Russian collecting society RAO is suing a company it identified as the promoter of Beyonce's November 2009 Moscow show for allegedly violating public performance rights by not obtaining a license from RAO.

The show was staged Nov. 2 at Moscow's Olimpiiski Sports Palace.

"Permission could have been obtained from RAO, an accredited collecting agency, by signing a license agreement," RAO said in a statement published on its Web site. "Since such an agreement with RAO was not signed, public performance of songs at the singer's concert was illegitimate."

RAO represents the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in the local market.

Moscow's prosecutor's office said on its Web site that it is opening a probe into the case but it won't give any information on how long it could take.

Under the existing law, RAO could demand between 10,000 roubles ($330) and 5 million roubles ($167,000) from Beyonce's show's promoter, a company named Anons. The exact size of RAO's claim has not been announced.

Anons defended itself by saying that it wasn't actually the show's promoter. "We didn't sign any contract with the artist," the company's general director Sergei Chukin told the Russian business daily Kommersant. "We only sold tickets for the show." He added that he was unable to say who actually promoted the show.

Meanwhile, last year, RAO won a similar lawsuit, collecting 450,000 roubles ($15,000) from a promoter of Deep Purple's show in the South Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.