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Music Groups To Take Russian Download Site To U.K. Courts offers discounted prices on downloads while failing to pay artists or record companies, opponents claim. But the company's Web site claims its business is legal under Russian copyright laws.

As part of an ongoing effort to reap profits from copyright-protected music, the British recording industry has gained clearance to sue Russian download site

A U.K. Court authorized British recording industry association BPI to sue the Russia-based site in the United Kingdom The move is the latest in a series of victories for BPI as record companies target online file sharing worldwide.

"We have maintained all along that this site is illegal and that the operator of the site is breaking U.K. law by making sound recordings available to U.K.-based customers without the permission of the copyright owners," BPI General Counsel Roz Groome said through a prepared statement.

The company's Web site claims that its business is legal under Russia copyright laws. It also states that is not aware of copyright laws in each country and is not responsible for the actions of foreign users.

Groome said offers discounted prices on downloads while failing to pay artists or record companies.

BPI claims that music fans saved more than $2 billion (U.S.) through illegal downloads from 2003 through 2005. The association had obtained more than 100 file sharing settlements by the end of last year.

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