You’ve probably already heard by now, but its worth sharing just in case. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) represents record labels internationally and they’ve long been weary of Russian Facebook-esque site, Vkontakte. Despite the long-standing weariness, IFPI (on behalf of Sony, Universal, and Warner Music) is just now filing suit against the extremely popular site citing “‘large-scale’ copyright infringement,” according to the BBC.
The BBC also reports that, “IFPI chief executive Frances Moore said: ‘We have repeatedly highlighted this problem over a long period of time,” and “We have encouraged VK to cease its infringements and negotiate with record companies to become a licensed service.”
Vkontakte, according to the Guardian, “is popular in Russia and other former Soviet Union countries, where it has more than 100 million users,” and has apparently been linked to the Kremlin.
The Guardian notes that, “It is part owned by the Kremlin-friendly oligarch Alisher Usmanov and part by an investment fund thought to have links to the Kremlin.” The sites founder, extreme liberal activist Pavel Durov, may or may not have left the company earlier this week due to a “dispute with its Kremlin-linked owners,” but depending on the source, that might’ve been an April Fool’s prank.