July 24, 2007 11:29 AM PDT
Russian prosecutors seek jail time for Allofmp3.com owner
Denis Kvasov, the former owner of the popular Russia-based music site that sold unauthorized music downloads, is facing charges for massive copyright infringement, according to German newspaper, Deutsche Presseagentur.
The prosecutor in the case has asked the court to sentence Kvasov to three years in prison and ordered him to pay restitution to EMI, Warner and Universal in the amount of $590,000 (15 million rubles), Presseagentur reported.
Allofmp3.com closed last month after U.S. trade officials pressured Russia's government to crack down on copyright theft. The Recording Industry Association of America had long targeted the site. The U.S. had suggested that Russia might be barred from joining the World Trade Organization unless it complied.
United States Trade Representative spokeswoman Gretchen Hamel, whose agency negotiates trade agreements with foreign governments, said earlier this month her group was pleased with Russia's actions to close the "notorious site" Allofmp3.com.
"This action follows months and years of the U.S. government, Congress, and industry urging Russia to step up its protection of intellectual property," Hamel said. "We are concerned that its piracy activities appear to have migrated to other Web sites based in Russia."
Within days of the closure of Allofmp3.com, a new site cropped up, Mp3sparks.com, which appeared operational on Tuesday. The new site is reportedly run by the former operators Allofmp3.com, although that fact could not be independently confirmed by CNET News.com.
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