The BPI has received permission to sue the Russian downloading website in a British court.

The recording industry body had declared intentions to take the site to court in an presentation about DRM to the House of Commons.

Now the institute will serve a write to the Russian company this week.

The owners of the site, Media Services, say that they are operating according to Russian law, in which a loophole allows them to offer music cheaply over the internet.

New records sell for under £1 on the site. Media Services pays a license fee, but the BPI argues that record companies have not given permission for music to be sold on the site.

Roz Groome, the BPI's general counsel, said, "This is an important step forward in our battle against".

"We have maintained all along that this site is illegal and that the operator of the site is breaking UK law by making sound recordings available to UK-based customers without the permission of the copyright owners."

Suing the site successfully in the UK is one thing; enforcing whatever ruling is made in Russia is quite another.

The BPI is not planning to go after any users of the site.