Yeah, yeah, it can't possibly be legal, especially that last bit. But some googling got me enough to assure me that:
- you couldn't have a set-up like this under many jurisdictions, but it IS legal under Russian law.
- the money you pay goes to the artists. Not necessarily to the rights holders, but to the artists. There's a difference.
The advantage of this is that if - hypothetically - you hear The Honeycombs's Have I the Right? playing on Wogan's show on the way in to work, then a few short minutes later you too can be the proud and legal owner of a copy. Further, if - hypothetically - you're the kind of person who can't walk into Halfords or a bike shop without being seized with the urge to Buy Accessories, and you track down your copy of Have I the Right in a sixties classics collection, then you can also come away with copies of The Monkees's Daydream Believer, David McWilliams's The Days of Pearly Spencer and Keith West's Excerpt from a Teenage Opera.
If anyone can convince me it's NOT legal then I will - reluctantly - delete all the tracks I've got off it ...
And meanwhile I will wonder if anyone else feels the urge to hum "Postman Pat" in place of "Grocer Jack". Or vice versa.