Major labels seek to outlaw Chinese search engine

October 2005

Internet, Record Labels

China’s leading internet search engine has said that it would appeal a decision by a Beijing court that it should pay compensation to a unit of global music group EMI music, over downloads of pirated pop music offered through its website. The ruling, which also ordered the company to stop providing the services, highlighted the potential legal vulnerability of the popular “MP3” digital music search service offered by Baidu, which enjoyed a hugely successful listing on the Nasdaq last month. The Baidu search engine (commonly refered to as ‘the Chinese Google’) has been sued for making copyright infringement easy via its MP3 search option. Baidu commands 37.4% of China’s search market. German and Australian courts have already held that internet links sites to other illegal download sites are in themselves illegal. The company claims that it is not offering downloads itself: it is merely offering a search option. Baidu’s VP of Marketing, Liang Dong, says: “From the copyright point of view, we think differently than the music companies. Baidu is just a platform for music search”.

Source: Five Eight Magazine –


For the Australian decision see Law Updates August 2005 and Germany see Law Updates September 2005, and :

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