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Russia Junks IFPI’s AllofMP3 Probe
March 7, 2005
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The International Phonographic Federation Industry (IPFI), which is hired by the major record labels to protect their interests worldwide, has learnt a tough lesson in respecting the laws of individual countries.

Vladimir Dragunov, the IFPI’s legal advisor in Russia, warned that the IFPI “don’t have much chance of succeeding” if they attacked the Russian digital music retailer,

Even so, the IFPI pushed ahead and supported the Computer Crimes unit of Moscow City Police in their call for the local prosecutor to investigate the site.

The IFPI claim that AllofMP3 is offering digital copies of recorded music for sale illegally.

The site offers music without the portability restrictions or heavy price tags which plague equivalent sites which are sanctioned by the music industry.

AllofMP3 claim to be on the innocent side of the law, as they pay royalties to the relevant collection agency in Russia.

According to a local technology blogger, the prosecutor sided with AllofMP3 on 4 March.

“Moscow prosecutor’s office noted that Russian music site does not distribute material goods, and since is not subject to prosecution under the criminal law. distributed digital goods via Internet, of which Russian criminal law says nothing. Moreover, prosecutors arrived at the conclusion that since no physical copies of the goods are delivered to the customer, can be treated as a service where site visitors can listen to the music. (The fact that it’s more than possible to burn an MP3 to an audio CD apparently escaped law enforcement),” the Alex Moskalyuk Online blog explains.

The prosecutor is therefore unable to charge AllofMP3 with piracy.

However, the blog is also quick to highlight that laws can change. There is also a possibility of civil action, although this is unlikely to succeed if the site can prove they are paying all royalties due.

Nobody at the IFPI was available for comment.

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