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Denis Kvasov, the former owner of Russian music site AllofMP3.com, has been charged with violating intellectual property laws in a Moscow court.

He faces a three year jail sentence and a 15 million rouble (€420,000) fine in damages to record companies EMI, Warner, and Universal.

AllofMP3.com, the UK's second most popular source for music downloads after iTunes, was shut down earlier this month after diplomatic pressure was piled on Russian authorities.

However, the servers are still accessible through software marketed by Alltunes.com (also owned by MediaServices, the firm behind AllofMP3.com), and a new site - MP3Sparks.com - that is almost identical to AllofMP3.

AllofMP3 still maintains it didn't do anything illegal. Russian collection societies are allowed to license music to companies without securing permission from the music's copyright holder. The Russian Organisation for Multimedia and Digital Systems (ROMS) got its 15 per cent of the revenue, but Western music bodies insist the collection societies do not represent them.

Alltunes.com recently won a court case against a Russian agent of Visa over its decision to disconnect the online music stores' payment system.

In a court ruling in Moscow, Rosbank Visa was found to have acted illegally in cutting off transactions made to the store, according to a statement from Alltunes.

Visa and Mastercard had blocked payments for Alltunes, which previously operated as AllofMP3, after the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) accused the website of copyright violation. ®

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