Friday, February 09, 2007

Death Watch: That Russian music download site

The last 24 hours should have been a death watcher's paradise: There has been a high profile death. There was a jackal-like fight for the first photos and video of the body. Autopsy speculation gets any death watcher going, and a judicial ruling on who has jurisdiction over a corpse is a rare treat indeed.

Throw in a 1.5 billion dollar fortune that seems to kill all who might claim it, and now Zsa Zsa Gabor -- still kicking at 90 -- enters the fray. Spectacular stuff.

It almost makes up for the horrible news that has sent a jolt of despair through the morbid souls of music loving death watchers the world over: That Russian music download site, the one which almost gives its music away for free, is one step closer to losing its battle for survival with the fascist global overlords of the WTO.

Last night I went to download some music -- something peppy for when I sorted through the latest details of the untimely demise of Anna Nicole. I noticed my account had almost run out of funds. I tried to refill it, but I was told the site no longer accepted my kind of credit cards. Nor were they accepting third party payment options, like paypal, as they had been before.

The only way to buttress my account was through Diners Club card.

Diners Club. This death watcher was almost certain the charge card of choice for the grey flannel suit wearing traveling businessman set of the fifties had died long ago.

It lives. Unfortunately, in North America, Diners Club has partnered with MasterCard and now uses MasterCard's 16 digit account number -- making it useless for vendors that don't take MasterCard.

Meaning that Russian music download site, the greatest thing to ever happen to this twisted World Wide Web, is officially dead to my North American self.

I will be checking periodically for a resurrection -- it's happened before. I'm not holding my breath this time.

There are rumors of new deep-pocketed owners coming in and saving the blessed site with some sort of half-way compromise.

But I'm sure a website that has managed to make itself a pariah at the highest levels of international governance isn't as attractive an acquisition as say . . . a five month old baby worth up to 1.5 billion dollars.

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