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Russian social network VKontakte and Warner Music Group sign out-of-court agreement

April 08, 21:08 UTC+3 MOSCOW
VKontakte has been litigating with music majors since 2014, when Sony Music Russia, Universal Music Russia and Warner Music UK filed three independent lawsuits to the St. Petersburg arbitration court
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© Dmitry Rogulin/TASS Archive

MOSCOW, April 8. /TASS/. Russian social network VKontakte and Warner Music Group (WMG) have signed a confidential out-of-court agreement, according to the social network’s statement.

Both parties won’t continue their disputes in court following the ruling of the Arbitration court of appeal dated March 11, 2016.

Under that agreement, VKontakte will offer various music services with licensed content from the United Media Agency (UMA), which is Russian supplier of musical services.

WMG will offer Russian users a possibility to get access to WMG content though own licensed products of UMA and other authorized platforms.

"VKontakte continues to move towards the development of cooperation with record companies and other rights holders. This agreement is another milestone in this direction," the social network’s CEO Boris Dobrodeev said.

"We see huge potential for growth of our business in Russia, further investment in Russian artists, when artists and rights holders receive fair compensation These agreements mark a major step forward on the way to a properly functioning market," general director of Warner Music Russia Alexander Blinov said.

VKontakte has been litigating with music majors since 2014, when Sony Music Russia, Universal Music Russia and Warner Music UK filed three independent lawsuits to the St. Petersburg arbitration court against the social network. They demanded protection for their exclusive rights for music content and compensation for damage. The total amount of compensation claimed by three companies was 51 mln rubles ($759 mln).

VKontakte and Sony Music Russia reached a settlement agreement in July 2015 but did not disclose the conditions of the agreement.

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