Back in the day, one of the obstacles that stood in the way of Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) was the high level of offline and online distribution of counterfeit products in the country. At the time, a certain amount surrounded the closure of the most famous platform for illegal music – AllOfMp3.com. For Russians, it was all rather amusing considering that they could not imagine how it was possible to pay for pirated music. Whereas western users could not imagine that paid-for music, even if it was cheaper than on iTunes, might be pirated. It was this orientation towards the foreign market that led to AllOfMp3’s being buried eight years ago.
As later experience has demonstrated, piracy – particularly on a gigantic scale – can be undertaken in Russia with impunity. Well, almost. From time to time, there are showy campaigns with curious results, such as the funny renaming of songs and artists. On the whole, however, with the exception of a few rarities, one can still find any music or film for free on the Russian internet within a couple of minutes.