The IFPI has snatched victory against Russobit-Soft, a major Russian pirate-disc manufacturer, following a court ruling in Moscow today (July 13).

The IFPI has snatched victory against Russobit-Soft, a major Russian pirate-disc manufacturer, following a court ruling in Moscow today (July 13).

The Arbitration Court of the Moscow Region has ordered Russobit-Soft to pay four million roubles ($148,000) in statutory damages for producing and distributing illegal copies of 30 CD albums by Depeche Mode, Destiny's Child, Michael Jackson, Radiohead and Whitney Houston, among others.

Russobit-Soft is ordered to cease manufacturing any more copies and has to pay compensation costs such as state duties, expert fees, plus a significant proportion of the IFPI's legal fees.

The ruling follows a lawsuit the IFPI filed against Russobit-Soft in December 2003 on behalf of eight labels: Arista Records Inc.; BMG U.K. & Ireland; CJSC Universal Music (Russia); EMI Music International Services; Mute Records; LLC Sony Music Entertainment (Russia); Sanctuary Records Group; and Warner Music Austria.

IFPI blames an inefficient copyright legislation and weak enforcement for Russia's position what it ranks as the world's second biggest pirated-music market after China.

"The Russian government needs to do much more to enforce against illegal optical-disc production in Russia, which is spiraling out of control," said Geoff Taylor, IFPI's London-based general counsel and executive VP. "It must also update Russian laws and procedures so that where copyright owners take action, they are able to obtain an injunction and damages that properly reflect the scale of their losses."

According to the IFPI, Russia has 56 active optical-disc factories with mastering facilities to produce about 700 million discs annually in a country where only 58 million legal music CDs were sold in 2004.