Russian website shut down

Music business welcomes action

LONDON — The music industry has welcomed reports that illegal Russian download site Allofmp3.com has shut down.

The website is no longer accessible and reports out of Moscow claim that the controversial service ceased operating shortly before Russian president Vladimir Putin left his capital for a summit with U.S. counterpart George W. Bush in Maine. American authorities had previously warned that Allofmp3.com could prevent Russia from entering the World Trade Organization.

Allofmp3.com became popular because of its budget prices for downloading tracks. However, the music industry fought long and hard over the site, stating that the copyright owners of the music were not being paid for their work.

MediaServices, the parent company of Allofmp3, was unavailable for comment.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the British Phonographic Industry, hailed the reported closure as “another important step for the recording industry as we seek to direct consumers away from illegal online services toward the many legal alternatives.”

Two months ago the BPI was involved in a police operation that saw a 25-year-old man arrested in London on fraud charges. He was allegedly the U.K.-based European agent for Allofmp3.

Taylor added: “We will continue to take firm action against any website that defrauds consumers by claiming to be legal while selling stolen music without permission. We appeal to U.K. music fans to stay away from these illegal Russian sites, which are unlicensed parasites that make no investment in music and do not pay royalties to the artists concerned.”

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