Pump up the volume

This blogger has been purchasing music from Legal Sounds from many years. Recently a new album by New Zealand indie band the Naked and Famous was released. Most of their debut album was interesting, so off this blogger headed to download the new album via that site.

Alas, it was disheartening to see what happened once the URL was punched into the browser. Legal Sounds had disappeared due to a change in Russian copyright laws, along with all remaining credit in the account.

Legal Sounds was legal in the host country Russia &/or the Ukraine. However, it has been suggested that the owners of the site used a loophole to circumvent intellectual property infringement of United States’ based record companies. To put it bluntly, the US multinational record companies were ‘pissed off’ as much as independent record companies about a site where a new release album in 320 kbps MP3 quality could be typically downloaded for less than two dollars.

It may be that Legal Sounds was a copytrap. Assistant Professor Ned Snow provides a definition geared predominantly towards a US audience:

Copytraps arise when Web sites lure innocent users into downloading expression that seems legal but is actually infringing. Regardless of whether the Web site appears legitimate, whether a user’s good-faith belief is reasonable, or whether the Web site owner is unaware that the material is infringing, users who download infringing material face strict liability punishment, and the penalties are severe. It is entrapment, with the spoils from the innocent going to large corporate copyright
holders.

Downloading music from Legal Sounds was purportedly in compliance with copyright laws in this country, according to the legal information provided on the site. Nonetheless, being a subscriber felt a bit like being in a relationship that was fun one with an underlying uneasiness; it seemed it was always going to end one day. So Legal Sounds, thanks for memories and exploiting the loophole whilst the fun lasted.

Perhaps there is good reason that people turn to online merchants providing a service of questionable legality that accordingly, lack longevity? Australians who who choose to legally purchase MP3 music may be subject to price gouging. CHOICE Head of Campaigns, Matt Levey says “In Australia you pay, on average, 52% more than an American consumer will for the same fifty top iTunes songs”.

Back to the music! Here are five favoured songs, with their videos compliantly hosted on Youtube. Local artists are included first. Yes, these all have female vocals.

Kimbra – Good Intent

Sarah Blasko – We Won’t Run

Little Birdy – Brother

Lily Allen – Not Fair

Feist – The Bad In Each Other

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