The head of music website Allofmp3.com has been cleared of any wrongdoing by a Russian court.
Denis Kvasov, the former director of the site's parent company, MediaServices, was accused of copyright infringement by EMI, NBC Universal and Time Warner for selling their artists' songs at a discounted price.
However, the Russian judge presiding over the case found in the website owner's favour.
"The prosecution did not succeed in presenting persuasive evidence of his involvement in infringing copyright law," said district judge Yekaterina Sharapova.
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, which had pressed for action on behalf of the copyright holders, said that it was disappointed with the verdict and would appeal against the decision.
As part of those talks, US trade representative Susan Schwab said that Russia should close AllOfMP3.com as it was "robbing US recording companies of sales".
The Russian music site, which sold tracks for as little as 3p each, claimed that it paid licence fees to the Russian Multimedia and Internet Society.
But the British Phonographic Institute has insisted that the Russian body is not officially recognised and that copyright holders receive no fees for the tracks that are sold.
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