updated 02:55 pm EDT, Thu May 12, 2011
Court rules against Chinese search engine
Shanghai Daily reported that the Luwan District People's Court in Shanghai ruled Wednesday that Baidu, China's largest search engine, had infringed upon Qidian's copyrights. The court ordered Baidu pay the popular Chinese literary website 550,000 yuan ($84,600 USD) in compensation. Baidu said it would appeal the ruling.
Qidian sued Baidu in March, 2010, claiming that the search site had created links to five pirated versions of novels for which Qidian held the Internet copyrights. "Baidu helped the websites violate the plaintiff's rights" said You Minjian, Qidian's lawyer, "and should bear responsibility."
This is not the first time the search engine has been involved disputes over copyrights. A group of authors and musicians complained after Baidu made a large number of literary and music works available free of charge through its website. Baidu ultimately agreed to delete the items. In April, Baidu signed an agreement to pay Chinese songwriters who belong to the Music Copyright Society of China for songs downloaded or streamed using the company's search engine. also in April, the Chinese Ministry of Culture said it planned to punish Baidu and 13 other websites for offering illegal copies of music.
Baidu holds a 75.5 percent share of the revenue created through Internet searches in China.