Looks like Russian authorities have finally put the big hurt on Allofmp3.com, a site that sold downloadable MP3 files for insanely low prices. The predictable response: a new and remarkably similar site, Mp3sparks.com, has sprung up, and according to this Techdirt reader, it even honoring the logins and passwords that users had at Allofmp3.com.
RIAA haters may take delight in this seemingly unwinnable game of whack-a-mole, but there's a larger point here. Like its predecessor, the new site argues that the music industry should embrace it because it's willing to pay royalties in accordance with what it claims to be Russian law. But no firm or country should have the power to impose what amounts to a compulsory license regime that gives intellectual property owners no say over the compensation they receive. That comes precious close to nationalizing the property. Allofmp3 forced bands that did not want to sell their music online, such as the Beatles and Led Zeppelin, to do so at wholesale rates far below what they could reasonably command. You can argue that labels and artists should embrace a business model like Allofmp3's and shift to a high-volume, low-margin approach, but they should be able to make that call for themselves.