“The prosecution did not succeed in presenting persuasive evidence of his involvement in infringing copyright law”. These are the word of judge, Yekaterina Sharapova, acquitting Denis Kvasov, former boss of Allofmp3.com, of breaching copyright.
This is bad news for the Russian prosecutors and the international music industry who had hoped for jail time for Kvasov as well as a $590,000 payout to EMI, Universal and Warner.
Kvasov – who ceased to be in control of the site in late 2005 – 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: “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 International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), has said it will appeal. Two more cases against allofmp3.com are pending, including one against Mediaservices‘ current head, Vadim Mamotin.
This must be getting quite embarrassing for all involved. Russian courts keep finding to site legal. Just as well that such things don’t prevent the sites being shut down really.