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11/30/2006
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AllofMP3 Still Alive In The Midst Of Piracy Crackdowns

The Russian Web site is drawing unwanted attention from officials discussing plans for Russia to join the WTO.

AllofMP3.com is fighting U.S. attempts to shut down the low-cost Russian music downloading site while U.S. and Russian officials discuss the site as part of talks over World Trade Organization membership.

The Web site is drawing unwanted attention from U.S. and Russian officials discussing plans for Russia to join the WTO. As part of an agreement between the two countries, Russia has said it will enforce standards for trade-related intellectual property rights. AllofMP3.com has been repeatedly targeted by the International Intellectual Property Alliance and has been named as one of the sites that could be shut down by the agreement.

The IIPA, which represents media, publishers, and others distributing copyright protected works, said in a statement that it looks forward to ensuring that Russian laws comply with trade-related intellectual property rights agreements. It said Russia has acknowledged that it has failed to crack down on disc and Internet piracy.

In response, Mediaservices, AllofMP3.com's parent company, outlined a legal position stating that U.S. consumers are most likely purchasing music from the site legally.

Vadim Mamotin of AllofMP3.com said it's "preposterous" to call the site's practices piracy. He said the site, which sells songs at a tenth of the cost of iTunes, follows Russian copyright laws. Further, he said the company's analysis concluded that sales to U.S. customers are compliant with American laws on fair use and private importation.

"There's absolutely no legal basis for the campaign against AllofMP3," Mamotin said.

The company reiterated an old offer to remove music from AllofMP3.com at copyright holders' requests, as long as they can prove ownership rights. "The company has not heard from the Russian licensing societies or the record labels," Mediaservices' statement read. "Perhaps opt-out requests are not being made because the record labels can't clear the rights." Russia's copyright laws differ significantly from those of the United States.

As of Friday, the site was still up and running.

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