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wolfpacker

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Allofmp3 prosecution likely

MP3s for pennies? Russian cops say no

Looks like allofmp3 will be prosecuted soon on copyright violations. Russian police have recommend to prosectors to charge them.
I've been saying on these forums for awhile that you are an idiot to give these guys your charge card numbers. I expect these guys will settle and turn over their charge records to the IFPI (RIAA counterpart). Wouldn't be at all surprised to see people get letters in the mail asking them to settle on this or be sued. That's what happened to a guy I know who bought a smart card writer used to pirate directv when the company he bought from turned over their records. He settled for $3500 rather than risk losing way more in court.
 
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wolfpacker

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i'd guess they'll just target allofmp3 initially to get precedent, then it is a simple matter of sending a cease and desist letter to the others.
 
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Re: Allofmp3 prosecution likely

wolfpacker said:
...That's what happened to a guy I know who bought a smart card writer used to pirate directv when the company he bought from turned over their records. He settled for $3500 rather than risk losing way more in court.
Firstly, there's a fundamental difference between somebody who bought hardware to create smart cards and somebody who is paying to download music. A better analogy would be if those people who bought pirate smart cards from this guy were charged.

Secondly, it's unlikely that the shutdown of Allofmp3.com by Russian authorities would have any legal ramifications for anybody outside of Russia. Even if a case could be made, it's just not worth anybody's time to even attempt to prosecute such relatively trivial violations across international borders.

Even if the Russian authorities were to provide a list of allofmp3's customers to an organization such as the RIAA, it wouldn't even be worth the RIAA's interests to pursue it, for the simple reason that anybody who purchased music from allofmp3 could easily make a defence that they did so in good faith. While ignorance of the law is no excuse, ignorance of the facts is a valid defence.

Since even the RIAA has not previously made any statements on the legality of allofmp3.com, they wouldn't have too much ground to stand on in trying to prove that the ordinary citizen should have known it was illegal.
 

IlIlIlIlIl

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that site was obviously illegal. Just because you paid something, it doesn't mean it pays for licensing fees for artists.
 

wolfpacker

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Jesse,

I agree there is a difference between the two. But if the RIAA has records that say someone downloaded 50GB of music, it very well may go after that person to either pay the true market value of that music or sign an agreement that the person will erase the files (and I'd think it is very likely that the RIAA would seek some kind of financial settlement, too, to compensate it for its legal fees).

And what might happen in a court of law really isn't the issue. The media giants have a legion of lawyers. Their goal is to intimidate people to settle. It is simply not possible for most people to fight them. You'd risk financial ruin. These companies can run up HUGE legal bills that you are on the hook for if you lose. Never mind any infraction penalties/fees.

And the "good faith" thing? Give me a break. If you lived in Russia, you maybe could make that argument. But allofmp3 themselves advised that the service may not be legal in another country. If you actually consulted counsel before using the service and they advised it was probably legal, then maybe you could make the argument even in the US or elsewhere. But wishful thinking isn't good faith.

Here's a hint for people, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Meanwhile, the Russian maffia sure is glad to have your paypal or credit card numbers.
 
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wolfpacker said:
...what might happen in a court of law really isn't the issue.
You're definitely right on that particular point. The question comes down to whether it's worth the RIAA's efforts to bother to pursue such people. Up until now, they've only been going after people who have been sharing a lot of music.

Going after people who bought music from allofmp3.com would always run the risk that they would go after a person who might have the resources to fight the battle on sheer principle. In a court of law, good faith and fair use would both be valid defences, as long as you were only downloading the music for personal use.

Looking at it another way... If you physically travelled to Russia, bought a bunch of CDs, and it turns out that they were pirated, and then came back and the RIAA found out about it somehow, would they actually bother to pursue it? I don't know the answer to that, but I don't think it's too likely.

And the "good faith" thing? Give me a break.
Well, the analogy here is comparable to going into a mall and finding a small store selling products at reduced, but not unreasonable, prices (and keep in mind that the fair market value for downloadable music has never been well-established, especially when currency adjustments are factored in).

If you were to later discover that the goods you purchased in this store were stolen, you would have a valid defence, in that a "reasonable" person would expect that any store in a legitimate place of business (ie, a mall) would not be selling stolen goods. Sure, you'd probably still have the goods confiscated, but you wouldn't actually be charged for anything.

In the case of allofmp3.com, it operated as a seemingly legitimate "internet business" and had been reviewed, analyzed, and discussed by a number of third parties, many of whom made cautionary comments, but none of whom ever stated outright that the service would be illegal.

In fact, even the RIAA, despite being repeatedly asked for comment by a number of users, made no comment on it. This in itself puts them on shaky ground to suddenly prosecute people for copyright infringment.

Here's a hint for people, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Caveat emptor for certain. However, the vagaries of international law and currency adjustments can make the allofmp3.com site seem believable. If a site based in the U.S. were doing the same thing, I'm sure everybody would have more reason to be suspect. However, if you've ever been to Moscow, you'd realize that the currency and exchange rates over there are so messed up that's $1 US is actually a lot of money.

Meanwhile, the Russian maffia sure is glad to have your paypal or credit card numbers.
While that's a distinct possibility, the possibility still remains that this is a legitimate business that was simply pushing the envelope of copyright law, which has really not been well-defined in Russia yet (keep in mind that fifteen years ago, there was no concept of copyright in Russia at all, unless you consider the fact that everything belonged to the State to be "copyright" :) ).

The fact that there have been no reported instances of credit card fraud from customers who have used allofmp3.com (in fact, many reviewers have stated that they have had no issues) would make the "legitimate business" theory more plausible.
 

dlegros

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I have no concerns about my credit card number as I never gave it to allofMP3, I gave it to CyberPlat who seem to be the main e-commerce credit clearing service for Russia - http://www.cyberplat.ru.

Dom
 

Morfious

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Noooo!! All of MP3 is a great site. Forget the fact that they were dirt cheap, they actually let me decide what bitrate I wanted my music in. It is this reason alone that they were such a great resource. I agree that recording artists should be compensated for their hard work, but the record companies have made life so difficult, in an effort to make themselves rich, that is it aggrvating. Remember a little while ago when $20 was the normal price of CD's? Do you think the artists got a big raise durring that time? NO. And all of the music DL sites in the US offer songs at 128, which sound like crap through my home stereo system. Now if I buy the album I can rip it to any bitrate I want and have no DRM. Not to mention make a copy for my friend and give it to him to check out this new artist. So why the limitations on DL music? Ohh that's right you guys just want my $$ and don't really care abut the quality of the product you sell. Copyright laws in this country are all screwed up. Thank in part to the Disney Corporation. Original copyright laws were created to protect work for a limited time and then expire, causing a reason to develop new products and ideas, not to sit on them forever. </rant>
 

bdb

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I guess its escaped everyone's notice that the jurisdiction of the current activity is currently the Moscow city police department. Not only does it have little chance of affecting people outside of Russia, it has little chance of affecting people outside of Moscow. Not only is the RIAA not involved, no Russian national agency is involved. I see no rational reason to believe the end result will be the RIAA suing people for buying something that said it was legal from their side, and which the RIAA refused to deem illegal (several people have asked them). They probably don't even have much information on their users, since payment is through a third-party organization.

And if history is any precedence, the worst-case outcome is that allofmp3 will pay some settlement, and that's all. It doesn't even necessarily mean that they'll shut down. The Moscow police department hasn't even made a decision to proceed yet, and they only have a week or so to do it. There's still a reasonable possibility that nothing will happen.
 
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bdb said:
I guess its escaped everyone's notice that the jurisdiction of the current activity is currently the Moscow city police department...
Exactly.

I think that people are being excessively paranoid here. The RIAA has certainly gotten everyone's ire up with some of their sillier recent actions, but they're still not quite the jackboot-wearing gestapo that everybody seems to think they are....
 

wolfpacker

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One of the "A's" in RIAA is for America. The IFPI is the body that has influence in Russia. The RIAA is lobbying to restrict US trade with Russia until it cracks down on copyright abuse. It is the IFPI that is pressuring Moscow to close down allofmp3.

Sounds to me like allofmp3 is in Moscow and the quickest, easiest way to close them down is for the IFPI to just deal with the Moscow prosecutors office. Certainly sounds easier than dealing with Russian bureacracy at the national level. The first goal is obviously to shut allofmp3 down. Criminal charges certainly accomplish that goal easier than just civil suits.

Like I said, it is very, very common in cases like this for the party to settle and turn over records to the body that originated the criminal complaint (the IFPI). At that point, the IFPI would be free to go after people who "bought stolen merchandise", so to speak. They would probably share those records with member bodies like the RIAA.

The chances of the RIAA eventually going after the worst offenders seems very possible to me.
 

dcmacnut

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I agree with jhollington that lawsuits against individuals using the service is unlikely, though I tend not to put anything past the RIAA. However, the RIAA is only going after active sharers of large numbers of songs, and appears to be ignoring casual P2P users who don't share their downloaded songs on the server. I would say someone who bought a ton of songs from AllofMP3 and then proceeded to upload them to Kazaa would be a more likely target of the RIAA.
 

thenerd

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i havent downloaded from allofmp3 in about a month but I guess now is not a good time to start again.

:(
 

thenerd

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does anyone have an update about allofmp3. Should we stop downloading or is it safe?
 

Code Monkey

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zsmith66 said:
does anyone have an update about allofmp3. Should we stop downloading or is it safe?
I never stopped, the site's still up, and they're still doing daily updates. Whatever the investigation, it's obviously not of the "seize everything, drive them out of business whether they actually broke the law or not" that is the norm in the U.S.
 

wolfpacker

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the articles said police had till march 7 (next week) to charge allofmp3. (don't
understand why so soon, but IANARL)
 
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