The recording industry has been waging war against Russian-based music websites for years. While the industry has successfully litigated most file sharing networks out of existence, they haven’t had much luck stopping sites like MediaService’s AllofMP3. Despite the RIAA’s best efforts AllofMP3 continues to sell digital downloads to music lovers around the world, while technically complying with Russian copyright laws and licensing agreements.
While complying with the laws of your country may seem like a loophole here in the United States, it makes perfect sense to a company that’s based in Russia. Unfortunately for MediaServices that the loophole is about to be closed. There are signs the Russian government is planning to crack down on grey market download sites like AllofMP3 in an effort to gain admission into the World Trade Organization.
Regardless of what you think about the legality of AllofMP3, there’s no denying that MediaServices has created one of the most innovative and consumer friendly digital music services around. AllofMP3 is so well done that the “legitimate” recording industry could learn quite a bit by studying it. Hopefully the major labels will take a long look at AllofMP3 before it gets shut down.
Here are a few lessons the music industry could learn from AllofMP3:
Is there anyone or anything more universally despised throughout the blogosphere than the RIAA? Seriously, when was the last time you read something positive about the RIAA? My guess is never. Chances are you’ve read dozens of stories about the RIAA’s heavy-handed anti-piracy maneuvers, and even more that portray the organization’s leadership as hopelessly out of touch with reality.
The interesting thing about this is that the RIAA doesn’t seem to be aware that the blogosphere exists. If they are, they certainly aren’t taking it seriously. The RIAA comes across as being completely dismissive of its critics. It’s almost as if they think that acknowledging their critics might be seen as a sign of weakness. In my darkest nightmares I fear Karl Rove might be secretly running the RIAA.
Yesterday, you may recall, I discussed the RIAA sending cease-and-desist letters to the people who upload videos of themselves lipsynching to popular songs.
But that’s just the beginning: we’ve learned who they are targeting next, and in a Medialoper Multiverse Exclusive, are revealing it to you today.
It just seems like harmless fun: people filming themselves lipsynching popular songs, and then sending the results to YouTube and Google Video. People have always done stuff like this: probably the fifth film ever made — after an accidential shot of the floor; sex; a cute puppy running around; and someone else filming the filmer — was somebody pretending to play a Scott Joplin song.
And people have been doing it ever since: it’s a Great American Tradition to totally make a fool of yourself on video pretending to perform a song you love. God bless the U.S.A.
Of course, sometimes other people see these videos, and there are unintended consequences.
I have no problem with the concept of teaching kids about copyright laws. After all, kids are the future. We’re doing it for the kids. Feed the children. Save the world. etc. etc. etc.
However, copyright is a complex subject that most adults don’t fully understand. When I say “most adults” I’m referring specifically to the RIAA, the MPAA, and other entertainment industry executives who routinely misrepresent the specifics of copyright law in an effort to intentionally confuse the public.
My concern is that programs designed to teach kids about copyright laws amount to little more than entertainment industry propaganda. Fair Use and the Right of First sale are routinely left out of copyright discussions, as are the concept and importance of the public domain.