Contentious music site

Moscow, October 6:

A Russian Internet site that sells Western pop music at knock-down prices shows no sign of changing its ways despite the United States singling it out as an obstacle to Russia joining the World Trade Organisation, a report said on Friday.

As Moscow and Washington continue fraught talks on Russia’s WTO bid, the worldwide sales of music site have become a particular bone of contention, the Kommersant daily said.

Russia, the only major world economy not in WTO, hopes to wrap up membership talks this autumn. But there is no sign of the website giving in to pressure, as its owner, Denis Kvasov, continues to battle a lawsuit in a Moscow court by the international music industry body IFPI, Kommersant said.

Kommmersant quoted a defiant representative of the Internet site as saying that complaints by the office of US Trade Representative Susan Schwab were only helping the company.

“Susan Schwab markets us so effectively — she could already be our press secretary,” the unnamed spokesperson said.