US Official: AllofMP3 Must Shut Down

The United States is continuing to pressure Russia to shut down the music site allofmp3.com, with a top trade official saying Wednesday it would be hard to see the country being a member of the WTO with the site still operating in the country.

Calls for AllofMP3's demise are again surfacing as the two countries attempt to restart negotiations for Russia to enter the international trade group. Talks stalled in July after persistent disagreements related to agriculture and intellectual property issues.

Representatives from both Russia and the U.S. will meet in Geneva, Switzerland next week with a goal of having an agreement by the end of this month. However, it is likely a non-negotiable stipulation of the talks will be the shutting down of the music site.

AllofMP3 claims it has licenses from Russian Multimedia and Internet Society (ROMS) and the Rightholders Federation for Collective Copyright Management of Works Used Interactively (FAIR).

However, neither the U.S. nor Britain recognize those licenses, and the British music industry sued the site in July. Joining the WTO has been a publicly stated goal of Russian President Putin, and he has begun to talk about intellectual property rights issues in the country recently.

"The dialogue is continuing. We're making progress slowly but steadily and we'll see if we can get there," US Trade Representative Susan Schwab was quoted by Reuters as saying to reporters. "There's no guarantee that we'll get it done."

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