Chinese search site Baidu has attracted a lot of attention since it announced plans for an IPO a couple of years ago, not just because it's the country's most popular search engine, but because a lot of that popularity -- and what separated it from Google -- came from its pointing users to illegal copies of music. Inevitably, Baidu got sued, both by Chinese companies and the IFPI, the international equivalent of the RIAA, but it's been announced that Baidu won the case against the IFPI. Details are a little sketchy because the ruling itself hasn't been released, just the verdict. The IFPI alleged that Baidu's deep linking to MP3s was a breach of copyright, but it's not clear why deep linking rules change if the link is to a music file instead of an HTML one. It's also not clear why Baidu, which is just a search engine, would be liable, since it's not hosting the files itself. Anyhow, the case is probably far from over: the IFPI, of course, plans to appeal, and Baidu's not likely to give up the fight so easily. After all, to do so would be to give up on one of its biggest competitive advantages.
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