Thursday, August 16, 2007

Allofmp3 cleared

In a bad loss for the music industry, a Russian court has cleared Denis Kvasov, head of Allofmp3 of charges relating to copyright theft. It seems, under Russian law, payments to ROM count, even if ROM is not affiliated to the RIAA-IFPI:

Kvasov always said he was within the law because the site paid part of its income to ROMS, a Russian organisation which collects and distributes fees for copyright holders.

The judge agreed with his defence.

"Everybody who uses soundtracks has to pay a certain amount of their income to the rights holders and this company has done that," she said. "MediaServices has paid a certain amount of money to ROMS."

The IFPI has announced plans to appeal - really, it has no choice now, as its actions so far have turned a grey area into a legal acceptance of Allofmp3's business plan. And it's not just the labels who will be hoping this judgement gets reversed - Visa might find itself in a bit of an awkward position if it has to explain why it stopped processing credit card payments for a perfectly legal business.