Just in case you missed this news
over the Christmas break...
The RIAA, the American body that represents the record labels, is suing Russian MP3 download site AllOfMP3 for a massive, Dr Evil-sized 1.6 trillion dollars
That works out at around $150,000 for each of the 11m songs the RIAA says has been downloaded from the site.
However, the suit is nothing more than a cynical publicity stunt. The lawsuit has been filed in New York, whereas AllOfMP3 operates out of Russia. The company has no obligation to answer a lawsuit in the States, although it may choose to. Should the company not answer the claims in court, a default judgment will mean the RIAA wins its compensation, even if that is a long way from actually getting it.
The RIAA knows, however, that it will never get this money - it just wants an American court to prove AllOfMP3 illegal so that it can continue its campaign of spin against the site and continue to lobby American politicians to use the site as a lever in trade negotiations.
The site still claims that it pays royalties to the Russian licensing authority, but says that no American labels have ever tried to get their cut - probably since taking the cut would admit the validity of the website, which the RIAA is keen to avoid, given the way it undercuts US pricing.
Will the RIAA get its default judgment and be laughing all the way to the theoretical bank? Despite more and more pressure being heaped on, it seems that AllOfMP3 has a fair amount of resilience.
Who wants to bet that it will still be around in 2007? Let us know your thoughts over in the forums.