It's time to put on our analysis hats as we look at how the popular Russian Web site allofmp3.com may be preventing Mother Russia from joining the WTO (World Trade Organization).
Allofmp3.com offers DRM-free songs in a variety of file formats to its users. Unlike the iTunes Music Store, which charges by the song, Allofmp3 charges by the megabyte, meaning that users often get much more bang for their buck, so to speak. Now, it seems that American negotiators are playing hardball with Russian officials, saying, in essence, that for them to join the WTO, they need to shut down Allofmp3.com. The Web site has operated in somewhat murky waters due to quirks in Russia's copyright laws and maintains that it is 100% legal...in Russia for Russians. Whether or not little Johnny in Oklahoma can legally use the site is still a little hazy.
The WTO is a international organization that sort of regulates international trade. So if you're a country, you want to get into the WTO because of all the neat benefits. Stay tuned for all the exciting developments.
US to Russia: shutter music site if you want to join the WTO [Ars Technica]