After a run of success in the Chinese courts, search engine Baidu has now lost a lawsuit in the Beijing courts. The new case centred on the lyrics of songs that Baidu posts next to its MP3 search function. It was sued by the Music Copyright Society Of China, which said the search firm did not have the appropriate licence to publish song lyrics owned by its members. The Beijing People’s Court for the Haidian District agreed and fined Baidu, 50,000 yuan plus 10,000 yaun legal costs just over £5500).
Baidu’s usual (and so far successful) defence that it only provides links to infringing sites failed on the facts of this case as the lyrics were actually posted and published on Baidu’s site (rather than linked to) next to links to MP3 search functions. Baidu plans to appeal.