AllofMP3 media frenzy sparks traffic surge

Amid mounting legal attacks, it seems the controversial Russian music downloads site AllofMP3.com is enjoying its time in the spotlight, benefiting from a boom in traffic.

Both total pageviews and unique user levels have skyrocketed this month, reports Digital Music News, citing the traffic tracker Alexa.com. The clear spike in June follows a smaller surge in May, when the site came back into the news spotlight.

Whether this is because existing users are making the most of the service before it potentially disappears or whether all the publicity has garnered new users remains a matter of speculation.

The site is controversial because it claims to be a legitimate downloads service operating within Russian law. Whether the site is properly remunerating artists is disputed by the major record labels, however, and it seems downloads from outside of Russia would be unauthorised even though the site does not discourage this.

The site, and its owner MediaServices, has recently come under sustained legal attack, both from US trade authorities and record labels, in the form of the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry). Last week, the BPI also had the site in its legal sights.

MediaServices claims that has legitimate licences under Russian law and is not responsible for the actions of foreign users. It says that it pays a fee to the Russian Multimedia and Internet Society (ROMS), which distributes it as royalties to copyright holders.

Amid all its legal troubles, the site recently disappeared for three days, spawning rumours that it had been shut down. Its absence followed remarks by the country’s president, Vladimir Putin, about the importance of intellectual property, leading to fears that the high profile site had been the victim of a clampdown. However it seems that the downtime was actually down to problems with the new Linux servers the site had installed to replace its ageing Windows 2000 boxes.

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