Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The days of Grocer Jack

By way of passing on the favour, and for anyone else who shares the belief that digital rights management is a tool of darkness even for those of us who want to buy our tracks legally, let me tell you about allofmp3.com, where you can get a huge amount of stuff, not protected, so you can copy it to another computer or your MP3 player or whatever, and it's legal. That huge amount of stuff is because, with a Slavic combination of practicality and disregard for the more irritating aspects of intellectual property law, they rip it straight off CDs.

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.
It's also considerably cheaper than something like tescodownloads.com, charging by volume rather than per track.

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.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Ben. I have ranted about DRM and legal download services many many MANY times so will not do so again here. This looks interesting, will check it out...


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