A while back, we had pointed out that the success of a few Chinese search engines wasn't necessarily that they were any better than their counterparts -- but that because they were pretty explicit in helping people find downloadable music
. Baidu was famous for this -- and we wondered if the company's move to go public would force a crackdown on such activities. Indeed, soon after Baidu went public in the US, it got sued
. However, eventually the courts found that it was not guilty
-- but because of the way the copyright laws were worded. Simple solution: a little pressure from the recording industry and... voila: new laws. So, with those new copyright laws in place, the IFPI went after Alibaba
, who also happens to run Yahoo China. And, with those new laws in place, Alibaba has now been found guilty of copyright infringement
for providing easy to find links to downloadable music (not hosting the music, just linking to it). Not surprisingly, the recording industry pulls out its favorite adjective
, calling the win "significant." Given all of these "significant" wins, and the fact that the recording industry's future keeps getting bleaker and bleaker, while file sharing (and the rest of the music industry) continues to grow, I'm beginning to think that the industry maybe does not really know what that word means.