American Record Industry to Pay the Price For UIGEA

Musicians penalized for online poker restrictions #WTF?

by , Jul 16, 2009 | 12:19 pm

There’s a new company in the song (and video) downloading game — Zookz.com — and its entire business model is based on selling “pirated” copies of American songs and movies, as permitted by WTO sanctions against the United States for infringing on Antigua’s ability to compete in the online gambling industry.

Click below for the press release announcing Zookz’s existence. From what we understand, ZookZ offers a subscription-based model for unlimited monthly movie and music downloads. It is not pay-per-song like iTunes, nor a file-sharing “service” like LimeWire or BitTorrent. Members simply download stuff directly from Zookz’ servers in Antigua. Supposedly the new company operates within the parameters of the 2007 WTO ruling between Antigua and the United States, which allows them to break US copyright law to the tune of $21 million/year.

What’s not clear is if that means they can peddle $21 million worth of rights-protected bits, or run a business limited to $21 million in profit. Either way, I gotta think the ever-litigious RIAA won’t take lightly that much money being ganked from its artists. Could be wrong … we’ll see.

UPDATE: TechDirt, for a non-poker perspective.

MOVIE AND MUSIC FANATICS GET READY: ZOOKZ UNVEILS UNLIMITED MONTHLY DOWNLOAD PLATFORM FOR $9.95

Launch Capitalizes on 2007 World Trade Organization Ruling

SAINT JOHN’S, ANTIGUA, WEST INDIES – July 15, 2009 – Today marks the official launch of ZookZ, the first company to legally provide unlimited movie and music downloads for one low monthly fee. ZookZ’s simple platform and unique business model reinvents the way consumers buy and enjoy digital entertainment. At ZookZ, members have access to the entire ZookZ library consisting of thousands of popular movies and songs, with 300 movies and 10,000 songs being added per week. In addition, ZookZ offers hard-to-find content including the full collection of Michael Jackson, as well as those unavailable on iTunes, such as the Beatles, AC/DC and Radiohead.

As part of its launch celebration, from now until August 15, 2009, ZookZ is offering its inaugural members one month of free movie downloads with each new music membership. After August 15, 2009, a movie or music subscription will cost $9.95 and just $17.95 for unlimited monthly downloads of both. ZookZ provides an economical and legal alternative to unlawful, expensive or restricted digital downloads. Only ZookZ operates under the parameters of the 2007 WTO ruling between Antigua and the United States, and is able to save American consumers hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on their annual entertainment budgets.

NEWS FACTS:

· Entertainment Your Way: ZookZ is all about getting fans the music and movies they love. Members can suggest and request content through the ZookZ Request Line, and ZookZ will seek to make it available for download within 14 days. Members can also transfer all movies and songs (MP3 and MP4) to any player of their choice, including iPods, MP3 players, and DVD players.

· Subscription Model: ZookZ members pay $9.95 for unlimited monthly movie or music downloads, or $17.95 for both. There is no cap on how many movies, songs or albums a member may download per month and members have access to all downloaded content forever.

· NOT P2P: ZookZ is not a peer-to-peer file sharing system and terminates members who contravene this prohibition. ZookZ converts all of its content into digital format and stores it on secure servers, allowing members to access movies and music over its own web platform. Personal information is safe, secure and free from all adware and spyware.

· Legal: The 2007 WTO ruling in favor of Antigua guides ZookZ’s business model. It allows ZookZ to give consumers access to unlimited digital downloads for a single, low monthly subscription fee. ZookZ offers movie and music lovers the opportunity to legally enjoy their favorite forms of entertainment at an affordable price.

· Americans and Entertainment: Americans are serious about entertainment, with spending coming in fourth after only housing, food and healthcare. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American family spends $5,921 each year on entertainment. For the price one movie ticket, American families can now enjoy unlimited movies, right at home.

QUOTES:

  • “The ruling is the result of a 2003 decision by the U.S. to ignore WTO regulations and block the rights of Antiguan companies from doing business with its American customers. The consequence has meant the loss of millions of dollars in revenue for the Antiguan economy and its business sector,” said Dr. William Pepper, Esq., ZookZ international legal advisor. “Now Americans and Antiguans have the opportunity to benefit from this historic legal precedent, and should do so.”
  • “Great movies and music are soul of American culture,” said ZookZ CEO Hugh Marshall. “We wanted to find a way to provide people with the easiest access to the songs and films they love, at a great price, right from the comfort of home.”
  • “People will love ZookZ –it’s fast, easy, convenient, and best of all, the music and movies are theirs forever,” said Marlie Hall, head of corporate communications, ZookZ. “There is no other legal site, theater or record store that, for the price of a soda and popcorn, can offer the entertainment value of ZookZ.”

ABOUT ZOOKZ:

ZookZ (www.ZookZ.com) is a Web site owned and operated by Carib Media Ltd., of Antigua, West Indies and delivers unlimited, high-quality movies and music through a safe, legal and secure platform for one low monthly subscription fee. Because ZookZ is operating under the parameters of the 2007 WTO ruling between Antigua and the United States, ZookZ is the only company that can legally offer members an unparalleled variety of unlimited monthly movie and music downloads for just $9.95-$17.95. Files are delivered in MP3 and MP4 formats that are compatible with most mobile devices and players, so members can enjoy their entertainment when, where and how they want. ZookZ members can view or listen to downloaded content on any medium –forever– without restrictions. For more info or to sign up, visit www.ZookZ.com



  • Kevin Mathers

    I’m surprised it took this long.

  • http://www.JohnnyHughes.com Johnny Hughes

    Jerry Lee Lewis a.k.a. the Killer was told all about the bootleg and pirate records, and that there was a truck stop right outside Nashville selling his bootleg records. He drove straight there, and tore the place up, scared everybody. Robbing the music makers won’t help anything.

  • DanM

    i dunno, johnny. as you point out, getting the music-makers pissed off about the same thing we are (indirectly) might put some good allies in our corner.

  • waldoworld

    Won’t load the page for me. May already be on lockout to US.

  • waldoworld

    Nevermind, finally got it going.

  • Jack

    It might create some leverage. I would expect an injunction blocking the site rather quickly. Should be interesting to watch this story unfold.

  • DanM

    wanna make a wager on that injunction, or at least the definition of “quickly”?

  • Jack

    No wager at all….just like I won’t hold my breath on anything legislatively happening on the UIEGA’s repeal or clarification.

  • David Alexander

    Looks like the website is already down..

  • Jack

    Dang, I should have taken that bet. Dan please my ignorance, why didn’t you think the industry would take quick action to shut the site down?

    Dear ZookZ Customers,

    ZookZ website is temporarily not operating due to circumstances beyond our control and we are sorry you can’t get the music and movies you love at this time.

    Due to this interruption, ZookZ is returning all membership fees paid to date by our existing customers. Your business is greatly appreciated and we look forward to getting you the best movies and music again soon.

    ZookZ would like to thank its loyal customers, supporters and the people of Antigua for their continued support and understanding as ZookZ moves to return to full-service.

    The ZookZ Team

  • DanM

    wow, eating my words. i’m actually very curious why/how this worked. RIAA and Hollywood are powerful, I know that much. (Perhaps moreso than the WTO?)

  • Kevin Mathers

    I thought I read somewhere that the country of Antigua itself wasn’t too keen on the site.

  • Jack

    and the latest…..there BACKKKKKKKKKKK

    “The Reports of My Death are Greatly Exaggerated” – Mark Twain / ZookZ

    Search is Active!

    You can once again search the ZookZ library by going to our Search page!

    New Movies and Music!

    ZookZ has added 391 new movies and 16785 songs to our library, many are from requests made by our customers! Check out our New Releases page to see all the great new movies and music on ZookZ.

    We are working tirelessly to bring ZookZ.com back to full service. Thank you for your patience and please continue to spread the word.

    Stay tuned for more great things to come!

    The ZookZ Team