Chinese Court Rules Against Yahoo! China
April 24, 2007 at 6:07 AM (PT)
A court has ruled against YAHOO INC.'s CHINA arm in a lawsuit by recording companies over music piracy, a state news agency said today, amid U.S. pressure on BEIJING to crack down on widespread copying of music, movies and other goods.
Companies including WARNER MUSIC, SONY BMG and UNIVERSAL VIVENDI accused YAHOO CHINA of violating copyrights because of links between its search engine and websites with 229 illegally copied songs. The BEIJING No. 2 Intermediate People's Court concluded that YAHOO CHINA infringed copyrights and ordered it to pay 210,000 yuan (US$27,000) in damages, the XINHUA News Agency said.
YAHOO CHINA said it would appeal and stressed its respect for intellectual property rights. YAHOO had expressed confidence earlier that it would win the case after a court ruled in favor of a CHINESE search engine, BAIDU.COM INC., in a similar lawsuit in NOVEMBER.
The INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF PHONOGRAPHIC INDUSTRIES, a trade group that filed both lawsuits on behalf of recording companies, is appealing the BAIDU ruling.