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Thursday, May 6th, 2004

the demise of ITMS

So much for “99¢ per song.” How about a penny per megabyte? That comes to about a nickel per song… maybe $0.70 per album. is a Russian company that sells music in bulk. You can choose MP3, AAC (for iPod), and even FLAC in some cases. If you download at a low bitrate, you’ll pay less per song… if you download at a high bitrate (or FLAC), you’ll pay more per song but get higher quality.

The question burning in your mind, especially those of you who have not purchased a CD in three years, is of course “is it legal?” As far as I can tell, the answer is: it’s legal for them to provide the service, but it may not be legal for you to use it.

The site’s FAQ answers the first question, “Is it legally to download music from site

All the materials in the MediaServices projects are available for distribution through Internet according to license # LS-3-03-79 of the Russian Multimedia and Internet Society. Under the license terms, MediaServices pays license fees for all the materials subject to the Law of the Russian Federation “On Copyright and Related Rights”. All the materials are available solely for personal use and must not be used for further distribution, resale or broadcasting.

The Terms of Service page contains this disclaimer:

You agree with the fact that you are not able to use and even to download audio and video materials from catalogue if it is in the conflict with legislation of your country.

I learned about this from a friend who was raving about it. I won’t name him here in case the RIAA comes kicking down doors. He says the hip way to do this is to pay via PayPal, so you don’t need to send your credit card info to Russia. But there’s a $10 mininum purchase, because nobody is going to make money selling 5¢ worth of music at a time.

Personally I haven’t tried the new service yet, because — this sounds dumb — I can’t come up with a 10 gigs of music I want that I don’t already own. Maybe I should organize a group music buy… get all my neighbors together, order 300 songs, then have them each write me a check for, like, $1.50.

posted to channel: Music
updated: 2004-05-10 13:22:22

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