AfterDawn: Tech news

Baidu facing $9 million copyright claims

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 07 Apr 2008 7:35 User comments (1)

Baidu facing $9 million copyright claims Chinese Internet company Baidu may be forced by a Chinese court to damages claims totaling US$9 million to three record companies. The claim is the tip of the iceberg in a copyright infringement test-case that could expose the Chinese internet giant to a multi-billion dollar liability. The record industry claims the service helps to "deep link" users directly to hundreds of thousands of copyright infringing music tracks.
In April 2007 a setting ruling found Yahoo China guilty of facilitating mass copyright infringement for operating a music delivery service very similar to Baidu's. That ruling was confirmed in December 2007 by the Beijing Higher People’s Court, the final appeals court.

The record companies' infringement claims against Baidu are based on 127 of their own music tracks. They seek the maximum statutory compensation under Chinese law of RMB 500,000 (US$71,000) per track. This creates total claims of RMB 63,500,000 (US$9m).

"Baidu is China's largest violator of music copyrights, generating huge revenue by deliberately providing access to illegal content. The scale of what it is doing can be summed up by the fact that if the courts were to rule that Baidu should pay maximum statutory damages for all the infringing tracks available through its service it would have to pay many billions of dollars in compensation. That would be an enormous but appropriate price to pay for a company that is failing to take what are quite simple steps to respect the rights of artists and record companies and protect the content of IFPI's members," John Kennedy, Chairman and Chief Executive of IFPI, said.

He added: "The record industry wants partnership with China's internet companies, but one that is based on respect of copyright and the law. It is totally wrong that internet giants like Baidu should build a fortune by abusing the rights of artists, songwriters and record producers."

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1 user comment

18.4.2008 3:01

This is what happens when you live in china.

There goverment doesn't want them to listen to certain music because it might distill thoughts of freedom.

kinda lame.

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