Let me tell you a story. I come from a home of two children and I'm the oldest of two boys. One day, my mother made chocolate eclairs. Quickly, of course, because my father eats like a bear that's had its stomach pumped, we were down to the final eclair. My brother insisted he should get the last eclair. I reminded him that I'm roughly twice his size and could take the damn eclair anytime I felt like it. My mother, in her esteemed fairness, gave the eclair to my brother.
That woman always hated me.
In any case, I proceeded to corner my little brother as he held onto his sweet chocolate and pudding prize, and explained to him that it would be better for everyone if he just ignored Judge Mother's ruling and gave me the eclair instead. All manner of good things would follow, I insisted. And do you know what that little ginger-haired jerk did? He smiled at me, patted me on the shoulder, and shoved every last ounce of that 8 inch eclair into his mouth, rolling his eyes in exaggerated pleasure as he did so.
Witness the collective music industry reacting to their sound defeat in Chinese Court while accusing Baidu and Sohu of copyright infringement for indexing links to MP3 files. Now, there's been some likely fair concern that Baidu may be hiding some actual hosting of infringing files, but the music labels apparently didn't come close to proving that in court as it seems the main issue discussed in the trial was their linking to infringing files. But the point is they lost. The judge, like my tyrantess of a mother, raised Baidu's arm and pronounced them the victors.
And so the collective music industry has gone to the Financial Times (found via PaidContent.org) to basically ask Baidu to ignore the ruling and do what they ask anyway because of all the great and wonderful things that will come once they do. They're basically pulling my routine after I lost my delicious eclair, but their letters offer up some wonderful doozies:
"This is a country with twice as many internet users as the US, but where legitimate music consumption is miniscule, with digital revenues per user at less than 1% of the US equivalent."
Damn Chinese people, always refusing to spend as much as Americans on music. Nevermind the cultural differences that may be coming into play here. Nevermind that the nominal GDP for the United States is some thirteen times that of China. We want the Chinese to pay as much for their music as Americans, damn it, and the way to do that is to get Baidu to voluntarily limit their own search results. And that's exactly what the Financial Times letter indicates:
"Baidu is the biggest source of this problem, with its MP3 music search service estimated to be responsible for over 50% of infringing music distribution in China. It has the means to bring immediate change by proactively filtering infringing works from this service."
So, you see, if Baidu would just filter out the infringing content, relatively poor Chinese citizens would suddenly spend big bucks for music. And perhaps Ferraris. Ooooh, and those sweet 100 ft. yachts I'm sure they'd all like to actually pay for if they had any damn money!
My brother didn't have any money either, but he had his chocolate eclair, so he told me shove my request in places that usually only pornstars put things. I expect Baidu will respond in similar fashion.