June 3, 2008 at 5:05 AM (PT)
The music industry is trying to put a face on online piracy in CHINA, and punch that face squarely in the nose, reports FORBES. Leading international and CHINESE record companies joined hands TUESDAY to announce an unprecedented alliance to take on BAIDU.COM, CHINA’s dominant search engine.
They are calling on businesses to stop advertising on BAIDU.COM and vowed TUESDAY to collectively lobby the NATIONAL COPYRIGHT ADMINISTRATION OF CHINA to take action against the NASDAQ-listed company.
The industry alliance blames BAIDU for facilitating more than half of digital music piracy in CHINA -- the world's largest Internet market by number of users -- and by one estimate as much as 80%. International heavyweights UNIVERSAL MUSIC, EMI and WARNER-CHAPPELL MUSIC are participating in the effort, along with their CHINESE counterparts LINFAIR MUSIC, LINFAIR MUSIC PUBLISHING, SEED MUSIC, TAIHE RYE MUSIC, R2G, ZHU SHU FANG MUSIC and YUE LIN MUSIC.
In 2006, seven international music labels, including SONY BMG, EMI, WARNER MUSIC and UNIVERSAL MUSIC, lost a lawsuit accusing BAIDU of culpability for illegal downloading and sharing of music.
However, in a landmark ruling in DECEMBER, BEIJING’s final appeals court found YAHOO! CHINA guilty of facilitating mass copyright infringement, though the court has had difficulty enforcing its ruling.