Allofmp3.com has been closed

Russian download site Allofmp3.com has been shut down.

The service, which sold songs at a fraction of the cost of the other sites, claimed to be the second biggest seller of music downloads after iTunes.

The site has been the subject of several lawsuits from UK and US record labels that claimed it violated copyright law, reports BBC News.

The site’s owners MediaServices maintained the site was legal under Russian law, and has subsequently set up a new service called mp3Sparks.com.

The closure of the original site has been welcomed by the record industry.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry chairman John Kennedy said: “Allofmp3.com violated copyright law in Russia and internationally by ripping off artists and creators, taking music that it had no right to reproduce and selling it worldwide. If this is the end of allofmp3.com this is good news.”

Numerous lawsuits were started against the site’s owners MediaServices, and the Russian government have come under criticism for its apparent lack of action against the site.

In 2006 a lawsuit was filed on behalf of Arista Records, Warner Bros, Capitol and UMG recordings. They said they were selling songs without permission.

Under increased pressure Moscow finally signed an agreement in October last year to shut down the site.