A statement from the All of MP3 folk reads "the service will be resumed in the foreseeable future. We are doing our best at the moment to ensure that all our users can use their accounts, top up balance and order music." This follows a Moscow district court ruling earlier in the month that All of MP3 and its owners had acted within the bounds of existing Russian copyright law. Indeed, the court ruling went on to state that the site had paid a share of revenue to the copyright holders as required by the law, and that the decision to ban the service was a premature one based upon an investigation that failed to provide sufficient evidence of wrongdoing.
Do not expect this to be the final chapter in this particular story, with a trademark Hollywood happy ending for the Russians and folk desperate to get those suspiciously cheap music downloads going again. Hollywood, or more to the point the influential entertainment industry lobby in the US, is unlikely to back down over this one and will instead step up the campaign to keep All of MP3 out the hugely lucrative audio downloads playground.
It was, after all, pressure brought by the US on the Russian government that got the whole thing going in the first place. Unfortunately, it was going round in circles and had all the due process of a dog chasing its own tail. In a nutshell, the US let it be known, in no uncertain terms, that if Russia wanted to accede to the World Trade Organization then it had to close the site which was infringing international copyright treaties (not to mention carving a big enough hole in the pockets of US music business interests to get their interest) established by the WTO.
Of course, by launching a hurried investigation and staging an equally hurried execution of All of MP3, the Russians overlooked one small detail: claiming the site broke WTO legislation before Russia was a member and while existing Russian copyright laws went unbroken, actually meant that All of MP3 was acting perfectly legally.
The music moguls will, eventually get their way. Russia will, eventually, get into the WTO. Russian copyright law will, eventually, be updated to satisfy the music industry players. The big question is when, and the big answer is not for quite some time. And while the political fighting continues, and palms get greased in the lobbying corner, All of MP3 will quietly go back into the business of selling high quality music based upon the amount of data, rather than the number of tracks, downloaded. Just as importantly, All of MP3 users will quietly go back into the business of choosing not to question the ethics of what they are doing, lured by the opportunity to buy music for next to nothing and lulled by the thin veil of legality provided.
The trouble is it is a very thin veil indeed. With this latest setback, it is not unfeasible to imagine that unable to take down the beast the recording industry will turn its attention to the people that feed it, the consumers. While the latest Moscow court ruling decrees that All of MP3 is legal, it only remains so in Russia. Indeed, All of MP3 itself has never claimed otherwise but it does allow anyone in any country to use its services. The Russian Organization for Multimedia and Digital Systems, ROMS, is not recognized by most major record labels outside of Russia and they dispute it has the right to distribute the work of artists under contract to them.
The Recording Industry Association of America, and similar groups around the world, is not just going to roll over and play dead. There is too much at stake here. You can expect them to start pursuing users of the resurrected All of MP3 service, assuming it does indeed rise from the ashes once more, with all the vigor that was used against P2P music swappers a couple of years back.