Danish Provider Tele2 has to block access to the Russian mp3 website allofmp3 after loosing a civil lawsuit against the IFPI
(International Federation of the Phonographic Industry). The complete story can be accessed over at slyck news. The question that naturally arises is if this can be called censorship. Music Industry and it's lobbyist groups claim that allofmp3 is illegal although it is perfectly legal according to Russian law.
I can not recall a court ruling about the legality which means that the website itself is legal unless the case would be examined in court. Blocking a perfectly legal website is censorship in my opinion. Where is the difference to countries like China who block websites that express different kind of views about China? The only difference I see is that this kind of censorship has purely economic reasons while the one in China is politically motivated.
Many European countries have their share of censorship which is not known to many of its citizens. Germany and France ban Nazi websites and sites that deny the holocaust and other countries most likely have their share of websites that simply get blocked.
Censorship does not get better if a democratic country uses it to suppress websites because of political or economic reasons. It simply does not feel right.
Why don't they sue allofmp3 in Russia if they think the service is illegal? Maybe because they do know that a Russian court would rule that it is a legal service ?
The best thing the big media companies could do would be to offer a similar service on the internet. That would of course mean that high pricing items would come to an end. Suppose they fear that more than to piss of a few more
Update: AllofMp3 is no longer available but alternatives have since then filled the gap. They make available similar services to users from all over the world. A good starting point is to search for "allofmp3 alternatives" in your search engine of choice.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.