Investigators opened criminal proceedings against Denis Kvasov, former head of Media Service, which owned the Web site, after U.K.-based Emi Records, U.S. Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group filed a 5 million-ruble ($200,000) compensation claim for alleged financial losses.
"Investigators' conclusion that Kvasov's actions were criminal ... was premature," the verdict said.
Investigators said Kvasov had connected a server owned by Media Service to the Internet and illegally sold music recordings to the sum of at least 54,000 rubles (about $2,000) between September 2003 and December 2005.
The judge said Russia's copyright laws did not ban online use of pirated music at the time. "Such a regulation only entered force in September 2006," she said, adding that investigators had been careless in collecting the evidence.
Lawyer Eduard Margulyan said Kvasov had acted within the law and made regular payments to the copyright holders, as shown in receipts enclosed in the case. Margulyan also said no illegal copies of music had been found during an inspection of the company's server.
Prosecutors can appeal the verdict within 10 days. The Web site, allofmp3.com, has been shut down.
The fact of registration and authorization of users on Sputnik websites via users’ account or accounts on social networks indicates acceptance of these rules.
Users are obliged abide by national and international laws. Users are obliged to speak respectfully to the other participants in the discussion, readers and individuals referenced in the posts.
The websites’ administration has the right to delete comments made in languages other than the language of the majority of the websites’ content.
In all language versions of the sputniknews.com websites any comments posted can be edited.
A user comment will be deleted if it:
The administration has the right to block a user’s access to the page or delete a user’s account without notice if the user is in violation of these rules or if behavior indicating said violation is detected.
Users can initiate the recovery of their account / unlock access by contacting the moderators at email@example.com
The letter must contain:
If the moderators deem it possible to restore the account / unlock access, it will be done.
In the case of repeated violations of the rules above resulting in a second block of a user’s account, access cannot be restored.
To contact the team of moderators, write to firstname.lastname@example.org