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Welcome Responds to RIAA Lawsuit
December 27, 2006
Thomas Mennecke
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The legal wranglings of various file-sharing developers has created several common response patterns from those unfortunate enough to face litigation from the RIAA (Recording Industry Associate of America.) If you're of the LimeWire ilk, your response may be to stay and fight. If you're from the BearShare clan, you may wish to settle. Then there's the Ares Galaxy option; a tactic that focuses on apathy in the face of potential litigation and carrying on business as usual. appears to have chosen the third option in response to a lawsuit filed by the RIAA on behalf of its member companies. The complaint was filed on December 21, 2006, against Media Services (the company which owns in a lawsuit of unprecedented value in the file-sharing realm.

The RIAA charges that is an illegal service and infringes on their member company's copyrights because they have yet to see any of the fees collected by the Russian music store. has quickly become one of the most successful music stores online, namely because of its ability to sell music for less than 10 cents per download. The addition of a DRM-free (Digital Rights Management) environment has also helped bolster this service as one of the few viable alternatives to P2P networking - at least in the eyes of the file-sharing community.

AllofMP3 countered the music industry’s claim, stating the service is completely legal in Russia as all necessary fees have been forwarded to the Russian royalty collection firm, ROMS. From there, AllofMP3 feels it is the responsibility of ROMS to divvy up the royalties to the copyright holders. AllofMP3 has managed to obtain a certain level of de facto legality, as the Russian authorities have yet to successfully force the site off line.

AllofMP3’s argument has not impressed the music industry, or the RIAA. The December 21 lawsuit argues that 11 million songs were allegedly pirated, and seeks damages totaling $150,000 per violation. That's a $1.65 trillion lawsuit - a value slightly less than the Gross Domestic Product for the United Kingdom in 2005.

In an odd game of reverse "oneupmanship", where in this case each side is less impressed with the argument of the other, AllofMP3 has responded coolly and with indifference to the staggering dollar amount of the RIAA's lawsuit.

"AllofMP3 understands that several U.S. record label companies filed a lawsuit against Media Services in New York," an unnamed "senior company official" stated. "This suit is unjustified as AllofMP3 does not operate in New York. Certainly the labels are free to file any suit they wish, despite knowing full well that AllofMP3 operates legally in Russia. In the mean time, AllofMP3 plans to continue to operate legally and comply with all Russian laws."

The big question of course will be whether AllofMP3, or Media Services, will show up at any legal proceeding based in New York. Although Media Services has legal counsel based in the United States, the tone of the statement suggests a very defiant approach. A representative of Media Services told that a decision on their future legal tactics has yet to be formulated - pending the review of a yet unreceived $1.65 trillion complaint.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Unauthorized Distribution ::
Legal/Courtroom :: Other Lawsuits

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