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Allofmp3.com speaks out against US

Downloads jeopardise trade talks, says White House

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Russian download store Allofmp3.com today responded with defiance to fresh US claims its activities are stalling Russia's attempts to join the World Trade Organisation.

Allofmp3 sells music priced by file size at somewhere around a tenth of the cost per track of Western services like iTunes. America and record industry bodies say it does not pay any royalties and is illegal.

Allofmp3's owners maintain that as a Russian business it complies fully with local copyright law. It has achieved second position behind Apple in the UK digital music market, largely by word of mouth.

US trade representative Susan Schwab has been a prominent public critic of Allofmp3. Her office recently placed the company on a "notorious markets" list, and a speech last month blasted Russian authorities for allowing the site to operate freely.

An Allofmp3 spokesman local media: "Susan Schwab markets us so effectively - she could already be our press secretary."

A spokesman for Allofmp3's holding company MediaServices, Ilya Levitov, told AFP: "We announce on our website to every user that he or she should check the laws of the country in which he lives."

The site's owners are battling the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry in Moscow courts.

A stricter intellectual property regime that would bring Russia in line with Western rules was given preliminary approval by the Russian parliament last month, AFP reports.

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