New Russian movie download site follows AllofMP3's lead

Although it is apparently not related to the music download site that was the bane of the music industry's existence, a new site is promising cheap downloads of movies.

Called ZML, the new site offers about 1,500 different titles for download that are free of any digital rights management restrictions. Among the titles available include recent hits 300 and Transformers, as well as classics Apocalypse Now and Aliens.

Each movie is available for download starting at a cost of $1.99, and are encoded in the DivX/Xvid codec according to the site's help files. Those wanting higher quality for larger screens would also have the option of a $2.99 and $4.99 version of the title.

Like AllofMP3, ZML claims it is following the policies of the Russian Organization for Multimedia and Digital Systems (ROMS).

"All materials presented on this site are available for the distribution over the Internet in accordance with the license of the Russian Organization for multimedia and Digital Systems (ROMS) and intended for personal use only. Further distribution, resale or broadcasting is strictly prohibited," it says, adding that users cannot download files from the site if it violates the laws of his/her country.

Some industry watchers said that ZML's terms of service mean little, if anything, to the legality of the entire concept.

"Yes, this statement is pretty silly and no, it doesn't mean you can legally purchase movies from or that they're legally permitted to sell them. But they'll move a ton of movies here until they get shut down," Brian Evans wrote for Zatz Not Funny on Thursday.

It also appears as if ZML is taking extra steps to work around problems that AllofMP3 had with credit card processing: instead of directly accepting Visa and Mastercard, customers must first register for an account and fund it before purchasing any content.

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