DECO is alerting consumers to what it calls «violations of the right to private copying» in music acquired over the Internet. The consumer protection association visited several stores online and faced lower prices, but also restrictions on the use of purchased files.
In iTunes, Vodafone Music Store, Optimus Music Store, Qmusika and MusicaOnline, DECO found protections in files that limit the number of copies to CD, transfers between computers or MP3 players. However, the restrictions may change depending on the albums.
«The anti-copying mechanisms are inadmissible when paying the copyright», defends DECO PROTESTE. «When buying, the consumer must be able to enjoy the music, as the private copy law provides».
DECO’s analysis also shows that savings on the Internet compared to traditional stores can reach 30 percent, but decreases in national and older titles. To purchase individual tracks, the online is the only option.
Of the nine services analyzed, iTunes is, according to the association, the easiest to use and charges competitive prices: on average, 9.59 euros per album up to 17 songs and 99 cents per track, for selected titles. In this store you can also find albums for 5.99 or 6.99 euros.
The Vodafone Music Store is the most expensive for albums, as it only sells individual tracks (1.48 euros each). Downloading a complete album with up to 17 tracks costs 17.63 euros on average, 8.04 euros more than on iTunes.
The Optimus Music Store has the most expensive price per track: 1.5 euros, that is, 51 more cents per file. For every 10 songs downloaded, it is another five euros. In this store there are albums for 9.90 euros.
At GoMusic, SoundsBox, Legalsounds and MP3Shake, four Russian sites tested by the association, the files are unprotected and offer more attractive prices. However, DECO leaves an alert, because in case of problems, there is no consumer protection, it is more difficult to complain and there is no guarantee that those responsible for these spaces will respect copyright.