Plug pulled on unlimited-download site Zookz

Three days after the government of Antigua distanced itself from the site, Zookz shuts down indefinitely, and pledges to return subscription fees to users.

That didn't take long. Friday evening I blogged that the government of Antigua had issued a terse press release claiming that it had nothing to do with unlimited-download site Zookz. The Zookz legal team responded with an equally terse note saying that it didn't need the government's approval, and that its service was perfectly legal under its interpretation of a recent World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling.

It looks like the authorities won this round. This afternoon, Zookz disappeared from the Web. According to a statement by the company's director of communications, the site is "temporarily not operating due to circumstances beyond [their] control" and the company is "returning all membership fees paid to date by our existing customers." The release and the Zookz Twitter feed both express hope that the site will be back up again soon. I wouldn't hold your breath--legal threats, followed by a takedown and an offer of refunds doesn't sound like a viable long-term business to me.

I'm curious to hear from any customers--how many songs did you download, and did Zookz refund your money as promised? Post in comments and let me know.

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About the author

    Matt Rosoff is an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, where he covers Microsoft's consumer products and corporate news. He's written about the technology industry since 1995, and reviewed the first Rio MP3 player for CNET.com in 1998. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network. Disclosure. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattrosoff.

     

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