Labels Finally Realize It's Better To License Music To Baidu Than To Fight It

from the took-'em-long-enough dept

We’ve been following the record labels fight with Chinese search engine giant Baidu since it began in 2005. The labels kept claiming that Baidu was infringing on their copyrights by helping people find music. And while there were some questions about just how deeply involved Baidu was (including accusations that it didn’t just link to mp3s, but may have hosted them knowingly as well), the company kept winning in court.

It appears that three of the big four record labels have finally realized, six years later, that rather than continuing to fight this fight, it’s better to license the music and be done with it. An organization representing Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music has agreed to license their music to Baidu, who will make it available as a part of a licensed service. It’ll be interesting to see if there are any crazy restrictions on this, but kudos to those three record labels for finally (way too late) realizing that this was always a business model issue, not a legal problem.

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Companies: baidu, sony music, universal music, warner music group

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Comments on “Labels Finally Realize It's Better To License Music To Baidu Than To Fight It”

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DannyB (profile) says:

They way to stop piracy

Just give us a way to buy your music.

At a reasonable price.

In the formats we want (8-track, vinyl, wax cylinder).

Without DRM so it plays on all our devices (victrolla, gramaphone) and mobile devices (car 8-track).

You’ll make money. There won’t be a reason for piracy.

There will always be a few pirates, but the vast majority will be happy that they can purchase music to listen to on all their devices, inexpensively.

Jimr (profile) says:

I think they realized fighting Baidu was a no win and they need to accept what Baidu offered.

Baidu is essentially an arm of the government. The record labels are foreign companies. And this whole concept of copyright is relatively new to China. Three big strikes against record labels.

The record labels just want sources of revenue – Baidu offered them a easy choice make money now or simply not to. Now that Baidu has legitimate control over purse strings they can and will start to dictate what they want or they will revoke there revenue stream from the record labels and go back to hosting the music files themselves and not paying any foreign record companies.

RD says:

nah, its just a big plot

It’s all just a big plot, there is no “they’ve seen the light.” They will Netflix them down the road. They will start off with an already-high licensing fee, and then after a couple of years when Baidu has gotten a good foothold and finally has the business running smoothly, and legally, the big labels will increase the fees 10 fold from one year to the next. Can’t pay the fee? No music license then. Out of business and they never had to go anywhere near a courtroom. That’s yet another competitor to the almighty CD erased, and they can go back to business as usual.

They learned this trick from the movie studios, as Netflix is about to slit it’s own throat by increasing fees as much as 60% (for now, next year it will happen again, and again) while not increasing ANY of its streaming titles one whit, then having to pay 1.8 billion for those rights next year (up from 180 MILLION this year).

william (profile) says:

Hey, for people who never dealt with Chinese company on Chinese soil, taken this to heart: You can’t win fighting a Chinese company in a lawsuit in China.

Now, I am hoping something good will come out from this, ie. Baidu gets a much favorable terms with the Labels than others in U.S. or else where in the world. After all, Baidu is the apparent winner in this case (the Labels will never admit to this).

Once this happens, we can all start getting our music from Baidu, thus effectively force Labels to realize that they need to give the same term to other companies, or they will risk create the next iTune Store in China with Baidu holding most of the customers base. The Labels will obviously make some kind of “Chinese customer in China only” restriction on this agreement. However, I believe Baidu will just ignore that (as per usual).

Of course, the above scenario assumes that Labels are smart enough to realize that. With their past record on intelligence…

Nicedoggy says:

Re: Re:

There is also a video search.

Now if you use Google translate you can actually navigate all of that without problems.

Meanwhile PPStream in China is big.

All that piracy LoL

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