26 May 2008, 15:14
AllofMP3.com welcomes the decision of record labels to voluntarily
dismiss their $1,65 trln lawsuit against the site.
On May 23 Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group Corp.,
Vivendi SA and EMI Group Plc. decided to drop their copyright case
filed in federal court in Manhattan (Bloomberg.com).
Some time ago the AllofMP3.com services had to be suspended due to
There’ll be more updates on the development of the situation.
26 May 2008, 12:35
May 23 (Bloomberg) -- Sony BMG Music Entertainment and other record
companies dismissed their copyright lawsuit against Russia-based
Internet music store AllofMP3.com, which was accused of
distributing millions of pirated song files.
Members of the Recording Industry Association of America, a trade
group, didn't say why they were voluntarily dropping the case in
papers filed May 20 in federal court in Manhattan.
``The site is now defunct and out of business, the result of a
successful anti-piracy initiative,'' Jonathan Lamy, a spokesman for
the trade group, said today in an e-mail.
The complaint, filed in December 2006, called the site ``a
notorious black market'' that made $30 million a year by directing
Internet users to music files available for download, without
giving any money to the record labels. The...
5 November 2007, 06:07
On 24 October a district court in Moscow has confirmed the "no
copyright infringement" verdict.
Earlier this year, on 15 August 2007 AllofMP3.com was acquitted of
all charges brought up by IFPI. Consequently the Federation filed a
protest on behalf of the labels. This protest was declined last
week. This time IFPI promised to go as far as the Supreme
This was yet another victory for AllofMP3.com in court.
Music almost for free (in Russian), Vedomosti
18 October 2007, 17:21
Maddona announced that she ends her 25 year long relationship with
the Warner recording company. Instead she intends to sign a 10 year
contract with Live Nation Inc. a concert touring company. This new
$120m deal will include touring, merchandise and releasing of 3 new
"The paradigm in the music business has shifted and as an artist
and a businesswoman, I have to move with that shift," Madonna said
in a statement. "For the first time in my career, the way that my
music can reach fans is unlimited ... Who knows how my albums will
be distributed in the future?"
However, Warner will publish one more album by Madonna within a
year and will retain all the recording and publishing rights to
such hits as Like a Virgin, Vogue and Music. The rights to Material
Girl though are under question.
18 October 2007, 17:15
The Pirate Bay has grabbed the IFPI.com domen and is going to turn
into a web-site of some International Federation of Pirate
Interests. According to Brokep, one of the administrators of the
Pirate Bay this will be the new international federation they’re
starting “in order to get the word of piracy spread.”
Another IFPI (the International Federation of Phonographic
Industries) still spread quite another word from www.ifpi.org and
admits that www.ifpi.com belonged to them when they missed the
renewal of registration and it slipped into the hands of unknown
The Phonographic Industries IFPI plans to complain and return the
domen. However, the Pirate Bay got hold of IFPI.com in an
absolutely legal way.“It’s not a hack, someone just gave us the
domain name. We have no idea how they got it, but it’s ours and...
11 October 2007, 05:12
Radiohead released their new album In rainbows on-line for
free with no labels involved.
The album is available for download from their site Radiohead.com. When you are supposed
to make a payment for the download this line comes up "it’s up to
you". Each fan can pay anything, even 0. However, buying the actual
CD will cost you 40 pounds.
No labels are involved in the release."Radiohead's contract with
EMI/Capitol expired after its last record, Hail to the Thief, was
released in 2003; shortly before the band started writing new
songs, singer Thom Yorke told TIME, "I like the people at our
record company, but the time is at hand when you have to ask why
anyone needs one. And, yes, it probably would give us...
27 September 2007, 01:43
Stephen J. Dubner co-author of the
Freakonomics book expresses his view as well as asks
several experts about the present and future of the music
Koleman Strumpf, professor of business economics
at the University of Kansas Business School whose papers include
"The Effect of File Sharing on Record Sales" on the
present downturn: "there is surprisingly little evidence to support
the claim that file sharing has significantly hurt record sales."
Instead several other factors are suggested:
- "industry has failed to find genres that capture the interests of
- much of the reduction in sales is the direct result of industry
cost-cutting. The major record labels have cut large numbers of
staff and severed ties with many artists;
- recorded music has had trouble competing against...
19 September 2007, 02:16
Last week there was news that Virgin Megastores might be opened in
Russia. A Russian gambling holding Ritzio was negotiating with the
This Monday Virgin announced that the UK and Irland Virgin
Megastores business was sold to a management buy-out team. The
chain will undergo rebranding and the stores will be renamed
Ritzio plays Virgin,
Kommersant (In Russian)
Owners Plan Virgin Megastores, The Moscow Times
sells Virgin Megastores, The Guardian
5 September 2007, 22:37
Klaxons got the 2007
Nationwide Mercury Prize for their Debut album "Myths of the
Near Future" winning over Amy Winehouse, Bat For Lashes, Dizzee
Rascal and many others.
scoop Mercury album prize, BBC News
31 August 2007, 17:50
The service will be resumed in the foreseeable future. We are doing
our best at the moment to ensure that all our users can use their
accounts, top up balance and order music.
27 August 2007, 13:46
Major record labels once again refused to accept royalty payments
from Russian on-line music stores.
IFPI refused to receive money from the Russian royalty collecting
entity ROMS (Russian Organization on Collective Management of
Rights of Authors and Other Rightholders in Multimedia, Digital
Networks & Visual Arts). Although ROMS operates within the law,
IFPI insists that the only entity which could act on behalf of the
labels and other rightholders and collect royalties is the Russian
branch of IFPI (RPA – Russian Phonographic Association) and refuses
to accept anything from ROMS.
your dirty Russian money away! Gazeta.ru (In Russian)
27 August 2007, 01:55
On Wednesday, August 15 a district court in Moscow ruled that
AllofMP3.com operated within the bounds of Russian law.
The court found no infringement of copyright law. According to the
statement from the judge the site had paid a certain amount of the
revenue to the right holders in full compliance with the law.
The court found that the investigation initiated by the IFPI had
produced insufficient evidence and the conclusion that AllofMP3.com
had broken any laws was a premature one.
Court acquits AllofMP3.com site owner, Reuters
founder cleared of copyright violation, The Independent
Russian court acquits former owner of music download site
allofmp3.com, The Forbes
17 August 2007, 17:04
The compact disc has turned 25 on August 17. The technology was
jointly developed by Philips and Sony and the first CD was
manufactured in Germany on August 17, 1982. Since then 200 billion
CD have been sold worldwide.
In the beginning it was mostly classical music sold on CDs as
manufacturers believed that classical music lovers were more likely
to pay the high price for the CDs and CD players. The first pop CD
on sale was ABBA’s The Visitors.
By 1988 CDs outsold records. Now some reports predict that this
format in turn will be
overtaken by digital distribution on global scale by
15 August 2007, 16:01
The Universal Music Group made an announcement that it would offer
a wide selection of music on-line without DRM protection.
It will be an experiment within a set timeframe (from August till
January). The services selling the songs will include Google,
Wal-Mart, Best Buy Digital Music Store, Rhapsody, Amazon.com and
others but not the iTunes store. Also DRM-free music will be
available through the artists’ web-sites.
The music will not have DRM but it will have watermarks which help
to identify where tracks come from in case they come up in P2P
hits mark open-MP3 test by Universal Music Group, UMG
9 August 2007, 19:12
According to the Associated Press report the RIAA spent $658,000 on
lobbying efforts during the first half of 2007. The expenses were
concerned with opinion-forming activities related to copyright
protection (including sponsoring members of Congress), but not
legal and administrative costs related to the great number of
lawsuits initiated by the Association.
Lobbying Expenses Cross $650,000 During First Half, Digital
9 August 2007, 16:46
The SpiralFrog ad-supported music service has finally been
launched. For the time being it’s only available for a selected
group of users for beta-testing though.
Users will be able to download music for free. However, they will
have to wait for 90 seconds for the download to complete. During
that time users will have to see some advertisement or browse the
site. The video downloads will take even more time to downloads.
Files are protected with some kind of DRM and aren’t iPod
The owners promise a fill scale launch by the end of the year.
(That’ll be a one-year delay from the previous announcement in
December 2006). SpiralFrog claims it has taken so long to finish
negotiations with the copyright owners. At the moment only the
Warner Music Group has agreed to offer its content. 700 000 tracks
6 August 2007, 02:34
Music publishing companies representing Eminem filed a
multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Apple on grounds of copyright
infringement. Allegedly the iTunes store have been offering
Eminem’s songs for download without his permission, only having the
consent of the EMI record label. According to the singer’s lawyers,
the record label doesn’t hold the right to allow downloads
exclusively (as it is with selling the artist’s CDs). Also the
singer wants a fairer division of the revenue from downloads. At
the moment iTunes charges around 99 cents a song, 70 cents go to
the record label. It, in turn, typically, pays 9,1 cents to the
According to the artist’s lawyer the issue “is how the 60.9 cents
the recording label has left after it pays the music publisher
should be divided between the recording label and the artist. If
1 August 2007, 18:41
Apple has announced on Tuesday that its iTunes store has sold more
than three billion songs. This makes it the world’s largest online
music store. Also iTunes “recently surpassed Amazon and Target to
become the third largest music retailer in the US”.
Store Tops Three Billion Songs, Apple
1 August 2007, 18:19
A survey by Entertainment Media Research revealed that illegal
downloading has reached its highest level ever and the number of
people concerned about being prosecuted is falling. (The
Out of 1700 people who participated in the survey 43% claimed
they’re illegally downloading tracks (last year it was 36%). Only
33% are concerned about the risk of prosecution compared to 42% in
The report suggests that price is the key factor for such situation
and that the industry has to consider differential pricing.
The music industry association BPI replied that: “future success
was not just down to new business models but also better protection
against piracy, particularly from internet service providers.”...
30 July 2007, 02:16
The U.S. Congress passed a bill last week which would tie
government funding universities receive to how well they restrict
file-sharing among students.
In short the amendment to the budged titled CAMPUS-BASED DIGITAL
THEFT PREVENTION requires that 25 universities that receive the
most of alleged infringement notices (most likely from the RIAA)
have to provide evidence of having clear policies on downloading of
copyrighted content and that student are aware of them; change
their file-sharing policies if necessary; and implement “a
technology-based deterrent” to prevent the P2P use among students –
otherwise the university funding can be cut. (WIRED.COM)
Will Scrutinize Top 25 File Sharing Universities Each Year,
28 July 2007, 21:16
Last week the U.S. Congress Committee on Oversight and Government
Reform announced that it was considering new laws to “properly
restrict” P2P networks. In their opinion P2P applications threaten
national security, “intrude on personal privacy and violate
copyright law”. The biggest concern is that federal employees may
be “unknowingly sharing highly confidential information” making it
available to terrorists.
The Committee staff did its own investigation and found that
LimeWire P2P application exposed “personal bank records and tax
forms, attorney-client communications, the corporate strategies of
Fortune 500 companies, confidential corporate accounting documents,
internal documents from political campaigns, government emergency
response plans, and even military operation orders.”
According to the Committee statement the...
25 June 2007, 13:49
According to the annual Global Entertainment and Media Outlook
report issued by PricewaterhouseCoopers last week digital
distribution of music will overtake physical sales on global scale
by 2011. In Asia Pacific this will happen as soon as 2009, than in
U.S. in 2010.
According to the report global spending on music will reach $40.4
billion by 2011 (that’s 12% up from $36.1 billion spent in
Spending in the U.S. will continue to fall till 2009, but will
start to recover that year reaching $11.3 billion in 2011 (However,
still less than $11.5 billion spent in 2006).
Music to mobiles and Internet purchases will grow more than 3 times
to $6.56 billion in 2011. Conversely, market for CDs will half from
last year's $9.65 to $4.5 billion by 2011.
”Album downloads, in the U.S. in 2011, will hit 135 million units
while 2 billion...
12 June 2007, 14:28
DRM and its shortcomings analyzed in an article in
The original purpose of the DRM technology was to “to convert the
digital ecosystem into a legitimate marketplace, which
simultaneously offers security and safeguards for owners of
content, as well as appeal and flexibility for consumers.” However,
DRM has failed in certain ways:
--“DRM is unable to protect content fully. The scale of file
sharing in "dark nets" continues to eclipse sales of protected
music and video content. Meanwhile, the "walled gardens"
constructed by DRM remain permeable to hacking.
--It also serves to frustrate fair uses of content. As such, it
arguably provides an incentive for consumers to search for free and
open content elsewhere.
--DRM has fragmented the marketplace into "autistic" ecologies of
software and hardware,...
10 June 2007, 00:57
This week the Warner Music Group, the forth-largest label has
started to sell digital downloads without DRM protection.
The company opted not to work with the iTunes store for this
project, although it’s been announced that downloads are iPod
compatible and are priced similarly as at iTunes: around 99 cents
To prevent downloads unprotected by DRM being leaked to the file
sharing networks, files are downloaded straight to portable MP3
players without being stored on a PC.
The Warner Music Group is the second label sell DRM free downloads
after EMI did the same
7 June 2007, 14:35
According to the Consumerist.com blog the RIAA has been voted
company in the USA.
It's been voted the worst by consumers and it is actually
donating campaign money to US politicians. The site reveals
25 May 2007, 13:19
The European Commission has approved the acquisition of BMG music
publishing business by Universal.
This deal got the approval after Universal proposed a plan to
prevent excess market power consolidation. The EU Commissioner’s
concern was that the copyright for using music online (for example,
sell in a Internet music store) would be held by an entity close to
a monopoly. In some countries the new venture would own publishing
rights to more than a half of chart hits. While traditional
publishing rights are still administered via independent fee
collecting societies, copyright for digital downloads is managed by
chosen entities controlled by the labels. If so the online stores
could face unfair prices after the Universal-BMG merger.
To prevent this Universal has promised to sell off some part of its
catalogue. So it doesn’t become too big....
18 May 2007, 19:16
The office of the U.S. Attorney General has submitted a bill to the
US Congress with proposals to increase criminal penalties for
copyright infringement. The planned measures include life
imprisonment for copyright offences which endanger life and
Homeland Security reporting to the RIAA when someone tries to sneak
a pirated CD across the border.
The proposed "Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007", would
among other measures:
- Introduce the notion of “attempted” copyright infringement.
Current legislation envisages up to 10 years of imprisonment but
only if the actual infringement took place.
- Envisage life imprisonment for the crime of using pirated
- Allow to wiretap citizens attempting to infringe
- “Require Homeland Security to alert the Recording Industry...
16 May 2007, 18:57
Nine Inch Nails speak
out on record labels continuing to screw the consumer
They give an example of “absurd retail pricing” of their recent
album Year Zero in Australia. “Shame on you, UMG. Year Zero is
selling for $34.99 Australian dollars ($29.10 US). No wonder people
steal music. Avril Lavigne's record in the same store was $21.99
By the way, when I asked a label rep about this his response was:
"It's because we know you have a real core audience that will pay
whatever it costs when you put something out - you know, true fans.
It's the pop stuff we have to discount to get people to buy."
So... I guess as a reward for being a "true fan" you get ripped
14 May 2007, 00:53
IFPI and top music executives have raised the issue of the music
industry crisis in Germany during a meeting with the German
Chancellor Angela Merkel last week.
Since 2000 the German music market has shrunk 50%. According to
IFPI’s press release the rescue measures proposed
to the Chancellor include:
- Introduce an obligation on ISPs to terminate service to
subscribers abusing the service to make infringing content
- Permit CD burning only from own legally purchased original and
prohibiting copying by third parties;
- Improve the German draft law implementing the EU Enforcement
Directive to ensure proper tools to fight piracy;
- Ensure that the EU plays an active role in the WTO case...
11 May 2007, 19:28
Are audio cassettes still around? Actually there’s still 500
million of them in UK only and 100'000 were sold in 2006.
An article by BBC asks the
question what people can do with cassettes nowadays. Apart form
listening to (if you still have the right player) BBC proposes
several options from converting them to MP3 and recycling to making
bird scaring installations.
The readers continue the list of options, proposing at times quite
exotic uses such as turning the tape into "tell-tales" which are
attached to the sales in sailing races to see the wind
10 uses for
audio cassettes, BBC News
11 May 2007, 18:46
Warner reported its second quarter financial results this week. The
label had a “net loss of $27 million, or 19 cents a share, compared
with a loss of $7 million, or 5 cents a share, a year earlier,»
according to Reuters.
This news follows the announcement that Warner Music Group was
about to lay off 400 of its staff.
Among the reasons for the revenue decline the label marks out
piracy, “changing consumption patterns in the shift from physical
sales to new forms of digital music".
Nevertheless, Warner expects the situation to improve when the
company implements its restructuring plan and boosts digital
distribution of its music. “…we'll start to see benefits of that
over a couple quarters after...
8 May 2007, 17:10
Warner Music Group is planning to lay off 400 employees as part of
a restructuring campaign and “place further emphasis on digital
strategy and distribution, sources say” (The
In January earlier this year EMI made quite a similar move and
announced that it would lay off 900 of its staff (along with a few
top executives). This was a sign that the label was not doing very
well as later few attempts to sell its catalogue and the label
itself followed. Finally, EMI ended up releasing its music in
3 May 2007, 19:07
The office of the US Trade Representative has issued a new report
on the current situation with protection of US intellectual
property by other countries. According to the document, 43 counties
protect it inadequately and ineffectively. Among them 12 countries
have qualified for a "priority watch list" of the worst offenders.
China and Russia are on top of the shame list. The accusations and
demands towards the countries guilty of neglecting US trade
China has “…severe market-access restrictions threaten the growth
and vitality of exciting new [US] online and mobile delivery
platforms for recorded music.”
Russia have failed to shut down AllofMP3.com and “if Russia fails
to meet its obligations, the United States should respond
2 May 2007, 18:29
The Canadian Record Industry Association is reporting a 35% drop in
CD and DVD sales in Canada in the first quarter of 2007 compared to
2006. Only 7,1 million units were sold in 2007 – a considerable
decrease from 10.2 million in 2006.
In his interview to The Toronto Star association president
Graham Henderson said that the blame was on catastrophic amount of
file sharing in Canada. "Digital music sales are not replacing lost
CD and DVD sales as they are in countries with aggressive copyright
protection laws banning file sharing and punitive enforcement
policies… There's mass confusion in the (Canadian) marketplace
about whether downloading is even illegal."
The CRIA claims that the federal government should update the
Copyright Act and implement a “copyright reform that would
explicitly outlaw the unauthorized use of music and punish...
30 April 2007, 19:52
In his interview to Reuters, Steve Jobs, Apple Inc. CEO spoke
against music subscription models and promised that the iTunes
store would not introduce them despite the pressure from the music
industry. “People want to own their music," he said.
Subscription models are actually a way of renting music and bring
recurring income to the music companies. However, “customers don't
seem to be interested in it” and [such] “model has failed so far,"
He also expressed confidence that half of the songs offered on
iTunes will be in DRM-free format by the end of the year.
Jobs says Apple
customers not into renting music, Reuters
23 April 2007, 01:02
Last week Warner got very displeased with an online store which
tried to sell Warner albums without DRM. The site offers albums in
MP3 format at a discount compared to a physical CD. Customers get
MP3 files plus a CD could be shipped later as an option.
According to Reuters “Warner Music Group on Thursday demanded that
online retailer AnywhereCD remove its digital albums from the site,
saying the start-up had violated their agreement by selling
Warner's music without copy protection software.”
It’s OK by Warner if the store helps customers to rip the CDs into
MP3s but it’s not OK if those MP3s are without DRM. This way of
selling music "flagrantly violates" the agreement between the label
and the store.
Earlier this year Warner Music Chief Executive Edgar Bronfman had
expressed his views on DRM....
18 April 2007, 13:58
The Norway Liberal Party (Venstre) which is holding 6% of the seats
in parliament has issued a resolution
stating that “Copyright law is outdated”.
“A society where culture and knowledge is free and accessible by
everyone on equal terms is a common good. Large distributors and
copyright owners systematically and widely misuse copyright, and
thereby stall artistic development and innovation.”
Here are some changes proposed by the party “to reinstate the
balance in copyright law”:
- Free file sharing for personal use “Laws and regulations, both
national and international, need to be changed so they only
regulate limitations of use and distribution in a...
11 April 2007, 20:28
UPDATE: the survey is closing this week, around 19 April.
Take part an online opinion
survey on how the public perceives the RIAA and its
It’s a true/false questionnaire determining whether people see the
RIAA’s claims and actions as anything but biased cartel spin. Here are
some true/false statements from the survey:
- The RIAA claims file sharing is "devastating" the music
- Each sale by a pirate [or file shared] represents a lost
legitimate sale, thereby depriving not only the record company of
profits, but also the artist, producer, songwriter, publisher,
11 April 2007, 16:11
Microsoft has hinted last week that it plans to start selling
DRM-free music from EMI and others.
"We've been saying for a while that we are aware that consumers
want to have unprotected content," said marketing director for the
Microsoft MP3 player Jason Reindorp.
The company sees the EMI’s decision to offer unprotected music as
an opportunity to gain a bigger market share as "It potentially
makes the competition more on a device-to-device or
service-to-service basis. It will force the various services to
really innovate." Microsoft hasn’t yet given any exact dates when
DRM-free tracks will be available from its store.
5 April 2007, 01:58
On April 02 EMI announced that its catalogue would be available for
downloading without DRM. iTunes “ a true pioneer” will be the first
on-line store to offer CD quality downloads without DRM which could
be played on any device. According to EMI’s CEO this move reflects
the current “consumer demand”. A track will cost about $1.29 in the
highest quality. Also customers will be able to upgrade the files
they already have downloaded to a DRM free mode for a mere
According to the
corporate press release announcing this historic decision “new
premium downloads [will be offered] for retail on a global basis,
making all of its digital...
28 March 2007, 15:19
At the beginning of March 23 US colleges and universities received
405 "prelitigation settlement letters" from the RIAA demanding to
identify students whose IP addresses were spotted in file-sharing
activities. Those students could then conveniently settle with the
RIAA with a pre-court discount simply by going to a special
web-site. Should the students remain unidentified, then the
university could be taken to court instead.
"[Students] no longer buy music like they used to. We're trying to
send the right message and encourage them to enjoy music legally,"
Jonathan Lamy, communications director for the RIAA commented on
the problem. Another comment from the RIAA describes the efficient
approach: “Our pre-litigation settlement letters are offered as a
benefit to university students to allow them to settle claims
early, at a substantially discounted sum and off the public...
24 March 2007, 02:07
According the Nielsen SoundScan data, CD sales in US have declined
20% in the first quarter of 2007 compared to same period in 2006.
Only 89 million CDs were sold from the start of 2007 till March 18
and in the first quarter of 2006 the figure was 112 million
Although digital downloads are up the overall album sales are down
10% (the researcher counted every 10 downloaded tracks as an
album). Sales of individual downloads rose from 242 million tracks
to 288 million this year. However in terms of albums digital sales
dropped from 119 million in 2006 to 99 million in 2007.
Among the reasons suggested for the decline are piracy, closure of
stores (800 music stores were closed in US in 2006) and competition
from DVDs. Also it might be that consumers are buying in a
different way now. People can and do buy the single song they like
and do not purchase the whole... read
19 March 2007, 00:02
Patrick Faucher, CEO of Nimbit* gives his thoughts on the
transition that music industry is undergoing (CNET News.com).
Starting from the times when the music business became a stagnant
pond “mucked up with greed, laziness, contempt and excess” he
proceeds to the changes delivered by the Internet. “The industry
has become decentralized. Major labels no longer have the market
muscle or control over the distribution channels as they once did.
Technology and consumer choice have caused a shift from the
traditional music business model of major labels throwing copious
amounts of money behind a few big hits to that of a vast collection
of individual artists creating pockets of more moderate success...
18 March 2007, 17:51
According to a new market research report from Insight Research
Corp. DRM related spending will exceed $9 billion by 2012. This
will include spending on soft- and hardware “technologies that
enable the content owner and distributors to assign and control
rights and conditions for viewing, listening, and employing the
content present in digital media and applications”.
In 2007 total worldwide DRM spending will reach $1 billion.
Looking back “DRM evolved over the last two decades to serve
corporations that needed a means to deal with information piracy,
peer-to-peer file sharing, and various regulatory requirements. So
in a sense DRM did not arise to meet the needs of end users, and in
fact, it may be said to have evolved to spite the end user," says
Robert Rosenberg, President of Insight. “… by and large the focus
of the DRM industry is...
15 March 2007, 16:15
Universal is testing offering music downloads without DRM. The
label admits these are “some micro tests” which do not indicate
immediate change of policy. Indeed, only one album by a French
artist Emilie Simon has been made available only in France. The
cost of the DRM-free album is €9.99.
Similar tests by EMI last year had been very short and did not lead
to any changes in the label’s business model.
Other labels haven’t even yet allowed a possibility of DRM free
DRM-free downloads trial, PC Pro
8 March 2007, 00:45
EMI is cutting cost and discarding unprofitable assets. Among
others is the girl group All Saints. According to the
Mirror, the group has been finally dropped by the
"Both the label and the group are proud of the album Studio 1. All
Saints are excited about moving forwards with their career and
Parlophone wishes them the best of luck".
The decision comes after an unsuccessful attempt of a comeback.
Their recent new album reached only the 40th place in the charts.
The second single didn’t even make it to the Top 200.
The All Saints’ new album, along with Robbie Williams’ Rudebox and
Love by Beatles were among the recent EMI releases which hadn’t
performed well and reportedly contributed to the resignation of the
label’s top managers.
3 March 2007, 01:39
Digital music downloads shouldn’t be considered “public
performances” and therefore no additional royalties should be paid,
the Digital Media Association (DiMA*) advises to federal court
counter to claims “by the American Society of Composers, Authors
and Publishers (ASCAP**) that digital music downloads are “public
performances” and should, therefore, be subject to a public
performance license and royalty”. (DiMa)
“ASCAP’s assertion in federal court that digital distributions of
music and video are also public performances confounds legal,
business and technological reality,” said Jonathan Potter, DiMA’s
Executive Director. “For a decade ASCAP and BMI have successfully
preyed on less-confident or underfinanced companies that were
willing to pay double-dip royalties. Now, however, we...
2 March 2007, 03:07
The RIAA’s new agenda is about the future of the nation – the
students. According to Associated Press, US universities
have recently received thousands of notices regarding student who
share and\or download copyrighted content.
The group claims there are as many as 15 000 students in 25
universities who are engaged in such illegal activity. This figure
represents a threefold increase compared to the previous
The RIAA is concerned with the current widespread illegal
downloading on campuses, "We have to let people know that if they
engage in this activity, they are not anonymous," RIAA President
Cary Sherman said.
The universities’ approach to this varies. For example, at Michigan
State University students who are caught twice are forced “to watch
an eight-minute anti-piracy DVD produced by the RIAA. A third-time
28 February 2007, 02:33
It has all been only rumors with no official statements that EMI is
up for sale or at least its catalogue could be available in
DRM-free MP3 to anyone who offers a handsome advance payment.
According to Bloomberg, potential buyers interested in the
catalogue included Microsoft, Apple Inc., RealNetworks Inc., Yahoo!
Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. However, no one had offered enough for
EMI’s music and the talks were suspended.
At the same time Warner Music Group Corp. and reportedly a number
of private equity groups were in turns trying to buy EMI. Those
negotiations haven’t produced any result yet as well.
For the time being EMI keeps reducing its revenue and profit
forecasts. It has warned about its falling profits already twice
this year. Nevertheless, EMI’s shares rose a few percent after the
news of a potential acquisition.
20 February 2007, 22:45
While falling CD sales is a fact, the reasons for the decline
remain unclear. A recent study by Felix Oberholzer-Gee and
Koleman Strumpf published in the Journal of Political
Economy contradicts the music industry srory that file sharing
has had drastic effect on CD sales. Whereas organizations like
RIAA and IFPI fail to explain how their alarming figures are
calculated, the study explains in detail “whether file sharing
has reduced the legal sales of music”.
The conclusion of the researchers is that it hasn’t. “Downloads
have an effect on sales that is statistically indistinguishable
from zero. Our estimates...
15 February 2007, 23:39
The RIAA tries to optimize its litigation practice. After a recent
setback when a district court ruled
that the RIAA is to pay the legal fees for the defendant in a
dismissed case, the organization came up with a new idea.
According to Digital Music News the RIAA has
recently offered ISPs an option for their subscribers. People
can avoid costly litigation and even receive a pre-lawsuit
discount. "An early notification will give your customer the
opportunity to settle any claims before a suit is filed against
them at a reduced rate (discounts of $1000 or more)," the letter...
11 February 2007, 01:26
The music industry met the Apple’s proposal
to abolish DRM with no enthusiasm.
Rather music executives pointed to Mr Jobs that interoperability is
the issue and that Apple shouldn’t pretend its all labels’ fault
consumer protection bodies outlaw iTunes for its proprietary
DRM. IFPI commented that contrary to Apple’s CEO argument
interoperability won’t be that disastrous to quality control and
security. The Apple’s appeal to the labels that they are selling
90% of their music without DRM protection anyway was rejected
10 February 2007, 19:51
Last week there was a story in the Wall Street Journal
that EMI was about to release its catalogue in MP3 format with no
Some “people familiar with the matter” told the Journal
that the label had been inquiring online stores as to what size
advance payment they could offer if EMI submitted its catalogue in
All parties supposedly involved in this story have declined to
comment so far.
in talks to sell unprotected MP3s, Associated Press via. USA
7 February 2007, 19:27
Yesterday Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive posted an open letter on the company’s site in which
he defended Apple and put all the blame for the inefficient DRM
system on labels.
Jobs denies that Apple tries to lock customers who bought iPods
into using the iTunes store and hasn’t been using its DRM system
for that purpose. He argues that on average there’s 22 songs
purchased from the iTunes for each iPod ever sold. However, average
iPod now holds around 1000 songs. Thus users are not being locked
into the iTunes store as 97% of their music comes from
Moreover, Apple sees abolishing DRM as a way forward as neither the
current situation with many proprietary music stores nor opening
its FairPlay standard will work. “Imagine a world where every...
3 February 2007, 03:35
The Santangelo kid sued by the RIAA for file-sharing is
countersuing the recording industry for “violating antitrust laws,
conspiring to defraud the courts and making extortionate threats”
This story has been going on for a few years now. Robert
Santangelo, now 16 years old was 11 when the alleged piracy took
place. He denies any wrongdoing and claims it’s impossible to prove
Robert is the son of Patti Santangelo, a mom of 5 sued by the RIAA
in 2005. She refused to pay the settlement. The case drew a lot of
public attention and the industry finally dropped the case against
her. Instead 2 of the Santangelo children are being sued now – 16
year old Robert and his sister Michelle, now 20.
Robert defends himself by claiming that “he never sent copyrighted
music to others, that the recording...
26 January 2007, 21:35
SpiralFrog made big news in August when it was hailed as a new
model for digital music distribution: free downloads + compulsory
viewing of advertisements. Its launch was scheduled for late 2006.
However, the service still hasn’t been launched; instead the CEO, 5
board directors and 5 company managers left the company at the end
SpiralFrog is somewhat behind schedule as only 2 majors have agreed
to sign licensing agreements with the service: EMI and Universal
Music Group. Its model includes DRM and music won’t be playable
neither on iPods, nor Zune players. Also the intention was that
users will have to watch 90 seconds of advertisements before they
could download anything.
The service founder has rescheduled the launch for some time “in Q1
2007” and appointed a new CEO recently.
26 January 2007, 01:32
The Norwegian consumer ombudsman ruled this week that Apple
violates consumer protection laws because songs from the iTunes
store can only be played on iPods.
The issue should be resolved by 10 October 2007. Apple might open
its code to other producers; abandon DRM or jointly develop some
new protection system. If the company doesn’t find a solution then
the issue will be taken to court with a possibility of closure of
the service in Norway altogether.
Some European countries might follow Norway in this action against
Apple (Germany, France, Sweden and Finland). The Dutch ombudsman
has already “… lodged a complaint not only with the newly formed
Dutch Consumer Authority (ConsumentenAutoriteit), which will act as
the enforcer of 15 European consumer protection directives, but
also with the Dutch anti-trust agency”. (read
23 January 2007, 00:04
On January 20, some of the leading indie labels and artists
launched a new agency which will be responsible for their digital
licensing deals. This new organization called Merlin should become
the “5th major” representing the growing indie sector which by some
estimates accounts for 30% of world music sales.
Merlin’s goal is to improve the "poor cousin" status of deals
offered to independent labels and change the "growing assumption
that, for emerging media, only the four majors need to be
As the Merlin Chief Executive Charles Caldas said in a
statement - "The form of copyright apartheid currently being
applied to the value of independent rights is unacceptable."
Merlin has already struck its first web distribution deal with
Snowcap. This will enable Merlin’s members to sell songs on
MySpace, YouTube and alike...
20 January 2007, 00:18
DJ Drama was arrested last week on charges of felony. Police worked
in cooperation with RIAA which accuses the artist of violation of
various copyright laws and selling unlicensed mixtapes of
This action was met with some surprise by the public as the DJ “…
is mostly regarded as a central and important figure in the
promotion of new rap artists, particularly those in the South.
Rappers like Young Jeezy, T.I., and Lil' Wayne have all been
propelled by Drama, and the mixtape celebrity often works closely
with artists to craft street releases”. (Digital Music
News) Or as The New Your Times puts it - “In the
world of hip-hop few music executives have more influence than DJ
However, RIAA has no qualms about the issue. "Whether it's a
mixtape or a compilation or whatever it's...
14 January 2007, 20:20
Last week’s news suggests that labels begin to acknowledge that
music industry is changing and even may try to restructure their
On 12 January the EMI Group released a statement announcing
dismissal of its 2 top executives, a new cost saving plan and
possible decline of revenues for 2006-2007.
The company describes the current market conditions as continuously
weak. The Christmas sales were disappointing and albums released in
the second half of the year didn’t perform as well as
"In the Christmas trading period, EMI had been counting on strong
performance by two key products — "Love," an album of remixed
material from The Beatles, and Robbie Williams' latest album
"Love" performed respectably, reaching No. 5 on the Billboard chart
12 January 2007, 00:06
At the end of 2006 research companies released some statistics and
forecasts regarding the US music market.
In January 2007 US album sales reached 9.41 million units which is
17.6 % less than a year ago (Nielsen Soundscan). The chart-toping
album Dreamgirls with 66 000 albums sold is a lowest ever
figure for number 1 album sales since Nielsen Soundscan began
publishing its figures in 1991.
The digital downloads share in the total volume of music sold is
growing. However, digital sales will not compensate for lost CD
sales. By 2011 22% of music will be sold in digital format and
consumers will be spending $ 2.5 billion on it
Another research company estimates that US consumers will spend
much more than that on digital music. In 2010 the figure will be
$4.9 bln - almost three times the current level of $1.9...
23 December 2006, 02:58
At the beginning of December a Swedish ISP decided to
block its users in Sweden and Denmark
from accessing AllofMP3.com.
This move received a fair amount of criticism as the Perspektiv
Bredband ISP admitted it was a moral and not a legal
As a part of a protest campaign against such moral Internet
censorship by ISPs Piratebay in turn blocked Perspektiv Bredband
customers from accessing the PirateBay BitTorrent tracker.
A week later Perspektiv Bredband had reversed its decision and
opened access to AllofMP3.com.
“We made a hasty decision and we withdrew from our mission. We are
sorry about this. Together with our new chairman of the board, the
management agrees that limiting Internet access is not within the
framework of our business,” said Fredrik Winbladh, President of...
18 December 2006, 01:17
A recent report by Forrester Research titled Few iPod Owners Are Big
iTunes Buyers reveals some pessimistic findings
about the iTunes service.
2,700 US iTunes debit and credit card transactions had been
analyzed over a 27-month period and it turned out that only 3% of
online households in US bought music from iTunes in
2006. In the past year an average user
spent $35 in the iTunes store. Half of credit card transactions
were less than $3.
An average iPod user has bought 20 songs since the launch of
The report also claims that since January the monthly revenue of
the store has fallen by 65%.
Apple shares fell 3% after the report. Shortly after...
14 December 2006, 18:10
Piratebay has launched a campaign against a Swedish ISP that had
decided to block its customers from accessing AllofMP3.com. In turn
Piratebay will block the Perspektiv Bredband ISP from accessing
the popular PirateBay BitTorrent tracker.
In a statement at piratbyran.org Piratebay insists that
the Perspektiv Bredband ISP acted in the interests of powerful
media companies rather then in the interests of the customers.
“After dialogues with Swedish and Danish anti-piracy organisations
Perspektiv Bredband has blocked access of allofmp3.com for both
their Swedish and Danish customers. In Sweden there is no legal
reason to do so since allofmp3.com is legal to use. Perspektiv
Bredband clearly states in their press release that it is a moral
13 December 2006, 11:22
RIAA petitions for less royalties for the artists, EFF
(Electronic Frontier Foundation), an organization which defends
“our freedoms in the networked world” is gathering signatures for a
petition urging the Congress to put an end to RIAA’s practice of in
suing ordinary Americans.
80 000 US citizens have already signed the document on the EFF website. The
organization plans to deliver the petition to the Senate and House
Commerce and Judiciary Commitees after 100 000 signatures are
EFF believes that RIAA’s tactics not only harm...
10 December 2006, 21:18
Last week in USA RIAA petitioned a panel of federal government
copyright judges to change royalty distribution ratio and lower
statutory royalty rates so that songwriters would get less and
labels would get more.
This road to more equality is paved with good intentions indeed.
Last time labels and songwriters negotiated a ratio was 25 years
ago. Since then technology and the market have changed
considerably. Now labels are loosing money as CD sales decline
while songwriter are actually getting more from ringtones and other
According to The Hollywood Reporter RIAA's executive vp
and general counsel Steven Marks commented that "Mechanical
royalties currently are out of whack with historical and
international rates…[RIAA] hope[s] the judges will restore the
proper balance by reducing the rate...
7 December 2006, 00:21
The Australian parliament has passed a new law on copyright. The
legislation had been revised as the government decided it was out
Among other changes the law will legalize copying of CDs to MP3
players (provided it’s done for private use). As Attorney General
Philip Ruddock put it: "It will legalise format shifting of
materials such as music, newspapers, books, meaning that people can
put their CD collection onto iPods or mp3
players".(The Age) On the other hand penalties for
large scale commercial piracy will be toughened.
This law will come into effect when it receives royal approval.
That is likely to happen before Christmas.
New law makes
2 December 2006, 00:01
The Album title sounds like "Zov krovi" in Russian. We can
translate it like "Call of Blood". It is the third album of this
group which includes its best songs.
Melnitsa has long ago occupied the top positions of musical hit
parades. This year the group will pass its 7th birthday. Melnitsa's
works are based on Russian and Irish folk melodies, and it is the
first Russian folk group represented in the European market.
Here is the tracklist in English with a phonetic transcription
of the Russian titles:
01. Racer's Bride (Nevesta Poloza)
02. Call of Blood (Zov krovi)
03. Tamerlane's Doors (Dveri Tamerlana)
04. Grass (Travushka)
05. Sister (Sestra)
06. Full moon (Polnolunie)
07. Tale of Devil (Skazka o Dyavole)
08. Dragon (Drakon)
09. Hey, wave (Hey,...
1 December 2006, 02:31
Labels try new ways to get the money they believe are getting lost
due to piracy and carelessness of consumers. New idea is that it
might be easier to tax consumers when they buy an MP3 player rather
then hope they will stay away from peering.
News leaked out this week that Universal Music Group tries to
negotiate a royalty fee for every iPod sold.
Universal has already succeeded in doing so for Zune players
produced by Microsoft. Assumingly the label will receive $1 for
every $250 of Zune sales.
Consumers will pay even if they will never listen to Universal’s
music on their players. Actually many developed countries do have
some kind of copyright levy or a tax on blank media such as CDs or
memory devices like MP3 players. Consumers have to pay it even if
they are going to use a blank CD to record their own song or home
29 November 2006, 19:09
Copyright on some popular music performed in 50’s is going to
expire in few years. In UK and EU performers and what’s more
important producers may benefit from a sound recording for 50
years. (While authors and their families receive royalties for
their entire life plus 70 years on).
For example copyright on some recording by Beatles may expire in
2012 in EU. So music industry represented by IFPI, BPI and some
musicians advocates for an increase of copyright term from 50 years
The UK government has taken the issue seriously and commissioned a
report to help its decision. However, the study was a huge
disappointment for the industry as the paper suggests that the
increase is unnecessary. According to The Guardian the
demands of music industry might be rejected thereof.
This report will be...
22 November 2006, 15:11
As Christmas holiday season is the most important time for music
sales RIAA along with MPAA have launched a Holiday Blitz campaign
aimed at “protecting holiday shoppers from purchasing illegal
copies of their favorite movies and music and defending movie
studios and the recording industry against the loss of crucial
holiday sales, especially those from newly released — or even
not-yet released — titles”. (www.riaa.com/news)
Significant attention will be devoted to peering as RIAA has much
experience in dealing with file-sharers.
At the same time in Europe, German government read
21 November 2006, 14:41
Baidu.com the largest Chinese search engine was cleared of the
IFPI’s accusations in a Beijing court. The Intermediate court has
overturned the previous decision of a lower court which did find
Baidu.com guilty of copyright infringement few months ago. This
time the court decided that there’s no infringement as Baidu.com
simply provides web links to the music, but all the music is
downloaded from servers of third parties.
The IFPI Chairman John Kennedy said he was amazed “amazed by this
inexplicable judgment that is totally out of step with Chinese
law”. None of the IFPI demands were satisfied: no public apology,
no suspension of Baidu’s service and no compensation. Music
companies are going to appeal this court ruling.
Baidu’s spokesman warned everyone that if the music companies had
won that would have destroyed the whole...
18 November 2006, 01:22
Universal finally found 60 pieces of its content which infringe
copyright on MySpace and went to court demanding from the News
Corp. a $150 000 compensation for each piece (that’s $9 mln. in
total). Universal accuses MySpace of encouraging users to upload
MySpace defends itself by claiming that it operates in full
compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and that it
does "not induce, encourage or condone" copyright violations. Also
the company is about to introduce a technology that will block
Why MySpace may
settle with Universal Music Group, MarketWatch
17 November 2006, 14:20
According to The Guardian Google has set aside $200m. for
possible copyright lawsuits that might follow after it acquired
YouTube last week. Although it might not be that bad as major
labels (Vivendi, Sony BMG and Warner) received a small stake it the
giant sets aside $200m for YouTube court cases, The Guardian
15 November 2006, 19:21
2000 young people aged 13-24 submitted their views on digital music
in the study carried out in UK by 3, a mobile phone operator.
- 60% think CDs will disappear in 5 years;
- 85% think downloading music rather than buying a CD can help to
save the planet;
- 76% say downloading is more attractive because music can be
accessed instantly which is much more convenient than going to a
Also the mobile operator expects that mobile downloads will
overtake downloads to a PC in 5 years if the current grow rate of
mobile downloading stays the same.
Mobile - the Future of
14 November 2006, 13:02
A study by the Australian Institute of Criminology revealed that
software and music industries couldn’t explain how they calculated
piracy losses, even though this data was used for lobbying efforts
and in court cases (The Australian
According to The Australian, the Music Industry Piracy
Investigations (MIPI) – a body responsible for “investigative and
intellectual property rights enforcement related services to the
Australian music industry” did not know how piracy estimates were
calculated as data it collected was processed by the IFPI in
London. The MIPI manager commented that: "The reason … [she] wasn't
personally aware of how they are...
12 November 2006, 21:53
An article in the Guardian cites some executives talking about
the future of the music industry at an industry conference in
London last week.
Ged Doherty, the UK head of Sony BMG said that CD sales would drop
50% in just 3 years. The digital music sales will grow 25% per year
and that will not offset the decline in CD sales leaving the
industry 30% behind in terms of revenues by 2010. “We have to
reinvent… we are running our businesses like it is 1982” said Mr
There also were prediction that DRM will be abandoned soon.
Demand for CDs
forecast to halve in three years, The Guardian
6 November 2006, 14:29
An English translation of the Danish court decision which ruled
that a provider shall block its customers from accessing
Allofmp3.com has been posted on the Internet.
In short the provider shall block the site as it’s illegal. The
site is illegal because music is “offered for very low price on the
website as well as …[because of] the information from the Russian
branch of IFPI…” Actually IFPI believes that the body which
licensed AllofPM3.com should have asked IFPI first. However IFPI
couldn’t prove it neither in Russian nor in any other court. It
remains unclear what kind of evidence could persuade the Danish
court that Russian legislation has less force than information from
IFPI vs Tele 2 ----
3 November 2006, 15:27
A court in Spain ruled this week that downloading music for free
from the Internet is legal as long as it is done for private use.
This happens for the first time in Europe.
The IFPI commented on the decision that "This is extremely
unusual”. Later after a somewhat excited media coverage of the case
the IFPI hastened to anoounce that “Swapping copyright-infringing
music through peer-to-peer networks remains illegal in Spain as it
is throughout Europe and virtually everywhere else”. Even the
Spanish Justice Minister got involved with a clear statement “that
file-sharing copyrighted music without permission is
However, the judge made a point that if downloading music for
private use was a criminal offence: "That would imply criminalising
socially admitted and widely practised behaviour where the aim...
1 November 2006, 02:57
What do the Australian ARIA Awards have to do with IFPI? John
Kennedy, IFPI’s chairman and CEO visited Australia for the ceremony
and used a chance to convey the idea of word wide censorship to the
The Sydney Morning Herald cites the main points of Mr. Kennedy’s
message about ultimate control of users. "What we hope is our next
step is to engage ISPs in performing a role in dealing with piracy
online… If ISPs refuse to co-operate, Mr Kennedy said he would take
his requests up to Australian politicians. "We're saying to
governments: If the ISPs aren't willing to do this on a voluntary
basis, isn't this something you're prepared to regulate? … Mr
Kennedy admits that the measures he has taking are "draconian", but
said it was the only way to convince users to obtain their music
However, does he talk...
31 October 2006, 14:25
In a recent press-release the MySpace portal announced that it will
“review all music audio recordings uploaded by community members to
their profiles… and block unauthorized copyrighted music audio
recordings from being posted on its site.”
Well done! For some time MySpace has been making it possible that
copyrighted content is available to tens of millions of users for
free. If MySpace wasn’t owned by a big corporation it might have
got into much trouble very soon.
Now the service decided to protect the rights of artists.
MySpace to block illegal use of copyright music,
MySpace & YouTube Content Take Down Continues,
31 October 2006, 13:36
The Universal Music Group has announced that it will lower prices
for its music sold in digital form. For a start 1,500 albums will
be sold for less in Europe, including “albums by artists ranging
from Buddy Holly (The Chirping Crickets), Dusty Springfield (Dusty
In Memphis) and the Who (The Who Sell Out, Quadrophenia,) to Bob
Marley and the Wailers (Natty Dread, Rastaman Vibration), R.E.M.
(Reckoning) and the Cure (17 Seconds)” (UMG press release).
Retail prices for album downloads are expected to change from
$12.68 to $8.87 and $15.17 to $10.42 respectively.
Universal Music Drops Catalog Download Prices In
Europe, Digital Music News
29 October 2006, 14:19
Talking of what is legal what is not. Russia has been criticized
for some time for its copyright legislation in connection with
allofmp3.com. However, Russian legislation could be the most
modern one. The Civil Code in its part concerning copyright is
being passed through the parliament this fall. Still, legislation
is changing slower than technology and public opinion, especially
with the amount of lobbying in some countries.
The article in Telegraph.co.uk this weekend brings up an
interesting fact – in UK everyone who dares to copy a CD that he or
she owns to an MP3-player or PC is breaking the law. This
conclusion comes from a report by the Institute for Public Policy
Research. The report says that “Unknown to many, the 1709 Statue of
Anne which came into law as the first Copyright Act in 1710 still
governs the enforcement of...
26 October 2006, 13:28
Despite thousands of lawsuits filed by IFPI against users of
BitTorrent, eDonkey, DirectConnect, Gnutella, Limewire, etc.
peering is thriving in Europe. Here are the numbers: “P2P traffic
uses a share of 30% (daytime) and 70% (nighttime) of the overall
Internet traffic in Germany. The absolute data volume has risen by
10% between June and October 2006. BitTorrent has surpassed eDonkey
as the most popular file sharing network and causes more than half
of all P2P traffic in Germany. Both networks generate over 95% of
the P2P traffic and have nearly displaced previously popular
networks such as Kazaa's FastTrack.” (from a survey by Ipoque). As to what is
shared, for example, for BitTorrent the figures are: Music 22%,
Video (movies) 21%, Video (porn) 15%.
26 October 2006, 05:32
In this long dispute between the site and IFPI the latter will try
everything to push AllofMP3 out of business. The WTO thing did not
work. Russia defends its conditions of entery and its negotiators
said this week that unless their conditions are accepted, Russia is
not interested. (Just to remind, there was a condition from USA
lobbyists – that Russia must shut the site to be able to join
Another recent attack by IFPI is a civil suit in Denmark against
one of the ISPs there. And this week the court finally ruled that
Tele2 must block its customers from using AllofMP3.com.
“The telecommunications industry in Denmark has expressed outrage
and concern over the verdict, as they feel it implies ISPs are now
responsible for the activities of their users – not to mention a
legal gray area where no verdict has been made...
24 October 2006, 13:08
AllofMP3.com has made it to the headlines last week… again…when the
dispute between the site and the major card processing companies
finally surfaced (right after AllofMP3 decided to defend its
position publicly at an on-line press conference).
Visa and MasterCard have hardy made any comments apart from these
few lines. "The action Visa has taken is in line with legislation
passed in Russia and with basic international copyright and
intellectual property norms," said Simon Barker, a spokesman for
the company. (PC pro) "A Mastercard spokesman added the firm "did
not tolerate the use of its network for illegal activity."
The legitimacy of this move has yet to be proven just as the
accusations of IFPI, RIAA, USA officials, etc.
More in the press:
21 October 2006, 15:03
The campaign against AllofMP3.com has been going on for some time
already. The site has been a target for abundant accusations,
threats, lies, lobbying, etc.
Just to give an example: "The reason AllofMP3.com downloads
are cheap, is that neither the artists nor the record companies are
being paid" said the BPI General Counsel Roz Groome in
So the industry assumes that the site's price for music is too low
for it to be legal and for artists to be compensated. However, the
same (or even lower) price per track is being charged at a legal
Chinese service top100.cn. It was launched some 8 months ago and
has not received much press in the West, apart from the initial
press release and recent news about Orchard licensing its catalogue
to the biggest legal Chinese download service. "For just
17 October 2006, 06:39
IFPI the body representing major labels like EMI, Warner Music,
Sony BMG and Virgin has filed some 8000 lawsuits against users in
17 countries. The organization claims that around 20 billion songs
were downloaded illegally last year. (or roughly 3 songs per each
person living on the planet).
IFPI sees suing users as the most efficient way to fight illegal
peering. Eliminating the networks themselves has proved difficult
despite recent settlements, such as the Kazaa case. The latter is
now a legal peering service having paid the industry a settlement
of $100 mln. However, there’s still plenty of peering networks.
“The industry is targeting uploaders using all the major
unauthorised P2P services, including BitTorrent, eDonkey,
DirectConnect, Gnutella, Limewire, SoulSeek and WinMX.” (IFPI.org)
The IFPI campaign is more about people using the...
16 October 2006, 04:12
Sales of music on-line show record growth while the CD sales
continue to decline. As recently released data from IFPI shows - in
the first half 2006:
- Global legal digital music sales rose 106% to $945m (which is 11%
of the total recorded music market and twice as much as at the end
- The US music market has one of the biggest figures for digital
music share (18%). In other countries this figure is: South Korea
(51%), Japan (11%), Italy (9%), UK (8%), Germany (5%) and France
- In the US digital sales increased by 84%.
- Global music sales are down 4% (and are now $8.4bn in trade
values, or $13.7bn at the retail level). In 2005, the sales
declined by 3%.
- Revenues from sales of music in physical formats declined 10%
(compared to the 6,7% decline in whole 2005.)
IFPI Chairman and CEO John Kennedy has...
17 September 2006, 21:16
Universal has recently attacked YouTube and MySpace sites, as
Reuters reports, accusing them of infringing
copyright as well as owing the industry “tens of millions of
Whether Universal will sue or try to negotiate with the sites is
not yet clear. So far the labels want to be paid for the
copyrighted material whereas the sites would rather offer content
for free but with some amount of advertising.
Possible development of this story is that either the label will
change its business model substantially or launch yet another
lawsuit against sites offering content.