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7digital and buying FLACs

Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:23 am
by PetterJazz

I am looking for online shops where I can buy FLAC files. The best place I have found so far is However, I have seen a poster on this board say the following about the site "That German site you linked is a bit shady (read: totes illegal in the US, and ethically a bit suspect in Europe)".

Can anyone expand on why? Are there any alternative sites? Note, I live in Europe, and I can't download songs from Amazon in my country. Guess I could order CDs and rip them myself, but was hoping to avoid that.


Re: 7digital and buying FLACs

Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:15 pm
by lipi
That was me posting that. It was in reply to someone giving a link to a Benny Goodman Mosaic set for sale on that site (or the German version thereof, at least) for 7.49 euro (!).

Why illegal in the US: because things take a lot longer to enter public domain here, which means artists (or their estates) have to be paid royalties for a longer time. In Europe (in general), things enter public domain earlier, which means no royalties, which means cheaper music (JSP, Proper Records, Disconforme, etc.).

Why questionable even in Europe: because a lot of the labels publishing cheaper music in Europe (Proper is notorious for it, JSP has done it a few times) copy recent releases on other labels, like Mosaic. They don't have to pay royalties to the artists (because it's in the public domain in the countries where they're publishing), but they *are* using the remastering that the label they're copying has done. The legality of that is unclear to me, but it's morally (and arguably ethically) a dick thing to do.

And what convinced me that they're HELLA sketchy and DEFINITELY not on the up-and-up: the price for that Mosaic set being seven and a half euro. That thing retails for more than a hundred euro.

As to where else you can buy lossless music: er...I don't have a good answer, I'm afraid. :( Bandcamp and CDbaby both have lossless options, but they don't have big name artists of the past.

Edit to add: the public domain/royalties thing isn't quite as simple as I make it out to be above, but it gives you the gist of the problem, at least. The rules in both the US and Europe are complicated.

Re: 7digital and buying FLACs

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:43 am
by PetterJazz
Great, thank you for the insight.

So if the albums offered are from respected labels, is it still problematic to use the site you think?

I'm buying a lot of new music on bandcamp, but I can't find everything there obviously.

Re: 7digital and buying FLACs

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:51 am
by lipi
The fact that they sell one thing that is obviously shady makes me not feel super confident about the rest of it. That Goodman Mosaic set is listed as being released by "Lilith Records", which is a Russian reissue label. It's a pretty blatant ripoff. It's of course possible 7digital has no idea that Lilith is run by a bunch of crooks and they're innocently peddling their wares.

However, this Wikipedia page certainly makes them sound fairly legit:
They're partnering, or have partnered, with all sorts of well-known companies, including the new emusic and, in the past, Spotify. (Amusing side note: the Goodman "Lilith Records" release also appears in Spotify's catalogue...)

I do find it annoying that it's impossible to buy most of this music in lossless format from reputable places. It's an idiotic situation, and I have some sympathy for the argument that the record companies are practically asking to be ripped off.

So I'm gonna reverse my original position: if I lived in Europe, and if I used FLAC, I'd totally use this site. :)