ZapTunes Pivots From One Scam (Free Music Downloads) To The Next

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Daily Crunch: Micro Lab Edition

(Yes, I really want to start using the word ‘pivot’ in more headlines in 2011 – it’s one of my New Year resolutions).

ZapTunes.com is a gigantic scam. They used to trick people into believing they could sign up for the service – handing over their credit card details in the process – and instantly gain access to an online music catalog of more than 8 million DRM-free songs they could legally download. For $25 a month.

Of course, the ‘startup’ was quickly and diligently called out for being a devious fraud, by TorrentFreak for one. Of course, it wasn’t so hard to identify ZapTunes as a huge scam – they were stupid enough to claim they’d signed a licensing deal that enabled it to offer music from The Beatles (this was way before Apple got to that point).

Anyway, they announced their shutdown just months after launching, to no one’s surprise but undoubtedly not after taking some gullible people’s money.

In their own press release, they stated that “from the very first day of its launch, ZapTunes had been struggling against numerous DMCA complaints and lawsuits that were brought against it by a handful of label companies”.

This morning, however, the fraudulent company announced its return, this time billing itself as a social music discovery network. They will stop offering free music downloads, and all existing subscriptions are to be canceled as soon as the new website is launched.

Although ZapTunes mentions how it has struggled to “get to a point of profit” to date, the company says it has attracted 25,000 subscribers to its free music download service, which, again, sets those users back $25 per month.

I sincerely hope that, too, is a lie, and far fewer people got tricked by these fraudsters.

The reason for this post is simple: I want as many people as possible to land on this blog post or the ones I linked to above when doing a search for ZapTunes, in the hopes of making them realize they should stay far, far away from it.

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