Chinese search engine fined

June 2008


Zhongsou, one of China’s top five internet search engines, has been found guilty of infringing record companies’ copyrights by the Copyright Bureau of Hebei province and Cangzhou city.  The authorities have ordered the internet company to stop infringing immediately and pay the maximum penalty of RMB 100,000.  Three computer servers belonging to Zhongsou have also been forfeited. This is the first time that administrative penalties have been levied on a company running a music delivery service. In September 2007, IFPI lodged a complaint with the Hebei Provincial Copyright Bureau.  Further investigations by Cangzhou Copyright Bureau, Cangzhou Cultural Task Force and RenQiu Cultural Task Force revealed that copyright infringing files accessed by the delivery service were hosted on servers owned by Zhongsou in Cangzhou city in Hebei province.  With the assistance of the ISP Cangzhou Netcom, the authorities raided and seized the servers on 11th March 2008. The administrative fine of RMB 100,000 imposed on Zhongsou in May 2008 is the largest fine for copyright infringement in the history of Hebei province. (from press release)

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