Moscow (Russia) – In the biggest case of its kind to make it all the way through the court trial process, the man who owned and operated allofmp3.com has been acquitted of all charges.
Allofmp3.com allowed users to pay a nominal fee to be able to download straight MP3 files of songs that were not officially licensed by the copyright owners. The pricing model was three cents for every megabyte of music. Denis Kvasov, owner of allofmp3.com’s parent company MediaServices, was charged with copyright infringement. After a trial, however, his name has been cleared.
Entertainment strongholds including Universal, Time Warner, and EMI Music became upset as the site gained notoriety and pressed for legal action. It was able to operate for years without trouble because the site was hosted in Russia. However, the country has recently begun acting stricter against piracy, attributed to its desire to enter the World Trade Organization. A suit finally made its way to the Russian legal system by an international trade organization.
Reuters quoted judge Yekaterina Sharapova as saying, “The prosecution did not succeed in presenting persuasive evidence of his involvement in infringing copyright law.”
A representative for the plaintiff, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) said, “We are disappointed with the verdict and will appeal.”
Kvasov argued that he was within the bounds of the law because he paid a percent of all the money he earned to a Russian group called ROMS, which collects and distributes fees and royalties for intellectual property owners.
Allofmp3.com fizzled out in July, mainly as a result of global credit card companies declining any transactions to the site.