Recording Industry Tries Suing Another Chinese Search Engine, Despite Losing Last Suit

from the try,-try-again dept

If you have to give the recording industry credit for something, you can say that it's persistent in its misguided attempts to sue just about anyone. Setbacks don't seem to ever be analyzed, but simply ignored. For example, in 2005, the recording industry sued Chinese search engine Baidu for helping people find unauthorized copies of music -- which has been credited for a large chunk of Baidu's appeal to users. However, late last year, the courts found against the recording industry and in favor of Baidu. Apparently, the folks in the industry didn't bother to think about why, they just turned around and filed a similar lawsuit against Alibaba, a competitor to Baidu, who also happens to run Yahoo China.

The worst part about this, though, is that if the recording industry ever stopped to look at what's actually happening in China, they might see all of the opportunities presented there. After all, China is famous for its rather lax views on intellectual property -- which, if you believed the recording industry and its supporters, should have killed off the local music industry. However, the reality is quite different. Musicians in China have learned to adapt to the marketplace, embracing the free promotional aspects of their music to help them sell other things. Knowing that the music itself will be available for free, many musicians encourage that, recognizing that it helps them sell many more concert tickets, and also has opened up new money making opportunities, such as sponsorship deals. Of course, the record labels generally doesn't get money from concerts and such -- but that was a (bad) business mistake they made in their contracts, rather than a larger issue that requires government protection.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    magicdiablo, Mar 7th, 2007 @ 4:50am

    just stop

    The recording industry does have ligiment claims (i'm defending them. eww), but they need to review all the facts before they can go on a suing rampage.

     

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  2.  
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    Nobody Special, Mar 7th, 2007 @ 5:25am

    check the contracts

    I don't know about in China, but in the US the recording industry often makes more money then the artist on concert tours.

    I suspect that one would find that in China the recording industry only makes money doing the recording. Where in the US the industry has expanded its reach and used to have a solid grip on all aspects of an artist's career. And it is quite normal for organizations to fight to protect what they already have.

    At this point they are most likely trying to recover something from the volumes of pirated material in China. That , and they are protecting their IP. The thing is that if you don't make adequate moves to protect your IP, you lose protection altogether.

    Whether this suit is a good choice is a business decision really. And one factor (among others) is how much does the suit cost. But the legal beavers are also certainly trying to avoid whatever made them lose the last round. In the legal arena it is a mistake to focus on what is right instead of what is legal. And legality is often won and lost on technicalities. And technicalities can often be overcome with persistence.

    Finally, it might be possible that they are now banded together with their last foe to cause distraction from the competition. They certainly wouldn't disclose such any more then absolutely required.

     

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  3.  
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    Geoff, Mar 7th, 2007 @ 6:44am

    a waste of time

    Although I'm a musician and I support the idea of getting paid for CD sales, the reality is that you can't stop music from being freely available. The model has changed and the change is irreversible; the new model for musicians is this: sell concert tickets and merchandise (and CDs AT the shows!). If the record industry wants to survive, it's going to have to cut out the middlemen, lower CD prices (while CDs last!) and get involved in other areas, such as the aforementioned merchandising...maybe they should just start buying concert halls! They're going to lose this suit in China...and with encrypted file sharing solutions like GigaTribe taking over ( http://www.gigatribe.com ), they're not going to be able to track down file-sharers like they used to. If they keep up like this, they won't have any money left to pay their lawyers!!

     

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  4.  
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    NunYa, Mar 7th, 2007 @ 8:50am

    Re: a waste of time

    One can only Hope...
    $10.oo sez that the music industry as a whole will have a working model of our current system/distro consumer culture, just about the time that music is sold then down loaded in the store to your flash drive to be taken home and used as you see fit.

    Then they will throw a tantrum over that too.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Eric, Mar 7th, 2007 @ 9:13am

    Re: check the contracts

    That is a creative use of the term "artist" considering what these people turn out is, unfortunately, not art. It's formula-drivin CRAP designed to turn a profit for the record company rather than a representation of the musician's (or musicians') personal vision(s).

     

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  6.  
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    me, Mar 7th, 2007 @ 10:17am

    this is one of those rare times

    when I sympathize with the chinese.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Nobody Special, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 4:54am

    Re: Re: check the contracts

    I totally agree that the vast majority of major recording artists today are turning out crap. And that blame lies mostly with the large five recording companies. They even have a tight control on what you hear on the radio.

    I think what will help is for smaller (real) artists to get a group together to allow no cost playing of their music on the internet. Eventually the market will force the big five to conform.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Eric, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 8:41am

    Re: Re: Re: check the contracts

    I agree, I am such a musician myself and there are such venues already. However, they usually end up carrying major label groups on top of everything else drowning them out (the best one so far is music.download.com).
    Hell, if this group could get enough money together it may be possible to start a record label that is more of a paid membership deal that has no significant (if any) financial stake in the music itself allowing the artists to write what they please.

     

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