top-ups? No problem

I was highly amused to read on El Reg that a voucher salesperson for the music downloads Web site had been arrested earlier this week.

I wonder what he will be charged with? Walking on the cracks in the pavement?

Seriously though, the removal of e-vouchers from eBay means that it's difficult to top up an or account, especially since Visa and MasterCard card processing was shut down at the request of the RIAA (allegedly) late last year.

Difficult, but not impossible.

Until quite recently it was possible to top up the Russkie e-music downloads account - where albums go for a couple of quid - using a Diners Club card, but it seems that Natwest has been forced to lock down this option too.

But the RIAA and others haven't taken into account the ingenuity of Netters, several of whom now offer gift certificates for a modest surcharge.

I've been using a German site called Songboom, which sells $22.00 certificates - with a 10 per cent free bonus - for $29.99.

There are other methods, including Webmoney, but the procedures are a little complex and you have to step through the top-up procedure in Russian - although there's a helpful DIY slideshow in English here.

Anyway, the bottom line is that Western authorities have about as much chance of preventing Netters from downloading from and its alternative sites, including, as Gordon Brown has of lasting a full term as Prime Minister.

Sorry guys - the genie is, as they say, out of the bottle...