AllofMP3 Goes Offline, Future Uncertain

Popular Russian music download service AllofMP3, whose legal status has long been in question, shut down over the weekend and has yet to re-open. The site sold music without DRM copy protection for $0.02 per megabyte, far cheaper than sanctioned services such as iTunes.

AllofMP3 enabled customers to select the audio quality and format of their downloads, and recently rolled out a standalone application for navigating the site and making purchases called AllTunes. However, the music industry has long characterized the service as illegal for not having proper licenses to the songs it sold.

Despite its questionable legality, customers have flocked to the service. Last month, AllofMP3 was the number two music store in the United Kingdom -- only trailing iTunes. However, that exposure also drew additional pressure from the United States music industry, which has pushed Russian regulators to step in.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to crack down on his country's piracy problems and lack of copyright protections. Putin is attempting to bring Russia into the World Trade Organization, and support from the United States will be a necessity to make that happen.

As of Monday afternoon, AllofMP3's site simply says, “We are sorry but the server is closed for maintainance." The service has made no public statements and it's not clear if it will re-open in the future.

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