The Bilateral Negotiations on Russia’s Accession to the World Trade Organization outlines that pirate music websites within Russia will be taken down by June 2007. The agreement specifically outlined AllofMP3 as an example of a pirate site. Earlier today, AllofMP3 legal counsel held a panel discussion to talk about some of the allegations made about AllofMP3 during the last few days.
John Kheit, an intellectual property attorney hired on behalf of Chadbourne & Park to represent AllofMP3, immediately started the conference by claiming AllofMP3 has not broken any laws. He went on to say that AllofMP3 has not been contacted by Russian or U.S. authorities since the Bilateral Negotiations on Russia’s Accession to the World Trade Organization. AllofMP3 is not shutting down.
Kheit then emphasized that AllofMP3 operates legally in Russia. 15% of all profit on music sales at AllofMP3 is paid to Russian Organization for Multimedia and Digital Systems (ROMS), the Russian equivalent of the RIAA. For Russian or foreign copyright holders to collect on the profits collected at AllofMP3, the holder must contact ROMS to petition for payment. Since ROMS is non-for-profit, funds may even be retroactively requested since any contributions to the organization should still be maintained.
However, many record labels in the US have specifically not requested royalties from ROMS out of fear that collecting would effectively justify AllofMP3’s existence. Kheit countered this point by claiming that copyright holders merely need to show proof of copyright ownership to AllofMP3, and said works would be removed from the site. To date, no entity has opted out of AllofMP3.
No one representing AllofMP3 could give an accurate count on the size of the service, though the site has widely been accepted as the number two online music provider behind iTunes. Even though AllofMP3 recently lost its Visa and MasterCard portal, the company relies on a credit proxy called Xrost, which can be paid via Visa or MasterCard.
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