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.