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Russian Music Site Offering Legal Songs By The MB 614

An anonymous reader writes "The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting on a Russian Music site that is offering legal digital music by the MB. The site apparently has a license from the Russian Music authorities to legally distribute songs for a fraction of the price of what is being offered by iTunes and others. The report from SMH is here. Amazingly, the site offers files in any format and encoding you choose and rips it on the fly. Notifications by email follow when the songs are ready for download. Sounds a little to good to be true :)"
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Russian Music Site Offering Legal Songs By The MB

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  • by hanssprudel ( 323035 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @07:34AM (#8994775)
    It doesn't rip it on the fly, it encodes it on the fly. Big difference (thousands of CD-ROMs???)

    More importantly, has anybody tried this? I found it many months ago, but I am loath to send my credit card data to a semi-shady Russian site, and I am worried that credit card records could be used to go after people who used the site when it (inevitably) gets shut down eventually. What do people think?
  • The price is right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NSash ( 711724 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @07:35AM (#8994787) Journal
    $5 for 500 megabytes. Now this is more like it.
  • Not legal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Simon Lyngshede ( 623138 ) <.kd.lesaewecips. .ta. .nomis.> on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @07:39AM (#8994807) Homepage isn't legal, it migth be in Russia, but that doesn't mean that people outside russia can buy from them legally. If they wish to tell to say Denmark, they must have an agreement with KODA (Danish RIAA), THEY DON'T. Same deal as with Spanish weblisten, legal in Spain, not outside.

    It might be a nice service, but I won't recommend using it. If they do not have a deal with the RIAA equivalent in what ever country you're in, it is a waste of money.

    Don't trust sites that sell music that doesn't have an agreement with a record label or the artists.
  • by evil_roy ( 241455 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @07:41AM (#8994820)
    If you think that then you must live in some authoritarian state like ....

    Who'd have thought it... Russia..the home of the brave and the free.
  • Re:Not legal (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Simon Lyngshede ( 623138 ) <.kd.lesaewecips. .ta. .nomis.> on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @07:43AM (#8994838) Homepage
    That you do, but Im not paying to download music which is going to be considered illegal where I live. That would be stupid.
  • (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Urkki ( 668283 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @07:43AM (#8994839)
    *RIA* aren't bad in principle, quite the contrary. If they get too much power and abuse it (and let's face it, too much power always leads to abuse), then that can be bad. But ideally they're representing artists rights, put to that position by artists, just as good or bad as for example EFF can be. It's just that money tends to corrupt everything.
  • (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rico_za ( 702279 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @07:49AM (#8994861)
    This is a great example of the free market combined with the internet. I'm able to buy goods and services from wherever it suits me.

    That's exactly the same argument that can be used for outsourcing IT jobs. You can't have it both ways people! You can't have your cheap consumer economy in the US, and still want your jobs protected. Why not complain about the poor music industry jobs that are being "outsourced" to Russia?
  • (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rmezzari ( 245108 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @07:57AM (#8994888)
    You hit the nail in the head, I was going to post the same idea. Why can a consumer buy goods and services where he sees fit, but a company cannot do the same? That's hipocrisy for you kids.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @07:57AM (#8994892)
    I hope I'm missing the joke here.

    Until you (and everyone else) start working for free, don't expect record companies to do the same. You basically have two choice: pay with money or pay with advertising. Pick one.
  • Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MoThugz ( 560556 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @07:57AM (#8994896) Homepage
    Amazingly, the site offers files in any format and encoding you choose and rips it on the fly. Notifications by email follow when the songs are ready for download. Sounds a little to good to be true :)

    Why does it sound too good to be true? There's no such technology? They can't possibly have all the CD titles that you're interested in?

    This could have been done at least three years ago. The USian companies missed out not because of technological factors, but their stupid laws and of course, the paranoid state of mind of the RIAA.

    This could have been "the" way to listen to music in this age and time... but noooo, somehow you MUST stick DRM in the files and whatnot. When will the relevant bodies realize that the more you restrict the consumers, the more they will look for an easier (and not necessarily legal) alternative.
  • Re:Not legal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SubtleNuance ( 184325 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @07:59AM (#8994903) Journal

    But the Berne Convention (and others) covers copyright between nations (ie: protect ours this, that, and the other-way and we'll protect yours the same). If I buy from Russia -- and its legal in russia -- than I can import it into my own country. Nothing is the matter.

    Here is the real problem: Copyright is an outdated and broken concept, with all manner of issues involved now that physical scarcity of music has ended. Outside of oppressive cabals rigging the market (Koda/RIAA etc), how do you expect this all to work? It costs nothing to move $intellectual-property, so geography is irrelevant. It costs nothing to manufacture (cp mysong.wav yoursong.wav;wget

    This hodge-podge of nonsense is collapsing under its own stupidity... and I say good. Its high time The People got to enjoy the benefits of our technological advances.

  • by nattt ( 568106 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @08:08AM (#8994937)
    And how is that different from buying a CD in a store where all the money goes to the store and the RIAA, and the artist doesn't see any of it?

    The fact is that if it costs a radio station a small fraction of a cent per listener per song, why does the licence component of a CD that I'm going to listen to $1?? It's one price for the radio (cheap) and another for the consumer(gets screwed)
  • by un1xl0ser ( 575642 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @08:09AM (#8994947)
    Is this a true statement?

    Something Not Funny || Something Off Topic + Mentioning(Karma Burn || Having Karma to Burn) == Karma Points

    If so.. .... fuck that

    - un1xl0ser
  • (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Epistax ( 544591 ) <epistax@gmai l . com> on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @08:15AM (#8994974) Journal
    I have no problem with the outsourcing and I completely agree with it. Hell I'm a computer engineer. If my job gets outsourced to India or whatever, I'll just go there and work. This same argument can be made state to state as country to country. Jobs are taken from a state so it becomes less populated (I'm from Maine). Jobs are taken from a country so it becomes less populated.

    So... c-ya! (after I graduate :P)
  • by Daath ( 225404 ) <lp@code r . dk> on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @08:15AM (#8994976) Homepage Journal
    While legal in Russia, it may not be legal in YOUR country to use their services.
    Just a thing to bear in mind, if you want to keep a clean path.
  • by Idou ( 572394 ) * on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @08:17AM (#8994986) Journal
    the poster is against outsourcing? Slashdot is a diverse group of individuals voicing their diverse opinions, which all conflict. I am tired of individuals saying "gotcha" when two completely SEPARATE individuals voice CONFLICTING opinions. Btw, if ALL prices (not just wages) were to drop at the same rate, then, yes, nobody would be complaining about outsourcing. The problem is that there are market inefficiencies that are keeping some prices the same while others go down.
  • by cpt kangarooski ( 3773 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @08:18AM (#8994995) Homepage
    Why is this any different to physically flying to Russia, buying a CD off the shelf for a much lower price than you pay in the US, then flying back with it?

    Because that involves a copy made (legally, we assume) in Russia. The selfsame copy is then brought here. When you listen to it, you're listening to a copy of foreign origin.

    This involves a copy made HERE, itself based on a copy in Russia. When you download something, the bits on the server aren't magically sent to you -- instead a new copy is made. Since, in the end, there is a copy on your computer, and a copy on their computer, it is pretty obvious that this involved an act of copying, not an act of importation (where only one copy exists, and it's moved physically).

    Do you see the difference?
  • by mpk ( 10222 ) <> on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @08:20AM (#8995007) Homepage
    ..then it probably is, and that's why I treat these claims with a hefty degree of scepticism. Let's look at a few points:

    If they claim they're legal because "we're licensed as if we were broadcasting the material", then as far as I understand you have no right to make or keep a recording of anything they might broadcast. Broadcasting is "we broadcast it and you listen", and there's no automatic right to tape records off the radio.

    It's highly possible that the reason they haven't been closed down is that taking legal action against shady Russian entities is extremely difficult at the best of times.

    If they're interested in people uploading stuff *to* them in exchange for download rights, then the legitimacy of their source material seems doubtful.

    Ultimately, applying Occam's razor to this story makes me wonder that if it's so spotlessly legal, why isn't everyone setting up stores like this on Russian territory?

    Anyway, something here smells sufficiently fishy for me to be extremely sceptical of the wisdom of giving them money.
  • Re:Not legal (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KDan ( 90353 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @08:26AM (#8995030) Homepage
    You may not, but I know people who will pay that much just for the service of having all the mp3s organised and easily downloaded and good quality without the incredible hassle that you'd have to go through with kazaa et al. Me, for a start. Regardless of whether it's legal or not, I'll pay 1 cent per megabyte for a quality mp3 serving service.

    And that's what the muppets at the RIAA need to get into their heads. People will pay for service - though they'll only pay a fair price. "copyright legality" is an insubtsantial concept that some people can be fooled into considering wortwhile, but at the end you're buying wind (quite literally in the case of music!). A service, though, is a service, a concrete thing that can't be copied at zero cost.

  • (Score:5, Insightful)

    by marc_gerges ( 561641 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @08:30AM (#8995049)
    The issue nowadays is just the other way around.

    A company can move, source, produce and sell pretty much wherever it wants. However, as a consumer my possibilities to buy goods and services where I see fit is severely hampered.

    Ever tried to buy something from an Amazon affiliate not in your part of the world? Heck, I'm in Luxembourg, and there's many articles within that they refuse to ship to anywhere but Germany.

    A Toyota Prius is 20000 USD in the US, and 25000 EUR over here. Can I import one from the US? Sure. Will Toyota US sell me one? Sure not.

    Of course, I could jump through hoops and get my stuff (I sometimes do). But we're far away from having consumers being able to use globalization to his advantage...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @08:37AM (#8995075)
    Hmmm. Who do I trust? A shady Russian website selling MP3's or a shady US website who takes your money and promises to send it where you say?
  • (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @08:43AM (#8995104)
    You would be in for a rude awakening if you moved to India. It's one thing to visit, another to live/work there.

    First of all, the reason jobs are outsourced is THEY PAY YOU LESS. So unless you are totally dedicated to your work, being in IT is not as lucrative there as it is here.

    Why do you think there are still so many work visas from India in the US? My cubicle-mate is Indian, and he totally agrees with me.
  • (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mattsson ( 105422 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @08:54AM (#8995162) Journal
    Yes, some jobs are created in russia instead of the US in the music-sales sector and the IT-sector.
    But most of the jobs related to the song that's being downloaded have little or nothing to do with where in the world the song is being sold.
    This is no different than buying a record while on vacation, buying a record from another country over the net or buying something from iTunes while not being a US citizen.
  • (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @08:55AM (#8995167) Homepage Journal
    it would seem to me that the ones doing the outsourcing are the biggest complainers about services like allofmp3.

  • by achurch ( 201270 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @09:01AM (#8995207) Homepage
    Given that the site is located in Russia, it is (or at least was originally) probably intended mainly for Russian users. I doubt any of the service administrators speak native English. Think how you'd feel if you had a site in English and Russian, and Russian users called it "shady" because your Russian was bad. Then think again on your comment.
  • by Quaryon ( 93318 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @09:05AM (#8995232)
    To be pedantic, the Russian site creates a copy specifically for you - once you've finished downloading it gets deleted - that might make a difference, not sure. This happens because the file you download is encoded specifically for you, with your own desired LAME (or whatever) parameters.

  • by Ubergrendle ( 531719 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @09:07AM (#8995255) Journal
    Actually, if my credit card was ripped off, I would assume that downloading online music would be a preferred activity. Why use my credit card to buy CDs from the HMV at the mall when I can go to a website and download 10x the amount? Also, i might get ~physically~ caught at a mall.

    I'm sure Citibank isn't skeptical of the company itself per se, more that you've changed your buying habits to purchase something internationally.

    BTW, this can be bad from a precedent setting perspective. Citibank will (eventually) adjust its fraud-detection settings for your account, so the next time a questionable internet-based Russian purchase happens it might not trigger a flag.
  • Re:Not legal (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sir_cello ( 634395 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @09:08AM (#8995263)
    Nice rant, but you don't know what you are talking about.

    (a) the Berne Convention does provide for national treatment, but typically the owner of the copyright is the first marketer _in the respective territory_, which means that although the song Russia is technically the same as the copy original provided from the parent company in the US, it is actually (in legal terms) an entirely different one because two separate legal personalities in the US and Russia own the copyright in the respective songs: so the US owner cannot ligitate against someone who copies the Russian version (capice?), nor can the Russian owner litigate against someone who copies the US version. Remember that in the case of copyright infringement, you have to _prove_ an act of copying, and thus a _chain of copies_ leading back to the original version that was infringed.

    The Berne Convention does offer a "thirty-day" window in which if you publish in several countries during that period, then the owner of the work _is_ the single owner. This means that if the US owner had also published in Russia within 30 days of the release of the song, then they would own the copyright in the work, and could litigate against the Russian copyists.

    (b) Copyright is not outdated: firstly, it costs time, effort and money to make these musical works: so the creators deserve to own rights in those works. This fundamental concept is never going to change. You say "it costs nothing to manufacture" - umm, how do you account for the costs of studios, equipment, people's time and effort, etc ? Sure it costs nothing to make _a copy_ of the first original copy of the work recorded in the studio, but it still costs a lot to make that first copy.

  • by silverfuck ( 743326 ) <dan,farmer&gmail,com> on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @09:08AM (#8995264) Homepage
    all the money goes to the store and the RIAA, and the artist doesn't see any of it?

    Simple solution: Buy all your major-label stuff from allofmp3, and buy CDs from small bands. Somehow you get the impression that more money is going to the artists if you can go up to them after a performance and buy a CD directly from them (and buy them a drink).

    Well, that's how I see it anyway.
  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jamie Lokier ( 104820 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @09:16AM (#8995326) Homepage
    The artists are not getting a dime from the money you send to the Russians.

    I disagree with your prejudicial statement.

    The article says that the Russians are paying to license this music, and your payment to the site funds that payment. That license fee goes to the artists' association, specifically to fund artists, engineers etc. in the same way that radio airtime fees are supposed to fund those involved in making the music.

    Because of the price differential between countries, perhaps only a very small sum or none makes its way to U.S.-based artists. It is hard to know without seeing the figures. U.S.-based music would surely not be licensed at all in Russia if the RIAA didn't make something from doing that.

    U.S.-based artists are not the only ones in the world, though. I bet there are plenty of Eastern European artists (among others) for whom Russian licensing fees represent substantial income.

    -- Jamie

  • Good site. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by man_ls ( 248470 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @09:26AM (#8995417)
    I've been using their site for about 6 months now, for pay, with no problems. They haven't stolen my CC number, the files are immaculate quality, and I've been able to get hard-to-find music that doesn't exist except in a few random music stores here in the states.

    Best part?

    It's legal.
  • (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Fulcrum of Evil ( 560260 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @09:42AM (#8995559)

    If they get too much power and abuse it (and let's face it, too much power always leads to abuse), then that can be bad. But ideally they're representing artists rights, put to that position by artists, just as good or bad as for example EFF can be.

    On this planet, the RIAA does have too much power, and they do abuse it, and they don't really represent artists - they represent the labels, which just want to make money. If they could do it without artists, they would.

  • (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TopShelf ( 92521 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @09:49AM (#8995609) Homepage Journal
    You have an excellent point; what is being potentially "outsourced" (the new name for an old practice) is the distribution of music, not it's creation. Just another example of the music industry not understanding that the genie is already out of the bottle...
  • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @09:54AM (#8995656) Homepage Journal
    Now I await them finding a way to do it without charging money.
    Hmmm, well the three things that spring to mind are:
    • Product placement - a well tested system that has helped reduce theatre and DVD prices for us all, with no apparent compromises made to the movies we watch. Indeed, some of us use this to fund our postings to Slashdot, and when I sit back, drink an ice cool refreshing Vanilla Coca Cola, and scan on my Apple PowerBook, I can see the advantages straight away.
    • Government grants - we the people benefit from music, so surely what we want is we the people to fund it. A minor increase in our taxes will ensure the money is well spent, providing grants for individual artists. A diverse and innovative range of music will be at our disposal, once those in charge of issuing grants determine what music deserves to be made, according, of course, to national community values. Of course, compromises will have to be made - music about sex, politics, religion, or that uses any of the words George Carlin was fined for protesting about his inability to use on television, will obviously not be made. We don't want tax payer's money spent on that kind of filth, and if the government issuing grants means that alternative sources of funding dry up, well, that's just a positive side effect that will keep America clean.
    • Music can be funded through concerts - I don't need to tell you that I'd much rather pay $50 to see Orbital or The Chemical Brothers in concert than listen to them on my iPod lying on my bed with my eyes closed. I mean, can you imagine? Those samples, being acted out and mixed live. Definitely a viable way of funding music, because everyone who likes a particular type of music wants to see concerts and sees concerts as an appropriate way of listening to music.
    • Isn't it about time artists just created music for the love of it? I mean, they're creating something, surely that's enough. Surely they should fund their day to day living expenses by working a full time job. Sure, if they have a full time job they're unlikely to have the time and energy to produce much, but that's better than being a lazy, scrounging, whiner who insists on making us pay them a few dollars for something that enriches our lives and helps make us happy. Our praise should be enough, surely? Ungrateful whiners!
    And those are just the excellent funding ideas from the top of my head (actually El Reg's and the many Slashdotters heads, from memory.) Music can be free, all we have to do is not pay for it!
  • (Score:5, Insightful)

    by theLOUDroom ( 556455 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @09:55AM (#8995666)
    That's exactly the same argument that can be used for outsourcing IT jobs. You can't have it both ways people! You can't have your cheap consumer economy in the US, and still want your jobs protected. Why not complain about the poor music industry jobs that are being "outsourced" to Russia?

    NO, this is not like outsourcing.
    What this is doing is using the industry's geographical price discrimitation against them.

    They might charge $10 for a widget in the US and only $4 in Cambodia, so what's happening here it that the same goods are still being purchased from the same company, it's just the geographic price discrimination is being avoided.

    Incidentally price controls like this are illegal in the US, it's just that nobody exists to deal with them on an internaional level. Thus, you can ship a DVD that won't play in Korea, but not one which won't play in Kentucky.
  • (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dasmegabyte ( 267018 ) <> on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @09:57AM (#8995689) Homepage Journal
    And who need to do something with all that money. Do you think they're outsourcing money management or lawyers? Are they relying on cheap Asian labor to build their fast cars and gigantic bungalows?

    Nearly every successful person I know has gotten there by knowing people with money and selling things to them. One guy I know quit GE and started his own company doing exactly what he did at GE, hired his former co-workers, and outsourced himself to GE for more money (twice as much, but GE loved it since they weren't "in that field," despite dropping several mil a year into it).

    While it's true that trickle down economics don't work, pumping water from upstream generally does.

    Anyhow, the Grandfather's assertion that the average wage in the US will be no higher than the average wage in urban China is true, for the most part, but only because the average wage in urban China will go up at the same time ours goes down. That's one easy way to acheive global equality.
  • Re:Not legal (Score:4, Insightful)

    by laird ( 2705 ) < minus math_god> on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:00AM (#8995717) Journal
    "I'm no expert on the matter but if I buy a CD from Russia that's $15 cheaper than in my country, do I have to pay again to the local RIAA just because I got it cheaper? ... If I buy legal online music from Russia instead say.. iTunes, does it make the songs illegal?"

    It's not a matter of pricing being lower in Russia; the site is pretty obviously illegal. Many of the artists whose work is being sold (e.g. The Beatles, Led Zeppelin) have never agreed to have their work sold digitally, which is why you can't find their music on any legitimate music download service. And of course, if they're selling music for a few cents a track, they're not paying the artists and composers for the recordings.

    Even if it were legal in Russia (which it clearly isn't) they clearly wouldn't have the right to sell that music anywhere else, since the companies that have the Russian rights to the music aren't the same as the companies that have the US rights, and those rights are exclusive. So even if the Russian company decided to sell music for almost nothing, they couldn't sell it to US customers, etc. This legal issue is why iTunes only sells to US customers, etc. -- to do things legally, you have to negotiate the rights to sell the music country by country.
  • by Uninvited Guest ( 237316 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:02AM (#8995734)
    But ideally they're representing artists rights, put to that position by artists...

    That is not correct. The *RI* organizations represent the recording industry, not artists. Recording artists are represented by organizations like the Recording Acadamy [] and the Recording Artists Coalition [] --organizations which are often at odds with the RIAA.
  • Re:Not legal (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dasmegabyte ( 267018 ) <> on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:14AM (#8995867) Homepage Journal
    So...what you're saying is that the black market makes it EASIER to steal music, and therefore it's a better solution? That a "fair price" is whatever you decide it is? That you're willing to pay for somebody to help you steal in a more organized fashion?

    $.01 per megabyte is obscene. That's $.65 for an album on MP3. An artist makes more than that on a CD sale...what do you think their cut is of this?

    My buddy's sunk about $10,000 into his demo so far. They'll be lucky to recoup that selling 1000 CDs at concerts for $10. To recoup it from -- a service they have never agreed to be a part of, and in Russia they don't have to be -- they'd have to receive nearly 16,0000 downloads. That is not fair. And I know you don't care about artists' costs and think the label is screwing everybody...but this is an amateur produced demo! Music is expensive to make and of limited appeal -- and "legal" overseas services that give it away are bad, bad, BAD for American artists. It's like having your sales outsourced against your will!
  • (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bankman ( 136859 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:20AM (#8995928) Homepage
    This is a great example of the free market combined with the internet. I'm able to buy goods and services from wherever it suits me.

    That's exactly the same argument that can be used for outsourcing IT jobs. You can't have it both ways people! You can't have your cheap consumer economy in the US, and still want your jobs protected. Why not complain about the poor music industry jobs that are being "outsourced" to Russia?

    At some point you might want to read something about the concept of Comparative Advantage, which goes back to Adam Smith I believe. You should be able to find some information about this in the context of the current outsourcing debate at The Economist [].

  • Re:VERY LEGAL. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dasmegabyte ( 267018 ) <> on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:27AM (#8996000) Homepage Journal
    the BSA and MPAA and RIAA and other IP outfits where these gestapo like organisations control the free flow of information.

    Word. I'm also pissed off at the FDA for preventing the free flow of untested drugs, and the FBI for restricting the free flow of raw, uncut heroin. And I'm not a big fan of the "State Police" slowing down the free flow of my neighbour's high deifnition TV into my basement.

    Shit, man. The internet is threatening to destroy the viability of creating entertainment because people like you seem to think that just because it's easy to do something that it should be legal too. Remember: a painting is nothing more than some coloured oil on cloth. Can't possibly be worth more than $10. So you'd be a fool to pay more, right?
  • How about this... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by razmaspaz ( 568034 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:38AM (#8996109)
    I set up shop in Russia. My company will, for a reasonable fee, purchase a hard drive for you. Fill it with the music you want- legally obtained from this service. Ship it to you in your country. You have now purchased and imported legally copyrighted material. The copy was made legally and the import will not be subject to american copyright law. Is this correct?

    Does anyone know what UPS would charge to ship a hard drive from Russia to Yourtown, USA?
  • Wrong again (Score:3, Insightful)

    by poptones ( 653660 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:46AM (#8996195) Journal
    Because this is, at least for now, unenforceable. The only possible way to enforce such a restriction as you mention would be to eavesdrop on all internet communications originating from the US and to prosecute U.S serfers who utilize this "illegal" service.

    And, since that would require all sorts of invasive precendents, it would surely take multiple SCOTUS cases to settle the issue - an issue, as you know, the SCOTUS has a long record of siding with "users" and not corporate holders. Just as they sided with home users having a right to record Disney's movies on their Sony VCRs in their homes, it's doubtful the record industry could ever win a case against a user for "importing" their own legally purchased CDs via these electronic means.

    And BTW, whether you like the Berne convention or not, we're stuck with it until our own politicians get smart - you can't defend the law in one breath and then in the next say "well, I don't like that part of the law so I'm not going to argue it - as a student of law you should fucking well know better than to even try such nonsense. And, so long as Russia ia a signatory on that treaty that none of us "like," we're bound to accept their protections just as they're bound to accept ours. And in Russia (Ukraine, Poland, etc) there are far fewer protections for corporate entities when it comes to copyight (another discussion we have had before - should I cite some Polish or Ukraine law?)

    And record companies may not like this fact, but they seem to have no problem living with it: Sony, Universal, BMG... these all have presence in Russia just as elsewhere. Madonna may not like her music being sold so cheap, but she has little say over it - a little something is better than whole lotta nothing, which is what she'd get is she refused to allow Maverick records to have any official presence in the country.

    In short: I been using this service for a long time. I told you about it over at Arstech and no one there seemed to find it worthy of front page comment, and I've mentioned it here multiple times and yet it's remained a pretty well kept secret until now.

    So, Slashdot may have finally accomplished what Berne could not - deprive me of a steady supply of cheap, quality encoded music at a fair price (cheaper even than "free" usenet, BTW). I'm sure there's a lesson in there about capitalism and the power of a free press, but right now I'm too pissed to think much about it...

  • by 10101001 10101001 ( 732688 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @10:59AM (#8996359) Journal
    >>Umm, how do they sell stuff on the internet without charging money?

    >They'll make it up in volume.

    I know your comment was meant to be funny, but that's actually true to an extent. Just like how ads pay for free tv broadcasts, I wouldn't doubt the volume of people getting free audio online wouldn't provide a nice revenue stream for doing ads. Of course, there's nothing stopping a stream from being 90% ads and having people pay to get 45% ads instead..or was it that cable got you more channels with ads. Anyways, there's this magically thing called the radio which people have been known for years to tape record off of even though it wasn't always the best quality. Streaming audio would probably fit well into that category. I guess it's funny to me how while MS is trying to shift from per item to per time the RIAA is dead-set on doing everything on per item. I guess that's just their little way of saying MS has too little software and the RIAA has way too much music.
  • Re:TANSTAAFL. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ratboy666 ( 104074 ) <fred_weigel AT hotmail DOT com> on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @11:26AM (#8996640) Journal
    Please put paragraph breaks in. Makes it easier to follow what you are trying to say...

    "Why shouldn't these artists get paid for the time and effort? We pay bankers to handle our money, cooks to make our dinner, maids to clean our houses, but we can't pay artists who actually make our lives enjoyable?"

    I do go to concerts. I spend about $1000 per year on: concerts, musical theatre, movies, and sports. That is more than I pay to maids (4 visits per year, $100 per visit).

    When I do something, I don't get paid after it is finished. Doesn't matter how many people use it. Yes, you my have my code in your computer RIGHT NOW. But I don't get royalties. And that's ok with me... Now, the musicians do get royalties. I would think that 1 cent over a million uses is still 100,000 dollars. More than I make, anyway. And for this, do nothing.

    As to THIS being the "system of patronage extends back for countless millennia"?

    I don't think so. 100 years ago the only way to hear an artist was to be there. Or listen to someone else play the music. Works *were* commissioned. Certainly, no one made money on selling recordings -- there weren't any.

    I don't mind people making money selling recordings... just get it into line with costs and reasonable profit. Or I won't buy. $1 per song is FAR too much. Given that 10 cents a song pays for royalties, encoding, distribution *and* profit.

    If you insist on pricing electronic recordings at $1 a song, and CDs at $15, I won't buy. [Note - WalMart - usually not known for generosity - sells some DVD movies at $4.88 CDN].

    I will still go to concerts. Am I selfish and cheap? Thanks for thinking that about me, but I have purchased more CDs and sound recodings than the entire human race did before 1850. More, even. I think that make me really generous to the artists.

  • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @11:57AM (#8997004) Homepage Journal
    "Music can be funded through concerts"

    Hmm...."Back in the Day"....this was the way bands DID make their money. Unfortunately, it seems all you get today is a good looking lip-syncher...produced by the corporation, that cannot perfom live (or at least with out a LOT of electronic help).

  • Re:Hmmmm... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @12:27PM (#8997321)
    Russia changes.
    Everyone and everything does.
    It's been now more than 10 years since collapse of the Soviet regime.
    Many things are different now.
    Of course, there is a long way to go, but the progress has been immense.
    Young generation does not know Soviet modus vivendi.
    Mafia belongs to the first half of 90-ies.
    It's very much different from what you see in a Hollywood movies...
  • Re:VERY LEGAL. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @01:54PM (#8998433)

    The internet is threatening to destroy the viability of creating entertainment because people like you seem to think that just because it's easy to do something that it should be legal too.

    Wow, looks like the schoolroom propoganda is working. Do you drink Pepsi for lunch there too?

    So you think the whole wide world would just stop making video, music, and all other forms of entertainment if your corporate copyright power structure was disassembled, huh?

    Like there's no-one out there who does art for the sake of, er, art, or pleasure? Or who can find other means of supporting themselves besides putting virtual chains around their knowledge. Or who maybe wouldn't feel the need to live like a king, or spend $50 million hyping their album.

    News flash for you, dasidiot: Art would indeed survive. In fact, you might say that the art that does survive is going to be that made by the real artists, and not all the stars-in-the-eyes in-it-for-the-money corporate executives and boy bands.

    Stop letting the man do your thinking for you. Try not watching TV for a few weeks, stop reading the mass-hysteria news sites, and stand up to authority from time to time. Smoke a joint, drive over 55, and drink alcohol on Sunday. Then, if you're lucky, you might just become enlightened.

    P.S. This rant isn't really to convince you. You're beyond hope, and I'm sure this antagonistic little tirade is just going to help cement your position. Instead, it's for some of the people who might be on the fence over this whole copyright issue. Here's to hoping some of them fall on the right side.

  • (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nzkoz ( 139612 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @09:11PM (#9003252) Homepage
    NO, this is not like outsourcing. What this is doing is using the industry's geographical price discrimitation against them.

    You never mentioned why it wasn't like outsourcing? Isn't outsourcing just companies' using the labour market's Geographical price discrimination against the employees?

    Same service, two prices in two different countries. Buy from the cheap one. I fail to see how this is different except that in one case it's the evil Industry and on the other it's the valiant Workers.

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.