The BBC reports that Moscow prosecutors are not charging AllofMP3.com with criminal copyright infringement. Under Russian law, apparently only counterfeiting of physical media can be a criminal offense. Digital copyright infringement may be copyright infringement, but not criminal. ‘Legal okay’ for Russian MP3 site: “According to Tass, prosecutors had decided not to pursue with legal action because Russian copyright laws only cover physical media such as CDs or DVDs and not digital files such as MP3s.”
Alex Moskalyuk explains in more detail: AllofMP3.com escapes criminal lawsuit, for now
On March 4th prosecutor’s office of Moscow’s Southwestern region refused to charge AllofMP3.com in a criminal lawsuit. What’s interesting is that AllofMP3.com did not win the case due to the compulsory licensing legislated in Russia. The prosecutor’s office affirmed that the Russian music site was distributing copyrighted music from its site, and in many cases did not have a proper license to distribute them. Russian criminal law severely punishes attempts to distribute copyrighted music without proper licensing procured first. However, Russian law is quite specific about distribution of material goods, as the law usually applies to CD and DVD pirating.
Soon, we will get to see how Russian civil courts deal with this…