The infamous Russian online music site, allofmp3.com, appears to be out of commission. The Moscow Times reported earlier today that allofmpP3.com "quietly lost its battle for survival." But another site, mp3Sparks.com, has popped up and lists the same operator -- MediaServices -- as that of the former site and offers many of the same American hit tracks for download but at 10% of the previous low price.

Major labels have called allofmp3.com the "most notorious" of the Russian enterprises "that traffic in pirated music, film and software." Last November, U.S. and Russian governments reached a market access agreement requiring Russia to take action to address piracy, among other things, before the United States would consent to Russia joining the World Trade Organization; allofmp3.com is specifically named as an example of an illegal operation.

Allofmp3.com looks like a legitimate American music store, claims to be legal and sells downloads of hit albums for slightly more than $2. Major record companies didn't authorize these sales; MediaServices claims it doesn't need permission to license music from anyone other than Russian collecting societies-even if they don't pay labels.

Now, mp3Sparks.com sells tracks for about 20-30 cents each and makes essentially the same claim of being legal as made by allofmp3.com:

"The availability over the Internet of the Mp3Sparks.com materials is authorized by the license 31/ZM-07 of the noncommercial partnership Rightholders Federation for Collective Copyright Management of Works Used Interactively (NP FAIR). In accordance to the licenses' terms MediaServices pays license fees for all materials downloaded from the site subject to the Law of the Russian Federation "On Copyright and Related Rights". All these materials are solely for personal use. Any further distribution, resale or broadcasting are prohibited."