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AllOfMP3 defies Western superpowers

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Little more than a month after it collapsed under pressure from several superpowers of the Western world - including the US government and three major record labels - Russia's AllOfMP3 is making a comeback.

The music download service has already relaunched its website, and a new blog post claims that cut-rate tunes are close behind. "The service will be resumed in the foreseeable future," reads the post. "We are doing our best at the moment to ensure that all our users can use their accounts, top up balance and order music."

Before its shutdown, AllOfMP3 sold copyrighted tunes at discounted prices to millions of users across the web, raising the ire of music companies EMI, NBC Universal, and Time Warner. The big-name trio pressured the Russian courts into prosecuting the site's onetime owner, Denis Kvasov, but that's not the half of it. The American government soon joined their crusade, calling for the site's destruction while negotiating Russia's entrance into the World Trade Organization.

By the beginning of the year, Visa and MasterCard were in on the act too, refusing to process credit card payments on the site, and in early July, AllOfMP3 closed its doors.

But the service received a fillip the week before last, when Kvasov was acquitted by a Moscow court. The former boss of AllOfMP3's parent company, Media Services, had always claimed that the service was legal because it made regular payments to ROMS, a Russian royalty collection society, and Judge Yekaterina Sharapova backed him up, saying the prosecution had failed to prove otherwise. ®

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