updated 10/27/2006 7:50:23 AM ET 2006-10-27T11:50:23

A court in Denmark has ordered Swedish telecom operator Tele2 AB to block its Internet service subscribers from connecting to a Russian Web site accused by recording companies of selling their music illegally.

The ruling, issued Wednesday, stemmed from a lawsuit filed in Copenhagen City Court in July by the Danish arm of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, a trade group for the recording industry.

"This judgment is one more step along the road to getting this rogue site closed down," John Kennedy, chairman and CEO of IFPI, said in a statement Thursday. "Allofmp3.com illegally offers for sale copies of music that it has no right to reproduce or distribute."

Moscow-based Mediaservices, which owns AllofMP3, was not a party to the lawsuit. The company said Thursday that it was disappointed in the ruling, and stressed that it hasn't been found guilty of violating any laws.

Stockholm, Sweden-based Tele2 provides Internet access in 19 countries, according to its Web site. Calls to the company went unanswered Thursday.

AllofMP3 typically charges under $1 for an entire album and just cents per track. By contrast, an album at Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes Music Store and other licensed services typically costs about $10 and a song 99 cents.

The Web site operator maintains that by paying royalties to a Russian licensing group, the Web site is in compliance with Russian laws.

The music industry contends that the Russian licensing group doesn't have the authority to collect and distribute royalties.

The Danish court ruling is the latest setback for the Web site in recent weeks. Earlier this month, Visa International and MasterCard Worldwide said they stopped accepting credit card transactions for purchases made on the site.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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