CDs had a list price (that’s MSRP to you youngsters) of $20, discounted most places to $16-18, they said that the high price was only temporary, because the was only one pressing plant in the US. When more plants come on line, the price was gonna drop, they promised – $5 – 8 maybe $10 tops.

    Then they saw that people were buying them at the inflated price, so they shut up about dropping any prices, and – well, here we are today…

  12. OhForTheLoveOf says:

    #11 – Then they saw that people were buying them at the inflated price, so they shut up about dropping any prices, and – well, here we are today…

    I won’t disagree that CD prices are higher than they should be… But, when you say here we are today, you are kind of saying “after about 20 years, here we are today with CDs at the same price now that they were 20 years ago, despite inflation.”

    I would say, who buys CDs at that price? I surely don’t, and I buy a lot of CDs.

  13. Lauren the Ghoti says:

    The promises were that they would – once production ramped up – sell at retail for no more than, and maybe even less than LPs, because they are actually cheaper to manufacture.

    And while you’re right as far as that goes – that the price has stayed relatively constant despite inflation – you’re failing to consider the factor that should have driven prices down, even WITH inflation, which is the always-dropping prices of the raw materials and the lower cost per unit made possible by advances in mass pressing.

    IOW, if the industry had kept their promises, the retail price would not only have dropped when production rose, but it would’ve continued to drop due to further major production efficiencies.

    Whether in constant or adjusted dollars, CDs have never been cheaper to make than now. But they’re like those monkeys in some South Pacific region who are trapped with hollowed-out coconuts with sweets inside. They stick their hands in, grab the bait, making a fist in the process – and then can’t remove their fist. But they WON’T LET GO!

    And that’s the music companies in a nutshell – they won’t unclench their greedy little fistful of high prices that they want so badly and they’re so used to getting…

    The vicious bastards could make plenty moolah with an MSRP of $7 or $8, discounted to $5 or $6 most places – and they would far more than compensate for the lost markup, over the middle and long term, by greatly increased sales volume, which would also help the entire industry regain footing.

    But the fist stays clenched. Greed blinds you.

  14. OhForTheLoveOf says:

    #13 – you’re failing to consider

    I didn’t fail to consider anything… or even disagree… I just pointed out what I think is often a neglected detail…

  15. Lauren the Ghoti says:

    Well, but you didn’t mention it, did you? Your remark carried the implication that inflation combined with a constant price equals profit erosion – which would imply that they’re making less profit on CDs now – and I simply offered that ever-declining production costs more than offset inflation, and therefore, even with inflation, CDs are more profitable than ever…

    …or perhaps not, as the case may be.

    As Jim Nabors once said to Rock Hudson, “One never knows, do one?” 🙂

  16. jz says:

    It’s funny how the video industry was sure the Betamax was going to kill people going to the movies. They did a study and found that when people had a Betamax, they were more likely to go to the movies.

    But I have yet to see any similar study from the music industry. All I hear is how much illegal downloads are costing them.

    My belief is that the high prices on most music is hurting them. I may pay a buck for the latest hot new tune but not for an oldie. I’d buy a lot more music at 20 cents a song versus a buck.

    All their b.s. about how musicians get paid to create goes out the window when a song is > ten years old.

    Furthermore, if paying a buck a song is to give musicians incentive to create, then why are they still charging for Elvis songs? Oh wait, I forgot, he’s still alive.

  17. OhForTheLoveOf says:

    #15 – Lauren… I find you bizarrely attractive.

  18. Lauren the Ghoti says:

    Well, I suppose that’s a step up in the world, since most merely find me bizarre.

  19. hhopper says:

    The music and movie industry is just plain STUPID. There are many situations where they could make a lot more money by charging less and at the same time make the consumer happy. Like pay-per-view movies; I would watch a hell of a lot more movies on cable or satellite if the price were cheaper. It hasn’t come down a bit in the last 15 years. And I would buy a hell of a lot more music from iTunes if they were 20¢ each instead of 99¢ each.

  20. hhopper says:

    OFTLO – Lauren will send you an autographed photo for $9.99.


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