account top-up blocks get worse

It may have been a Bank Jollyday in the UK yesterday, but it was an eventful day in the rest of Europe, where site after site apparently bowed to official pressure and stopped offering top-up vouchers to the increasingly controversial music download service.

Even SongBoom, the enterprising German Web portal which offered gift vouchers as a means of by-passing the card companies' decision to stop allowing top-ups to, ceased offering vouchers over the weekend.

Could this be the same card companies that (allegedly) facilitate access to illegal sex sites involving unmentionable acts?

Hypocrisy in action or what?

Anyways, you can't - as they say - keep a good song down, as SongBoom has posted a comprehensive list of the dozen or more serious alternatives to that are available on the Web. You can find this useful index here.

The problem, as executives at the RIAA and IFPI have yet to realise, is that the e-music genie is now well and truly out of the bottle.

I must confess to being a bit torn over the e-music download issue, as my own work is essentially copyrighted, but the bottom line is that the Russian music industry struck a deal with for music downloads.

A deal is a deal, and, if the music moguls overlooked the fact that the Internet is global in nature, that's their own look-out.

Could this be the same music industry that gives some artists as little as 5p a CD royalties on albums costing more than a tenner?

"But the Russian music download issue is so unfair," say the music moguls.

My heart bleeds for you guys...