An official document posted to Digg today summarizes an agreement between the U.S. and Russia in which Russia has agreed to close down AllofMP3.com, and any sites that “permit illegal distribution of music and other copyright works.”
The agreement is dated November 19 and posted to the Web site for the Office of the United States Trade Representative. It summarizes the joint efforts of the two countries to fight content piracy, an issue known to be centered in Russia and Eastern Europe.
“This agreement sets the stage for further progress on IPR issues in Russia through the next phase of multilateral negotiations, during which the United States and other WTO members will examine Russia’s IPR regime,” states the document.
The document specifically names AllofMP3.com as an example of the types of Web sites that they will shut down. We contacted AllofMP3.com and the company sent us an official statement stating their legality. It says that the company has offered to remove illegal music at the copyright holders’ requests.
“For months, AllofMP3 has stated the company will comply with the request from any copyright holder to remove any music from the site. However, the company has not heard from the Russian Licensing Societies or the record labels. Perhaps, opt-out requests are not being made because the record labels can’t clear the rights.”
Still, the company is being made an example of for all to see. Russia is instructed to terminate leases for companies that facilitate online piracy, as well as inspect plants regularly, and take criminal action where there is evidence of commercial sale piracy. The government will be expected to begin complying by June 1, 2007.