China Says: If You Must Infringe On Copyrights, Use Baidu
from the interesting-strategy dept
Many people have noted over the years that with all of the effort that China has put into its Great Firewall, the country hasn’t done much of anything to crack down on unauthorized file sharing. In fact, at times, it’s almost seemed to encourage it. So some people were a bit surprised to find out that China’s censors tried blocking traffic to various well known BitTorrent sites, such as Mininova, isoHunt and The Pirate Bay. However, what may be most interesting is that rather than blocking them outright, it appears that the system just redirects all that traffic to popular Chinese search engine Baidu.
This would be the same Baidu that first became really popular when China shifted all Google traffic to its site, and also the site that stayed popular because it made it easy to download unauthorized music. This would be the same Baidu that was also recently exposed to be fairly complicit in the music downloads it offers, potentially hosting the content itself through a revolving series of ever-changing domains. So, this hardly seems like an attempt by the Chinese government to crack down on unauthorized file sharing — but an attempt to drive it all to a local company. It looks like the redirects only lasted for a few days, and are no longer in place — but if the past is any indication, those redirects may come back at any time.