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Virgin downloaders hit by AllofMP3.com fault

Swashbuckling Russian site unavailable - not blocked

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Virgin Media has denied it has begun to block AllofMP3.com, the controversial music site currently under fire from the recording industry and US trade officials.

Virgin subscribers contacted The Register fearing the Virgin brand's association with the recording industry, or desire to throttle bandwidth on its network, had brought a change in policy towards the highly contentious Russian download site, which ranks second only to iTunes in the UK.

The cable firm's broadband product manager Alex Brown said: "One of our networks team tested this out for me and indeed we do seem to have a problem here - but we don't block the site, this looks like a fault. The technical support team are raising this now."

The fault doesn't appear to be affecting any other UK ISPs. At the end of last year Swedish provider Perspektiv barred its subscribers from using AllofMP3.com, which offers tracks for less than $0.20, and does not pay royalties, citing a loophole in Russian intellectual property laws.

AllofMP3.com has been lambasted by the recording industry and US trade officials, who say its treatment of copyright works is an obstruction to Russia joining the World Trade Organisation. In November negotiations, Vladimir Putin promised action against Mediaservices, the company behind AllofMP3.com, though the site remains available.

Virgin said any users who're experiencing the fault should get in touch with their details, as it might help fix the problem quicker. Contact information is here. ®

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