Yahoo China Found Guilty Of Copyright Infringement For Linking To MP3s

from the how-dare-they! dept

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.

Filed Under: , ,
Companies: alibaba, baidu, yahoo china

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Comments on “Yahoo China Found Guilty Of Copyright Infringement For Linking To MP3s”

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Mike (profile) says:

Re: Correct me if I'm wrong

Is this article about how they got sued twice for the same thing? Doesn’t that fall under double jeopardy or something?

No, first suit was against Baidu. Second against Alibaba. Baidu got off clean.

PS: “the courts found that it not guilty” I believe you meant “the courts found it not guilty” or “that it was not guilty.”

Whoops. You’re right. Fixed.

JT says:

Not Double Jeopardy

Double jeopardy is a protection that attaching under criminal trials, not lawsuits. Even if it was criminal, you could argue that the continuing presence of the links represented “new charges” and when the law changed, charge new counts. In any event, when it comes to lawsuits, you can get sued, and sued, and sued again. Then appeal a hundred times. It all depends on how much money the parties have for legal fees. Gotta love a litigious culture!

Fushta says:

The "Win" May Be "Significant," but...

So what if the recording industry “wins.” What does it change? Nothing. They still don’t make money from “winning” this battle. The people that were using the easy-to-find links will just seek out another place to get the same result: free music.

All the recording industry did was spend money on lawyers and pound its’ collective chest.

Jeff says:


Good thing they’re out there looking for people to sue. Heaven forbid if they actually help their own industry by promoting the artists.
There are talented musicians no one can find because labels keep the songs bottled up tight for fear of piracy. But guess what, I can’t buy something if I don’t know it’s out there. And I’m not buying anything I haven’t tried first.
Even the ice cream shop down the street lets me try samples before I order a 3 scoop cone with sprinkles.

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