September 4, 2007
A music file-sharing site that shut down while its operators defended themselves against charges of copyright infringement promises to be up and running soon.
AllofMP3.com said last week that its operators are working to restore users' account access, their ability to pay for more services and their ability to order music. A Moscow district court ruled last month that AllofMP3 and its chief, Denis Kvasov, were not guilty of copyright infringement. The court stated that an investigation initiated by the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) did not produce enough evidence to prove that AllofMP3 had broken any laws. The judge in the case said the site had paid a share of revenue to copyright holders in compliance with Russian laws. A representative told Reuters that the site pays royalties to artists who sign up with an organization for digital and multimedia systems but major U.S. record labels have not signed up despite receiving repeated letters offering dividends. The IFPI has tried to argue that the groups offering to collect and disburse the royalties are not legitimate. AllofMP3 still faces civil lawsuits brought by groups representing U.S. record companies in the United States and the United Kingdom. The company and its representatives could not be reached for comment and it is unclear when the file-sharing services will resume. The Recording Industry Association of America criticized the first decision, saying the court misconstrued the law. The RIAA also said the case illustrates the need for judicial reform in Russia. U.S. Trade Representatives have said that Russia must comply with international trade agreements for accession to the World Trade Organization and the RIAA said the case illustrates shortcomings in terms of the country's protection of intellectual property.
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