The Chinese Are Killing Us At The Illegal Downloading Game

Aug 30th, 2007 // Comment

So it looks like the record labels will apparently negotiate with the terrorists after all. But only in China, where apparently “almost 100% of music downloaded from the Net is stolen” according to this Business Week story, thanks to Baidu.com, a search engine that’s kicking Yahoo and Google’s asses thanks to its ability to ferret out free MP3s. (The fact that I don’t comprehend Chinese, and the fact that I don’t want/need any spy- or malware on my laptop, has prevented me from checking out the claim by clicking links on Baidu willy-nilly.) EMI, however, has recently made a pact with this illegal-download-intermediary devil:

Baidu has started reaching out to the recording industry. In January, it announced a plan with EMI Music to provide free online streaming, which allows listening without downloading, of all of the label’s Chinese songs. A notice on Baidu’s Web site says, “it is Baidu’s policy to attach great importance to the protection of copyright and comply with all the applicable [Chinese] laws.” The notice adds that after learning of an infraction, “Baidu will remove relevant links in accordance with the applicable laws, regulations, and binding measures.”
Flyasia’s Wu actually did get Baidu to remove links to some of the more than 1,000 songs his outfit owns rights to–after he filed a lawsuit. But he says the problem persists, and his staff is not up to the task of constantly policing Baidu’s site. “There are so many links,” says Wu, whose case will be heard by a Beijing court in October.

The reason for the link-up might be the fact that the “hey, we’re just providing the access to someone else’s illegal files” argument actually works in Chinese courts, at least according to one recent ruling, and the findings awarded to the Chinese music industry when it does win are so piddling compared to the cost of mounting a case that many see it as a windmill-tilt. Still, if any Idolator readers do read Chinese, there’s apparently gold in that there search engine.

Deaf To Music Piracy [Business Week]

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