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ZML offers cheap, DRM-free movies

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 15 Nov 2007 18:07 User comments (6)

ZML offers cheap, DRM-free movies A new Russian movie download site has appeared, found at, that appears to be following in the footsteps of AllofMP3.
The site is offering 1500 different movies for download without any DRM, in the same fashion in which AllofMP3 offered music. The site also offers a large selection ranging from classics such as Apocalypse Now and Aliens to the newly released Transformers.

Each of the movie files are encoded with the Xvid or DivX codec and start at $1.99 USD. There are higher resolution versions available for $2.99 and $4.99 respectively.

Just like AllofMP3, ZML says it is doing nothing illegal and is following the policies of the Russian Organization for Multimedia and Digital Systems (ROMS).

"All materials presented on this site are available for the distribution over the Internet in accordance with the license of the Russian Organization for multimedia and Digital Systems (ROMS) and intended for personal use only. Further distribution, resale or broadcasting is strictly prohibited,"
it adds.

Users interested in purchasing movies from the site will first need to register for an account and fund it, thus avoiding the problems AllofMP3 faced when Visa and Mastercard pulled service from the site.


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6 user comments

115.11.2007 21:14

haha. hopefully it doesnt get the shaft like

215.11.2007 21:30

I checked it out after reading this article and it looks interesting. They have a lot of movies and they are all already out on DVD. Prices are $1.99 for the "iPod" quailty and format, $3 for DivX v5 (not XviD from what I can see).

The DVD Quality which is encoded with DivX v5 at a higher bitrate, then the "DivX" price, is $4-5.

This will probably get shut down like AllofMP3 due to it not paying any royalties, if those apply to movies. If movies don't have royalties then I don't see a problem with this site legally speaking, although I am not a legal expert. :P


316.11.2007 1:35

Dang, do I have to keep sounding like a broken record for you people? DOES IN FACT, let me repeat that, DOES IN FACT pay royalties on the music it is selling. They are paying these fees to the Licensing body (ROMS) set up under Russian law which, under Russian law, is given the right to collect royalties on this media. Now maybe ROMS isn't paying out those royalties which could be for any number of reasons-- most likely because the media industry does not want to accept a few pennies as royalties and instead want to collect at least 67 cents per low quality bitrate song like they do with iTunes. However there has been nothing stated by the meida companies about ROMS not paying them. Instead they focus on the site licensed by ROMS to distribute the music.

There ARE MANY reasons why the music industry refuses to collect the royalties that ROMS has so far collected. First off by accepting payment they are aknowledging that Russia has a soveirgn right to make it's own laws regarding copyright-- even if those laws are not agreed upon, or liked, by the copyright holders. Secondly, by accepting payment they are aknowledging that they have been paid for, and agreed upon the price for, their copyrighted material. Thirdly they are aknowleding that consumers have aright to outsource their purchases to the global economy to obtain the best price available regardless of the price point in their country they live in. Fourthly they are accepting a music service that sells DRM free music at various bitrates without an upfront payment for their possible losses that the lack of DRM may cause. And while not finally, although I will say finally, they just may not be able to PROVE that they actually own the copyrights to this media when it is distributed digitally online.

ROMS collects royalties for the copyright holder (they determine the royalty due under Russian law. And btw Russia like any other country has the right to make laws that are appropriate for it's citizens just like any other country). Then a copyright holder goes to ROMS with evidence (usually a contract in the case of music and musicians) that they actually own the copyrights to the material that the royalties have been collected for. Once ownership of copyright is produced ROMS pays out the royalties collected on their behalf to the copyright owner. Problem is that up until recently most contracts may not have neccessarily looked forward in terms of technology and therefore may not have mentioned this media form in the contracts they wrote stating they became owners of the groups copyrights. Without this proof they own the copyrights ROMS CANNOT legally pay out the money to them. This makes perfect sense because what happens if ROMS pays and then someone shows up later with documentation proving copyright ownership. The copyright owner would then find that all there royalties have been illegaly paid out to some other person or company.

So to quickly recap:

1. These sites are legal under Russian law and these sites operate within Russia
2. These sites pay royalties to the licensing body designated under Russian law to license this media

And to wrap this up here is an interesting piece of fact for all those people who say this form of licensing is just plain wrong: The RIAA et. al. are currently pushing to have US copyright law changed to a similiar format where they collect royaltied on music regardless of whether or not they own the copyright to the music. They can determine if this music that they do not own copyrights to can be used without paying royalties (yeah like thats going to happen!). And they want to determine how much of a royalty is paid for said media by any particular company wishing to sell that media-- even if the artist who is not under contract is selling or giving away his music.

If according to the music industry, this Russian model is so bad then ask WHY they want to bring this model to other countries copyright laws?

So PLEASE get the facts straight before spouting out the RIAA's party line statement about something.


416.11.2007 5:17

I watched a couple sample videos and the only issue I noticed were bad aspect ratios.

Meaning some of these are over-cropped. This means they very well could be from dvd screeners or other pre-releases of said movies.

I can get all this from newsgroups without paying a dime. PASS.

516.11.2007 16:45

Duck N Run: Great post. It would be the equivalent of outsourcing everything to China. Our American companies try to save a buck sending work overseas, but China repays them by bootlegs, counterfeiting and third shift products. By your definition of Russian law, it sure sounds like RIAA wants to prevent a shift that would crumble their ability to rape the consumer.

65.12.2007 15:57

This sounds like they have covered all their basis to make sure no liability falls on them however what is stopping organizations like the mpaa or Russian equivalent to track these guys even if they are paying for the material.

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