In this part of the world, the Pacific North West of North America, there is a non-indigenous plant which many would like to get rid of, the Himalayan Blackberry. It has a delicious fruit, and is extremely difficult to exterminate, since it has an extensive root system and seems to pop up everywhere.
allofmp3.com appears to share much in common with the Himalayan Blackberry. We may need to come up with another name for it, however, since allofmp3.com is no more. That’s right, the Russian government changed their laws and bowed to the American directive that they shut down the ultra-affordable music downloading service.
But up pops mp3sparks.com, which is different from allofmp3.com only in name and aesthetic. All functions are exactly the same. Former allofmp3.com users may also log into the Windows-based alltunes.com and make full use of their account balance there. In fact, after a purchase from alltunes.com, I logged into mp3sparks.com, and my balance there accurately reflected the alltunes.com purchase.
So what shall we call this entity? The Russian mp3berry?
Clearly the Russian mp3berry has an extensive root system, and to kill it, it is not sufficient to destroy a site. It might theoretically be possible to stop it by attacking the database backend which handles accounting and inventory (these sites seem to have the same catalogue of music as well). That’s assuming it is located in one place and not a distributed application. It is technologically possible to distribute a backend over multiple machines which do not even need to be located in the same facility. In fact, they could be distributed anywhere in the world where there is internet access.
I wonder if the RIAA will ever clue in to the fact that the club of litigation and government coercion isn’t going to serve them well in the 21st century. Rather than try to eradicate the Russian mp3berry, they should seek to learn from it and improve on it. If RIAA member labels stopped screwing artists and passed along a generous share to them, they could create an allofmp3.com style site and even charge a bit more than the Russians, and people would feel good about using it. But unless they wake up to this, they are the ones on the road to extinction, not the delicious Russian mp3berry.
Michael Geist has put together a short video challenging American misrepresentations of Canada as a Land o’ the Pirates.