updated 12:25 pm EST, Tue February 5, 2008
Chinese piracy allegations
The most popular search engine in China may be facing legal sanctions over music piracy, says Agence France-Presse. Three of the four major labels -- Warner, Universal and Sony BMG -- have filed a request in a Beijing court, asking that Baidu pull down links to illegal music. Specifically, the labels allege that Baidu is indexing illegal hosting sites, while simultaneously profiting from advertising. Music trade group IFPI claims that piracy in China has dramatically hurt its own profits, with over 99 percent of tracks in the country said to be distributed illegally.
The record labels still face an uphill battle however, as they have ongoing legal disputes with the portal site Sohu.com, and Yahoo China, which has refused to follow a December ruling that accused it of copyright infringement. In that month the group also lost another case, one directed against Gold Label Entertainment.