August 16 2007 has been cleared has had their day in a Russian court, and unsurprisingly, they were found not to be in violation of Russian copyright laws.

The site, now defunct, was owned by MediaServices and has been cleared of wrong doing in an action brought by EMI Group Plc, NBC Universal and Time Warner Inc. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI… think an international RIAA) has said they will appeal the ruling.

It is amazing how much strife a little web site selling MP3s can cause.

Essentially the problem is the record companies are saying MediaServices, which since the closure of has reopened as, never had permission to sell the albums and collect royalties on the music.   Denis Kvasov, the former head of MediaServices, claims they did pay royalties to ROMS, a Russian royalties organization which in turn should have gone to the recording companies.  Again, the record companies say they didn’t have permission.

Caught up in all this is Russia trying to enter the World Trade Organization and the United States saying no since AllOfMP3 was a perfect example of Russia’s lack of defense of copyrights.  But, if you look at a list of the members of the WTO, Hong Kong and China are members.  Do you have any clue how many bootleg products come out of those countries?  DVDs alone number in the hundreds of thousands, but yet they are in the WTO.  Why?

This whole thing is a mess, but the short version is,  are not illegal in Russia, leave it alone, move along, and stop using it as an excuse when you have the biggest pirate country of them all in the WTO already.  It’s a lame, shoddy, excuse of a reason to keep Russia out.

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