The music download website whose activities threatened to scupper Russia's entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has been shut down.
The site, Allofmp3.com, was quietly closed as the Kremlin sought to end criticism from the United States that Russia was failing to clamp down on music and video piracy.
However, an alternative site run by the same Moscow company has already emerged. MediaServices says that mp3Sparks.com is legal under Russian law, using many of the same arguments advanced in support of allofmp3.com.
Customers found last week that allofmp3.com would not load on their computers, while others who went through its Russian web address were greeted by a message saying that it was closed "for maintenance". A former employee confirmed to The Times today that it had been shut down under pressure from the Russian authorities.
View: Times Online