The sight of VKontakte boss Boris Dobrodeyev describing the Russian music industry as “under-monetised” will make plenty of rightsholders choke on their cornflakes, given that they see the social network as one of the key villains in this state of affairs.

Yet Dobrodeyev has maintained – in an interview with Billboard – that VK can be a friend rather than a foe for the music industry.

“We have all necessary recipes for success, we have a user base, we have a music service, and I am sure that in partnership with majors, we’ll be able to build an optimal service for users and a viable and profitable business,” he said.

VK was recently involved in a court ruling over a lawsuit from labels that saw both sides claiming victory. While the company was ordered to implement better filters for copyrighted music uploaded by users, it is pointing to the overall decision that VK is an “intermediary in good faith”.

VK says it is now in negotiations with labels, but wants to strike the kind of deals that mean, when it removes an unlicensed music file uploaded by a user, it can replace it with an official version from the label. Given the history, those negotiations may have some bumpy moments.

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