I read in the news today that the Russian web page AllOfMP3.com was getting heat from the Russian government for their alleged crimes towards copyright laws. Allofmp3.com is a music site that offers the end user the possibility to download from a vast music library at a very low cost. The current price is two cents per downloaded megabyte, so for a full dollar you are able to download 50 megabytes of music, which roughly amounts to a full CD at a decent bit rate quality. They also offer you the music in the most commonly used formats, and at variable bit rates. Which means you as the end user choose what quality you want.
The situation in Russia has always been that the government has been quite liberal to what goes on at Russian web sites. They have never really bothered with strict laws, and the laws that were close to strict were really never governed. But given Allofmp3’s price line and their recent media coverage, I have a strong suspicion that not only the music industry has laid pressure on the Russian government, but that the likes of iTunes has a finger in this “game”. Because one of the many features Allofmp3 has to offer, is the fact that the material you download from Allofmp3 is not DRM protected. Which means you are free to do whatever you want with the music you download. One of the dreaded things about DRM is the fact that you are forced into limiting the playback of your downloaded content to the machine you downloaded it to. So that means that when you buy a new PC, you have to get all the music all over again. And as a end user, having paid for your music you for sure want to continue playing your content. I wish that DRM never emerged as a technology, and I’m happy that you have alternatives such as Allofmp3. But for how long!? I’m afraid not for much longer.
I smell conspiracy all the way!