BPI to sue Allofmp3.com and calls for Apple to open iTunes

The British record industry's trade association, the BPI, made a presentation outlining its future plans and vision, which include suing Allofmp3.com, to MPs yesterday.

General counsel Roz Groome told the House of Commons Select Committee for Culture, Media, and Sport inquiry into New Media and Creative Industries that the BPI plans to go after the Russian music download site in British courts because the website is illegal in the UK.

Recently Allofmp3.com has come under fire from the US lobbyists, who say that Russia's entry into the WTO could be threatened unless the government takes the site offline.

The company has issued a statement in response, reminding the world that it is a legally-operating Russian website that pays royalties to "the Russian organizations for collective management of rights such as ROMS and FAIR, which have granted the site licenses to legally deliver music through the internet".

It remains to be seen if the site remains legal after Russian copyright law changes on 1 September 2007, although the statements says it is working to "agree with all rightholders on the prices and royalties amounts" by that date.

In its presentation to MPs, the BPI assured consumers that it will not, however, go after individual users of Allofmp3.com, nor will it prosecute UK consumers who rip CDs to their MP3 players.

The BPI also called on Apple to increase interoperability in reference to the fact that songs bought from iTunes only play on iPods and that songs bought from other download sites can't be played on iTunes.