Yahoo! China must remove links to illegal websites

May 2007


A Beijing Court has confirmed that Yahoo! China has clear responsibility for removing all links to websites hosting infringing download tacks tracks on its service.  Yahoo’s China website, operated by, has been ordered to pay the compensation of 210,000 yuan ($27,000) for copyright violations and must delete links to 229 songs on nonaffiliated sites by the Beijing Second Intermediate People’s Court. About 85 percent of recordings in China are illegal, with sales of pirated music worth $410 million in 2005, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, the industry group that brought the claim. EMI, Warner Music Group and nine other record companies sued Yahoo China in March claims the service violated copyrights by allowing users of its search engine to find links to pirated music. The music industry had previously lost a similar case in China (although on first appeal) against Baidu – a leading Chinese links/search site. That case is being appealed again and the IFPI are obviously hoping that the Yahoo! case, decided under new Chinese regulations, will prove a valuable precedent in the Baidu appeal.

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