updated 01:45 pm EST, Fri January 26, 2007
AllOfMP3 may go legal
Online music store AllOfMP3 -- which elected to close down after coming under fire from anti-piracy advocates -- could be subverted through a corporate buyout. Analysts indicate that an as yet unnamed "influential and wealthy" Russian tycoon has been pursuing the direct download shop and intends to legitimize its often questionable licensing scheme by taking control of the company. The businessman is working on behalf of music labels and publishers that believe AllOfMP3's extremely low-priced downloads skirt the edges of its home territory's law, according to Music Ally. If successful, the takeover would be followed by new licensing deals obtained directly from the labels themselves. [corrected]
The website has been the subject of intense legal pressure in recent months, which led to a large-scale lawsuit filed in the U.S. in December of 2006. AllOfMP3 repeatedly defended itself against legal pressures, however, indicating that it received its song licenses legitimately through a separate Russian agency.