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Apple iTunes hits Russia despite piracy concerns

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Apple has today (December 4) announced the launch of its iTunes Store in Russia, despite concerns of widespread content piracy in the country.

Coming after last week's launch of the new iTunes 11 platform, the US firm has now brought the world's biggest music download store to more nations.

Apple iTunes rolls out in Russia (screenshot)


Alongside Russia, the iTunes Store has also today rolled out in Turkey, India and South Africa, offering international music from the major labels, along with local stars such as Elka in Russia, Sezen Aksu in Turkey, AR Rahman in India and Zahara in South Africa.

The store has also launched in 52 additional countries, meaning it is available in a total of 119 nations for access on iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac and PC for users to legally discover, purchase and download over 20 million songs online.

All music on iTunes comes in iTunes Plus, Apple's DRM-free format with high-quality 256 kbps AAC encoding for audio.

There is also a selection of films available to rent or purchase, including content from Hollywood studios such as 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, The Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros Pictures, along with local distributors.

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Apple said that movies are available today in Russia, Turkey, India and Indonesia, along with selected additional countries.

Russia is a huge and emerging consumer market for Apple, but the country has also been alleged to be the home of major piracy activity.

The Intellectual Property Alliance, an organisation set up to tackle piracy, has placed Russia on its "priority watch list" for alleged copyright theft.

However, Apple will no doubt hope that it can tempt Russian consumers with the offer of legitimate downloads within the Apple software ecosystem.

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