Russian Napster

02008-02-13 | Music | 2 comments

Tagoo Emerging as the Russian Napster? | Threat Level from
The site, based in Russia, is on Tuesday’s “hotlist” in the popular social-bookmarking site The apparent popularity of the music-pilfering site underscores what is already largely known: Russia, like China, is often a haven for intellectual property piracy.


  1. steve

    Interestingly enough, The Russian Federation signed on to the Berne Convention back in March, 1995 under Boris Yelsin… not that this apparently means anything now under Putin: they seem to be fairly immune to any type of intellectual/artistic/literary property rights law extant.

    I don’t know how well they complied with the Berne convention under the Yelsin government: I suppose without the distribution network (i.e., Internet), it’s much easier to meet your obligations, and more difficult to detect lapses, since there is nothing glaringly obvious as in the case of Tagoo.

    What this inevitably leads to is the so-called “Internet-tax”… I just don’t see any end to the technical ability to pirate, nor do I see governments such as Russia or China actually being proactive in this regard. The ISPs are going to have to create an escrow fund for pirated work in those countries that are Berne Convention compliant…the DOWNSIDE is the distribution of the escrow. Will the artists actually receive remuneration, or will it get eaten alive at the corporate/administrative level?

    Remember all the money that was raised at the Live Aid event for famine relief in Ethopia? A significant portion of the food that was distributed to Ethopia actually ended up rotting on the docks due government/local military corruption…

    Similar deal with ISP tax … how does one “guarantee” that the money gets where its supposed to go? Of course it could be argued that some distribution to the appropriate parties is better than none…which is true … I guess …

  2. ottmar

    Well, Steve, BMI and ASCAP have about 70 years experience dividing radio and TV income for writers and publishers and by and large it has worked very well – I don’t see how dividing an ISP tax would be any harder than that. It should be much easier, actually. DJs used to have to write down every track and artist they played on a sheet that was sent in every wednesday… now we can embed something like the ISRC into every track and computers can keep track of what gets downloaded… In other words an ISP tax makes sense to me. I mean we all pay for 411, even though I haven’t used it even once in the last 5 or 6 years…


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