Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


James Chapman


Russian web sites offer electronic versions of copyrighted music over the Internet for pennies a song. Protected by international borders and favorable domestic legal constraints, these Russian music distributors sell songs at much lower prices and without anti-piracy protections. The web sites claim the right to sell the music under Russian law, and unknowing purchasers are buying music believing they have finally found a cheap, legal, and moral alternative to domestic vendors and P2P networks. However, common misunderstandings of the copyright law may be placing purchasers of music from these Internet sites in danger of criminal and civil sanctions. This article discusses some of the relevant issues involving the downloading of copyrighted material from foreign sources.