In typical alien invasion fashion, if you cut of one head, another grows back shortly after. So to, has this proved true with the legal Russian download website allofmp3.com.
In 2006, the U.S. government blackmailed the Russian government into taking action against the site, barring them membership from the World Trade Organiasation until the service had been shut down.
The service has been on the receiving end of numerous lawsuits due to its low price, unrestricted and high quality downloads. Offering many albums for around the $2 mark it incensed the record industry, much like the low cost CDs offered by CD-Wow (also recently on the receiving end of litigation). Under increasing pressure, the Russian government finally signed an agreement in October last year to shut down the site.
Allofmp3.com maintained it paid royalties to a Russian licensing body and said that it made clear on its website that users should check copyright laws in their own country before using the site. Russian law proved to not be enough for the R.I.A.A and the B.P.I though.
Not to be deterred though, MediaServices the parent company of allofmp3.com has launched a strikingly similar download service called MP3 Sparks which is likely to see a surge in subscribers following the international publicity surrounding the service.
*photo by www.slyck.com