AllofMP3 not doomed quite yet?

— 11:37 AM on December 1, 2006

Earlier this month, the Office of the United States Trade Representative released a document that quite explicitly called for the termination of the AllofMP3 music download service as part of Russia's entry into the World Trade Organization. While the document suggests that the Russian government will shut down the service by June 1, 2007, a new report by Ars Technica says AllofMP3 isn't going anywhere just yet. The site quizzed Chadbourne & Parke IP attorney John Kheit, who represents AllofMP3, and he had this to say:

[Kheit] had one basic point to make in the wake of the trade agreement: AllofMP3 is legal, and it's not going anywhere. Although the agreement indicates quite clearly that the Russians have agreed to brand AllofMP3 an illicit site, Kheit points out that diplomats can talk as much as they want, but AllofMP3 isn't illegal until judges decide. "Legality is not decided by a legislative branch or an executive branch. It's decided by a court," he said in response to a question from Ars Technica. And no such ruling has been handed down.
Meanwhile, AllofMP3 itself continues to assert that its service is legal under both U.S. and Russian law—even though the U.S. Commerce Department itself has dubbed the service "the world's highest-volume online seller of pirated music." The company has issued a statement on its website that says, "Although to our knowledge there is no direct precedent on the legality of accessing a service like ours from the US (i.e., using a legal music download service located outside of the US), we, however, do believe that there are at least several statutes, each of which, should allow users to access our service in the US."
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