Chinese Search Engine Sued for Music Piracy

BEIJING - The Music Copyright Society of China is seeking damages totaling 1 million yen (about $140,000) in a lawsuit aimed at the popular Chinese search engine Baidu.


The charges, filed in January, came less than a month after the company was sued by the IFPI for deep-linking MP3s.


The lawsuit lists 50 songs reportedly linked directly to the third-largest global search engine.


"Baidu is not the only search engine involved in infringing music copyrights, but currently it is the largest," state press quoted Qu Jingming, director of the Music Copyright Society of China, as saying. "We can only capture the ringleader first in order to catch all the followers."


In a case similar to the one the IFPI brought against Baidu, the Beijing Higher People's Court found Yahoo! China liable in December 2007 for the same method of deep-linking. The court fined Yahoo! China 210,000 yen (about $29,500).