- Legal?

Boing Boing points to some discussion going on regarding the russian site, an online music store that sells music, a la iTunes, Napster, etc.  The difference is that instead of around $0.99 per song you can get them for 10-20 cents per song.

Obviously, lots of people have questions regarding the legality of such a site/service.  This post on Interesting People discusses it as does an article in today’s Wall Street Journal (free access today only).  The Interesting People post seems to indicate that things should be legal so long as the songs are for personal use and not distribution (and so long as russian copyright law remains as it is).  The WSJ article makes it out to be less clear-cut. has a :FAQ: up about’s legality which seems to side with the IP post.

I first heard about several years ago, but never really looked into it.  Reading these articles, though, I think I may just have to investigate some more…

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It sounds like it’s legal within Russia, but publishing rights of any content doesn’t cross borders.  Films, music, even books: publishing and licensing rights for each territory are always negotiated separately with the organizations in each territory responsible for regulating it.

A lot of authors who have a hard time getting work published in the U.S. successfully hire an agent to get their works published abroad, and make a decent living on royalties of their books being published in foreign territories—even though it never sees the light of day in the U.S.

I imagine this is no different.

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