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Russia pirates dressed down

Moscow police turn in Allofmp3.com to authorities

WASHINGTON — Saying nyet to music illegally sold and traded on the Internet, authorities in Moscow have begun to move against a Russian Web site allegedly involved in widespread infringement of copyrighted songs.

The computer crimes unit of the Moscow police recently turned over the results of its investigation into the site, Allofmp3.com, to the city prosecutor’s office. The prosecutor is expected to make a final decision in 30 days on whether to proceed with charges.

According to a statement issued by the IFPI, which represents 1,450 record companies in more than 70 countries, “Russia, with a 64% piracy rate, is one of IFPI’s top 10 priority markets targeted in the fight against commercial piracy.” Org says the Russian music market is ranked 12th in the world and was worth $326.2 million in 2003.

“We have consistently said that Allofmp3.com is not licensed to distribute our members’ repertoire in Russia or anywhere else,” said Igor Pozhitkov, IFPI’s regional director for Moscow, in a statement. “We are pleased that the police are bringing this important case to the attention of the prosecutor. We very much hope and expect that the prosecutor will proceed with this case.”

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