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INTERNATIONAL MUSIC SECTOR CHALLENGES ALLOFMP3.COM: "ADMIT YOU ARE ILLEGAL"

Cross-sector alliance calls on Russian website to come clean on its violation of copyright laws -

London, Washington, Paris, Moscow, October 17th, 2006

INTERNATIONAL MUSIC SECTOR CHALLENGES ALLOFMP3.COM: "ADMIT YOU ARE ILLEGAL"

Cross-sector alliance calls on Russian website to come clean on its violation of copyright laws -

The international music sector today threw down the gauntlet to Russian-based website Allofmp3.com, accusing it of stealing the music of legitimate copyright holders and creators across the world. Bodies representing authors, composers, music publishers and record companies internationally and in Russia are demanding that Allofmp3.com, which is facing legal proceedings both in Russia and internationally - admits it is an illegal service that is flagrantly breaching the rights of the artists, composers, music publishers and record producers who make the works it sells.

Allofmp3.com sells and distributes hundreds of thousands of songs by international and local artists without having any legitimate licence to do so. It claims to be licensed by a Russian-based society ROMS, but ROMS has no mandate from international rights owners to licence the site in or outside Russia.

Under the copyright laws of virtually every country in the world, including Russia, it is illegal to distribute recordings without the permission of the rights owners.

The site is called on to answer to four simple questions that are issued today by an alliance of organisations representing the legitimate international music sector.

QUESTIONS: 1. What are your revenues, and what share of them have been distributed to artists or copyright owners? What are your top 10 best sellers, how much has your top-selling artist been paid and can you identify any artist or copyright owner who will confirm they have received payment from Allofmp3.com?

2. How can Allofmp3.com justify its business model by saying it is licensed by Russian-based body ROMS to make available and sell music over the internet, when ROMS does not have the mandate from any of the relevant copyright owners (record producers, authors and music publishers worldwide) to issue such licences in or outside Russia (and was furthermore expelled from CISAC in October 2004)?

3. Copyright societies representing hundreds of thousands of composers, authors and music publishers around the world have written to ROMS making it plain that ROMS has received no such rights from them. This means that Allofmp3.com is making copyrighted works available without the permission it needs. When is Allofmp3.com going to stop illegally exploiting the works of composers, authors and publishers?

4. Allofmp3.com's website admits it may not be legal in countries other than Russia, yet it is available in English and even publishes charts from the US, UK, Germany and France. What steps is Allofmp3.com taking to comply with the law outside Russia?

The questions are posed by:

  • Mitch Bainwol, President of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
  • Eric Baptiste, Director-General of CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers
  • Peter Jamieson Chairman, BPI, representing the British recorded music industry
  • John Kennedy, Chairman and CEO of IFPI representing the recording industry worldwide
  • Martin Mills, Chairman of IMPALA, representing European independent record labels
  • Ronald Mooij, Secretary-General of BIEM, representing mechanical rights societies internationally
  • Yuri Slyusar, Chairman of the Board of NFPP Board representing record companies in Russia
  • Jenny Vacher, General Counsel, ICMP/CIEM representing music publishers worldwide
  • Alison Wenham, President of world independent labels body WIN

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