Ukrainian court upholds ruling against illegal music website
London, 30th October 2007
A Ukrainian court has upheld a judgment against the copyright infringing music website mp3.ua. The verdict obliges the site’s operators, Internet Media File Ltd., to pay over US$70,000 in damages and an injunction granted against them will now enter into force.
The Kiev Court of Appeal rejected Internet Media File’s objections to an earlier verdict from the Kiev Economic Tribunal confirming the injunction granted to IFPI member company HonestMusic, which prohibits mp3.ua from making any of its tracks available without authorisation. The verdict also enables the company to seize Internet Media File Ltd’s assets to secure the payment of damages if necessary.
The damages were granted because 36 of the tracks HonestMusic owns the rights to were made available without their permission and downloaded by internet users from mp3.ua.
This verdict sets a precedent against Ukrainian websites that try to replicate the business model of Russian site allofmp3.com, which sells music without any permission from artists, composers or record producers.
It marks a success for the recording industry which has worked hard to educate policy makers and the judiciary in Ukraine about the importance of protecting intellectual property in the online environment.
UAMI, the IFPI-affiliated group that represents the recording industry in Ukraine, is working with the judiciary and law enforcement agencies with the aim to extend the injunction against mp3.ua to the repertoire of other IFPI member companies and to initiate the criminal investigation of mp3.ua and other illegal sites in Ukraine.
Stefan Krawczyk, IFPI Deputy Regional Director for Europe says: “The Kiev Appeals Court verdict is a welcome and encouraging development for the music industry in Ukraine, where internet piracy virtually paralyses the development of a viable and legitimate online market for recorded music.
“This judgment sets a precedent and will help us to ensure that Ukraine does not become a safe haven for the next generation of allofmp3.com-style illegal sites. It suggests that policymakers and the judiciary are waking up to the importance of policing intellectual property laws online.”For further information contact:
Stefan Krawczyk or Francine Cunningham, IFPI European Office
Tel. +32 (0)2 511 9208