updated 11:05 am EDT, Tue July 3, 2007
AllOfMP3 Shut Down
AllOfMP3.com has been taken down today, according to Russian government officials. The move to take down the site is in direct response to pressure from the US and the World Trade Organization, both of whom have been asked by major music labels to make the deactivation of the controversial music site a key condition of Russia's entrance into the WTO. No authorities in either Russia or the US have said whether or not the shutdown would have an impact on the lawsuit filed against AllOfMP3 in December.
The music service had drawn criticism from music labels for years due to its questionable licensing practices, which saw the company obtain permission from ROMS to charge as little as 20 cents per track or under $2 per album compared to the 99 cents and $10 from many online music shops. Labels had accused the company of deliberately shortchanging artists, a charge that AllOfMP3 owner Mediaservices had denied, citing Russian law.
The move by the US and WTO may have been ineffective, however. A new website, Mp3sparks, has just launched through the same company and promises similar pricing. Songs are priced at about 20 cents depending on size, while full recent albums are sold for about $2. [via TorrentFreak]