Following a similar suit by the BPI in July, AllofMP3.com's Moscow-based parent Mediaservices, Inc. has been sued by the RIAA for massive copyright infringement in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. According to the New York Post:
The RIAA is seeking $150,000 for each instance of copyright infringement. That equates to an astounding $1.65 trillion for the five-month period in question.
Wow! I suspect they'll have a little trouble collecting this damage award if successful!
Interestingly, along with the damages award, the suit seeks court ordered control of AllofMP3.com's domains. Given the global nature of the Internet, it will be interesting to see if a court would grant such a prayer for relief. Mountainview California-based Verisign operates the domain name registry for the .com domain space.
AllofMP3.com has long claimed that they are in full compliance with Russian law and pay licensing fees on all music sales to Russia's equivalent of the RIAA, the Russian Organization for Multimedia and Digital Systems (ROMS). The RIAA's response is that ROMS has no authority to issue licenses to AllofMP3 and that AllofMP3.com would require licenses from record companies to legally sell downloadable music – which it does not have.
Dale's Comment: Aside from the astronomical damages request, what intrigues me is the global implications of an order to transfer the domain. There has been much controversy at the United Nations over who should control the Internet and the Internet domain space. The U.S. has fiercely guarded its ultimate ability to control it. If such an order was made by a U.S. court at the behest of the U.S. music industry, and if Verisign complies, this might spark protests from nations around the globe.
Note: I have not yet found the claim online. When I do, I'll post it here. Most of the stories online are all repeats of the original AP story so there are not many details available at this point.
- RIAA Sues AllofMP3 – Seeks Domain Transfer and $1.65 Trillion in Damages! (December 21, 2006)
- AllofMP3.com Lives On Despite U.S./Russian WTO Agreement (December 10, 2006)
- Russia Agrees to Shut Down AllofMP3.com at U.S. Request (November 29, 2006)
- Danish Court Blocks AllofMP3.com (October 25, 2006)
- Visa and Mastercard Stop Servicing AllofMP3.com (October 18, 2006)
- Russia Implements Internet Piracy Law in Gambit to Join WTO (September 1, 2006)
- BPI to Sue AllofMP3.com (July 5, 2006)
- AllofMP3.com Responds to Recent Scrutiny (June 6, 2006)
- Russia-based AllofMP3 Launches DRM-free allTunes (March 29, 2006)
- RIAA's Next Big Target: Russia (December 27, 2005)