Where's The Best Place To Legally Purchase Music?

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Where's The Best Place To Legally Purchase Music?

Thu Nov 13, 2008 @ 12:56AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Imagine buying your favorite musician's latest album and escaping both obtrusive DRM and tax surcharges. Sound too good to be legally true?

Yesterday marked the launch of IMVU Music, a virtual world akin to Second Life that lets avatars discover and share their music in a social 3D environment. Here's the carrot: Avatars can purchase DRM-free music inside IMVU Music and take it out to the real world where the digital files will be transferable to MP3 players like an iPod. Amazingly, the venture has the backing of all four major music labels and many indies.

But it gets even better.

Because virtual world companies don't report profits to the IRS, Silicon Alley Reporter believes these vendors can legitimately make an end-run around tax laws. We'll have to further explore whether IMVU Music is actually undercutting other online music stores like iTunes and Amazon and passing along any sales tax savings to consumers, but it sounds promising.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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