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Buying Music Online

Friday, April 28th, 2006

I used to buy a lot of CDs back in the day. I haven't bought anything new recently for a couple of reasons: there really hasn't been that much I want to spend my money on and the antics of the record companies (specifically the RIAA). They sue and extort money from old ladies and widows with 6 kids mostly because they are the people who don't know that someone is using their computer to illegally download music (kids, grandkids,neighbors) or are just not smart enough to know how to get away with it.

I saw a recent article on Slashdot about new legislation that would make the penalties for downloading music more severe than downloading child porn or assaulting someone. You might as well steal the CD from BestBuy, you'll get off with community service. You can read the article here. I figured it's about time I start buying any new music I want legally while still sticking it to the record companies as much as possible. I found this site: It has a large collection of music and only charges around $0.10 per song or $1 for an entire album (depending on format and sound quality). They can get away with this because the site is run in Russia and there is a copyright infringement loophole in that country. So since I am purchasing the "goods" in Russia and then basically exporting them to the US, which is perfectly legal, there is nothing they can do. This is a decent faq about's legallity.

I went to MBNA's website (my credit card company) to see if they offer something like one-time use credit cards for use online, which they do. It's not like I don't trust the Russians, I don't trust anybody anymore. It's really cool because you can specify how long they are valid (in months) and the credit limit, and it just gets linked your normal credit card. So I made a number that was valid for 4 months with a max limit of $25 and gave that to the So if they decide to start charging me automatically every once in a while they won't get too far.

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