Chinese music industry representatives Tuesday warned
the nation's top search engine Baidu that it risked
losing advertising contracts over allegations that it
allowed the pirating of music files.
"Resolutely countering Baidu, the largest and most
incorrigible purveyor of pirated music in China, has
become a common goal of the music industry," said Qu
Jingming, director-general of the Music Copyright
Society of China (MCSC).
Baidu is already embroiled in a series of lawsuits
lodged this year by MCSC and top music labels Universal
Music, Warner Music and Sony BMG for providing music
links they say infringe their copyrights.
The parties said that they had already sent a letter to
each of the major advertising companies, suggesting them
make a prudent consideration before placing
advertisements on a media involved in piracy like
Baidu.com. They said that Baidu has been involved in
piracy by providing thousands of links for users to
download unlicensed music.
In addition, R2G, a major music distributor in China,
said it sued Baidu in a Beijing court on May 16,
accusing the Chinese search engine of not legally acting
on removing online music links.
Baidu has responded to the parties' action, saying that
it takes this matter seriously and emphasizing that it
has always attached high importance to the Internet
sector's copyright protection. Baidu says as a listed
company in the United States, it has been abiding by
China's intellectual property right laws and made
measures to carry them out. The company says it has
entered cooperation with about 60 music companies on
record promotion and advertisement profit sharing and it
will take more measures in the future to promote the
development of digital music.