Russian Court to VISA: ‘Must Process Payments to’

Since the site is legal under Russian law, Visa told it must resume accepting its credit and debit card payment transactions.

According to CNews, a Russian “IT-Review” site, the Moscow Arbitrary Court has ruled that Visa’s decision to terminate its contract with Alltunes, MP3sparks, and AllofMP3 was illegal under Russian law because they operate legally according to ROM, the Russian Organization for Multimedia & digital systems. ROM is the Russian equivalent of the RIAA, and according to their website they are “…the national Russian organization providing professional collective management of authors’ property rights and protection of interests of rights holders in cases of use of their works in digital interactive networks, including the Internet.”

But, unfortunately for AllofMP3, neither the RIAA nor the IFPI recognize ROM’s legitimacy since it collects only a standard 15% licensing fee rather than a negotiated fee as is the case with sites like iTunes and other popular mainstream digital music download sites.

“The court can try the case on the copyright infringement under the exceptional right holder suit. Neither IFPI, nor Visa are such right holders,” the judicial decision reads.

Visa says it will not appeal the case against Rosbank, the Russian agent of Visa that actually handles most of Visa’s credit and debit card processing in that country.

“We intend to proceed cooperation with the Russian Visa member-banks and hunting for an acceptable decision in relation to such resources as Allо and, their activities considered ambiguous on the part of the RF legislation,” a Visa representative explained.

However, apparently the IFPI hasn’t been t so easily swayed by the verdict and intends to appeal the decision.

“The court decision has not come into force, so we intend to appeal against it,” said Igor Pozhitkov, an IFPI Representative.

Now was taken down under pressure from the Russian Govt due to it being a precondition for its acceptance into the WTO but, sister sites like Alltunes, and MP3sparks are still around, giving the operators a huge legal victory and an important method to receive payments from customers.

But, it could prove to be a big headache for Visa who has been “requested” by copyright holders to cut off payment transactions for the sites.

“Having put pressure on Roasbank, Visa behaved incorrectly and infringed the business ethics principals,” said Pavel Rublevsky of Chronopay, a company which helped served as middleman in accepting payments for and Alltunes.

“Visa is to cut off only those sites, which abuse law, for example, children porno sites. When there is a conflict of business interests then Visa is to observe neutrality,” he continued.