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Here we have a press release from PR Newswire detailing the debut of a new downloading service located in the former Soviet Union. The "source" is the website LegalSounds. With the recent disappearance of the very similar website MP3search.ru, we have a couple things to consider. First and foremost are these services truly legal in other countries? Seems unlikely, as they are offering products such as the Beatles, that are unavailable in other legitimate services portfolios. But, perhaps the site is just having technical difficulty and is not simply shut down by authorities there. The second is, what happens to customers when they lose touch with such a remote site and they still have your unused money that is left in your account? Where do you turn?
First, for a perspective from a man at least on the legal and moral aspect of these services, who makes a living in the music business, you may wish to read this post in our P2P Forum given by member Dhuman. Here is a snippet from his argument:
"Sharing music for free between friends is one thing, and there's evidence that suggests that people who get free music listen to it and sometimes become music consumers who buy music to support the particular artist or label. When that happens, that's great. In the case of indie labels and artists, that income from music sales can be the difference between eating or not eating, or perhaps more accurately employing or not employing, or signing new bands or not signing new bands. However, I draw the line at sites like Allofmp3, or Musicborder, which set an arbitrary price for an unlimited music subscription, which they've not only never discussed with the label or artist, but I can assure you in 99% of the cases no money flows through *at all* to the artist. Someone is actually making money off someone else's work...and that money is *not* getting through to the artist, or label.ROMS may well be a legit service in Russia, I don't know, Neolex seems to think it is. But to assert that "ROMS in turn, is obligated to pay most of that money (aside from small portion it needs for operating expenses) to artists. Both Russian and foreign."...I hate to burst the balloon, but that does not happen. I can categorically tell you that my clients do not receive income from ROMS. How do I know? I ask the label heads. They look at the website...look at their checking account...no money coming in...and they'd be in a position to know."
On the second issue, it will just take time to see if MP3search.ru does make a comeback and still retain accounts intact. In the years we have been following sites such as this, they have so far maintained a spotless record for not cheating a customer. With that in mind, we wait.
LegalSounds.com: Swansong for Peer to Peer? MOSCOW, October 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Forget peer 2 peer software for downloading music. The end of peer 2 peer networks is near! No more virus risks, no more low quality downloads. No more spyware.
Recently LegalSounds.com has opened its Online Music Download Store. With music downloads of all popular artists at only USD 0.14 a song, this can be the final step for most people to buy music online and not download it using peer to peer software.
LegalSounds offers clients a unique alternative to downloading music online using software like Kazaa, Grokster or E-Donkey. At LegalSounds you just use their own Downloadmanager to easily browse, buy and download music files. These files are downloaded at high speed, up to 400kB per second and orderly placed on your hard drive in folders. Buying and downloading full albums of all your favorite artists is as easy as clicking just one button.
How does it work?
First you register yourself. Then install their Download- manager software and you replenish the balance of your account using a credit card or paying by phone. After this it's only browsing through their impressive catalogue,selecting music you like and with just one click, downloading it to your hard drive.
And what about the money?
Paying on LegalSounds is organized through 2 different credit card processing companies that accept all popular credit cards and use high security standards such as SSL encrypted datatraffic when processing your transaction.
All customers can try the service for a test drive and get a free download without ever offering credit card information. If you really want to use the LegalSounds service but not your credit card, you can even pay byphone. Just open up a connection to a paid telephone number in your country for 15 minutes and your account balance is upgraded!
The music catalogue of LegalSounds consists of all new artists, albums, charts and more. Even artists like the Beatles and Rolling Stones are present. And of course all new music off the charts.
Is LegalSounds a peer 2 peer killer? See it for yourself. It works easily, prices are great and the music quality is outstanding. And downloading at USD 0.14 a song is pretty convincing! http://www.legalsounds.com
It seems that these type services are legal in their own country, while other countries are crying "foul". It was recently publicised that these services cannot be litigated against due to the lack of "physical evidence". To the Russian government's legal system, if you can't hold it in your hand or see it, it isn't physical evidence so they can't do anything about it! You can read the details of the specific complaint against AllofMP3.com that was decided upon by the Prosecutor for Moscow's South Western district in this related story. If you like to keep up on these matters, or possibly you even were a member of MP3search.ru and would like to stay current with it's situation, feel free to visit our Music Download, Peer to Peer (P2P) & Legal Issues Forum. There you can visit this thread specifically for issues with MP3search.ru.
Source: PR Newswire