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Thread: Prosecutors Consider Action

  1. #1
    Prosecutors Consider Action
    February 22, 2005
    Michael Ingram is a Russian-based digital music retailer, popular amongst file sharers who have become disillusioned by fake files and lawsuits. The site also draws consumers who are ready to buy content online, but want greater flexibility than offered by RIAA-sanctioned services.

    In addition, the site does not pay the royalties set by the music industry, so high quality MP3 files can be bought at heavily discounted prices.

    Offering DRM-free tracks in a choice of file sizes and audio quality, the service provided by gives choice and flexibility, unlike industry-authorized services such as iTunes.

    The site claims the music is made available under license from the Russian Multimedia and Internet Society, hence is legal under current Russian copyright legislation. As requested by the law, royalties are paid to the relevant authorities in Russia.

    On the other hand, the music industry claim the site is only legal due to outdated Russian copyright law, which was not designed with the Internet in mind.

    Last year, IFPI Russia’s legal adviser, Vladimir Dragunov, conceded, “Because of these loopholes we don’t have much chance of succeeding if we attack these companies who are using music files on the Internet under current Russian laws.”

    Despite this, the IPFI have just announced that on February 8, the Computer Crimes unit of Moscow City Police formally passed the results of a criminal investigation to the Moscow City Prosecutor’s office.

    The IPFI also put in a complaint on behalf of their members on the same day.

    The prosecutors have 16 days left to decide whether to proceed with a criminal prosecution. It is unclear what will happen if that time expires.

    Questioned about the complexity of the law surrounding, London-based Adrian Strain, Director of Communications for the IPFI, responded with this statement to Slyck:

    “There is no provision in the Russian law that would allow allofmp3 to use our members' sound recordings in its service without authorisation. The law is clear. The reproduction right in Russia is the exclusive right of the phonogram producer. The sale of a copy of a sound recording online clearly involves the reproduction of the sound recording, and this activity therefore requires the consent of the phonogram producer. IFPI’s members have not licensed or authorized in any manner allofmp3 to use their rights in its service.”

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  3. File Sharing   -   #2
    Russia Junks IFPI’s AllofMP3 Probe
    March 7, 2005
    Michael Ingram

    The International Phonographic Federation Industry (IPFI), who 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.
    Last edited by RealitY; 03-07-2005 at 08:31 PM.


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